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Creamy Mac and Cheese Made Easy with Velveeta

Mac and cheese with Velveeta instead of roux for super easy, super cheesy stove top mac and cheese

I love rich, creamy mac and cheese. I also love making it fast. Mac and cheese is a great last minute comfort food meal that rarely disappoints.

To make the creamiest mac and cheese, many recipes start with a roux (butter and flour thickener) or béchamel (butter, flour and milk). I found another way. Use Velveeta – mix easy-melting American Velveeta with a rich, Swiss, Norwegian or Italian cheese like Gruyère, Emmental, Beemster, Jarlsberg or Parmigiano-Reggiano for quick, rich and extra creamy mac and cheese.

I’ve found this mix of Velveeta and a gourmet cheese reliably creates a creamy, delicious mac and cheese, and in about the same amount of time as the box versions. For additional savoriness and a touch of smoky flavor add diced smoked ham, sausage or high-quality franks (like my favorite Ambassador brand).

Mac and cheese recipe wtih Velveeta.
Mac and cheese recipe with Velveeta cheese for creamy texture and easy blending of additional hard cheeses like Gruyere, Parmesan or other Swiss or European cheeses.

Creamy Mac and Cheese with Velveeta

Overview | Creamy Mac and Cheese with Velveeta

Ratings: 6

Cuisine: American
Recipe Time: 15 min (Prep 5 min, Cook 10 min)
Yeild: 4
Cooking Temp: low
Velveeta and Parmigiano Reggiano with Pepperoni Mac and Cheese Version.

Steps | Creamy Mac and Cheese with Velveeta

  1. Cook (boil) macaroni.
  2. Cook the pasta to slightly under-cooked. Add salt to the pasta water if you like saltier pasta.

    Drain the pasta keeping reserve pasta water (with experience, skip this step and just allow "the right amount" of cooked pasta water to remain in the pot after draining).

    Return the reserve pasta water (amount based on recipe size) to the drained pasta. The pasta water adds liquid and starch back to the dish. The more you add, the saucier but thinner cheese sauce becomes. Experiment to find your preference.

  3. Add the butter and cubed Velveeta cheese.
  4. Reduce the heat to simmer. Add the butter and cubed Velveeta to the pasta with reserve pasta water. Allow the butter to melt and the Velveeta to begin incorporating. Mix to combine.

  5. Add the shredded Gruyère cheese.
  6. With the butter and Velveeta mostly melted, mix in the shredded Gruyère (or similar cheese). Continue to mix.

  7. Add Ham, Sausage or Franks (optional) and Stir in milk or cream.
  8. Next add diced ham or sliced franks or sausage if desired. Adding smoked meats compliments the richness of the cheese and adds depth. In this example I used sliced Ambassador franks (Ambassador Old Fashioned Wieners), but cubed ham or sliced pepperoni works well too.

    Lastly, stir in the milk or cream. Once the mixture is combined and smooth, season with black pepper and salt if needed, and serve.

  9. Alternative Version with Parmigiano-Reggiano
  10. Here is a version I just made using what I had available in the fridge. I substituted Parmigiano-Reggiano for the Gruyère cheese and pepperoni for the ham. I turned out really good - very cheesy and saucy (I left a fair amount of pasta water in the pot after draining), and a bit salty (I salted the pasta water before cooking the pasta).

Nutritional Information
Creamy mac and cheese

(per serving)
Calories: 722 cals
Fat: 27 g
Carbs: 87 g
Protein: 31 g
Cholesterol: 78 mg
Sodium: 405 mg

Follow Up | Creamy Mac and Cheese with Velveeta

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