The Best Homemade Macaroni & Cheese of your Life

So for no reason at all, I have always been intimidated by making real homemade mac & cheese. I’ve tried a few recipes in the past that turned out pretty blah. But after having a friend visit us a few months ago that introduced us to trottole pasta, I knew we were about to become a homemade mac & cheese household. The noodles totally make it. This recipe is seriously irresistable and so easy, the kids love it & I even love to reheat it in the morning and eat it with eggs. Yep, that good.

Ok so a few things to note. I use sharp cheddar or a three cheddar blend, because I know my kiddos will love it. You can totally fancy it up with Gruyere, gouda or even monterey jack, but for simplicities sake, we are using cheddar. I’m obsessed with the Tillamook brand from Target, it has the BEST flavor of any cheese I’ve ever had (not sponsored, just love cheese) so highly recommend that for this recipe. You can also cook up bacon ahead of time, add that to the pasta before throwing in the oven & then cook your panko bread crumbs in the bacon grease IF you want be a total badass.

Also to note, it is addicting, so I apologize in advance for your belly ache. Make this as a side this summer with all the grilled food, serve it with brunch or save it for special occasions!! Or do all three.

What you need:
1 16oz bag of Trottole pasta
1 stick of organic, salted butter (plus a tiny bit more for later)
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups milk
3 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook Triple Cheddar)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt & Pepper

Directions (and remember, I’m not a food blogger or professional recipe maker, just a regular mom who loves to cook):
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook the pasta & set aside.
In a large pot, mix up a roux. Use one stick of butter melted on medium heat, and then slowly whisk in flour and stir together for about 2 minutes until frothy and lightly turning brown. Turn heat to lowest setting and add in 2 cups of milk and continue to whisk all together. Once it has all mixed together and starts to thicken, add in 16 oz of cheese (about 2 cups) and continue stirring until you have a cheese sauce. Add salt & pep
Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture (or you can pour cheese over pasta in a casserole dish) and stir together.
Cover with the remaining cup of shredded cheese & put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese on top starts to slightly turn brown.
While pasta is in the oven, add at that “tiny bit more” butter to a small frying pan, and toss in about 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs. Stir them continually until they start to brown. 
Pull pasta out of the oven, sprinkle panko on top.
Serve, drool & enjoy!!

I probably forgot something, but you get the point.

Ok I can’t wait to hear what you think, make this and be sure to let me know how much you loved it!!



  1. You had me at roux. Perfect timing – I’m going to a bbq potluck this weekend and was looking for a new Mac and cheese recipe to make & take!

  2. this is totally like 200 calories per pan, right?! bc i really really really want to fit this into my diet. maybe i’ll make it for my kids and just have one bite. is it possible to stop at one? LOL

  3. My sister’s in laws live in Idaho and she would come back from visiting them and rave about Tillamook products. But, living in Pennsylvania, we didn’t have any stores that sold them. Until now. Literally a month or two ago, dairy heaven arrived in the northeast. I’m beyond delighted to get the opportunity to make this recipe and use Tillamook’s super chunky shredded cheese! Thank you for sharing! And thank you for always being a bright spot! You make the world a better place!

  4. Totally making this! Starving RN ? I actually make the exact cheese sauce for brocolli but use arrowroot powder instead of flour.

  5. I am excited to try this with the type of pasta! I usually follow the pioneer woman’s recipe, which also call for an egg whisked into the roux and mustard powder…. now I cannot have mac and cheese without mustard powder, it gives it a little kick!

  6. Love that you love Tillamook! It’s my favorite, too, having lived in Oregon for 2 years where it is a local, household brand. I could have SAAAAANG! when I saw it at Target after moving to MN! Can’t wait to try this recipe – thx for sharing!

  7. just signed up to bring this to Easter Dinner! Winning!!!!!! My kids will be stoked, and it looks easy enough that I can make it at home and cook it at my parent’s house! THANK YOU!!!

  8. I am confused! 16 oz of cheese to add in to the roux would be 4 cups. Your recipe says about 2 cups. Which one do you use?

  9. Just bought trottole pasta through the Target app, they have it under the Simply Balanced line. Will have to try this mac and cheese!

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