ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Macaroni and Cheese - A Guilty Pleasure

Updated on January 1, 2010

The Secret Ingredient...

...Cream Cheese!

Yes, it is kind of bad for you.

That's why it tastes so good.

A real crowd-pleaser, everyone will want the recipe.

If you are worried about the fat and calories, remember:

It's supposed to be a side dish.

Liz's Favorite Mac and Cheese

3 cups penne pasta (2 cups if you like it extra creamy)
1/4 c butter
2 Tbsp flour, sifted
2 1/2 c milk or half and half (room temp)
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, cubed
8 oz shredded cheese- your choice (extra-sharp cheddar is my favorite)
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
seasoned bread crumbs for topping

Cook pasta until not quite al dente, (a little undercooked is better, it will cook more in the oven) Drain well and toss with small amount of butter to lightly coat. Set aside

In medium saucepan on low heat, melt butter. Slowly add flour, mixture will thicken a bit.
Stir in milk, a little at a time, to prevent lumps. When mixture is smooth, stir in shredded cheese.

When cheese is melted and smooth, add cream cheese, stirring constantly. Add ground mustard, salt and pepper and mix well.

Remove from heat and fold in cooked pasta. Pour into buttered casserole dish.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir gently to make sure all pasta is coated inside and out.

Top with bread crumbs and return to oven. Bake (uncovered) another 20 min.


note...It may seem as if you have too much cheese sauce and not enough pasta, but as it bakes, the pasta really soaks up the sauce.

"The Banquet of the Gods"..... somebody made mac and cheese!

"The Banquet of the Gods"... by Hendrik van Balen the Elder
"The Banquet of the Gods"... by Hendrik van Balen the Elder

Get Creative!

You can personalize this recipe by playing with the spices, cheese, and toppings.

Make a one-of-a kind dish by adding what you have on hand....

your own signature mac-n-cheese!

You may want to try:

Smoky Paprika

Cayenne or Hot Pepper Sauce

Worchestershire Sauce

Spicy brown or Dijon mustard instead of ground mustard

Nutmeg ( I leave out the mustard and use white cheddar)

Crumbled cooked bacon

Diced veggies.... broccoli,(great with bacon), bell pepper, sun-dried tomato

Top with shredded cheeseĀ and leave out theĀ bread crumbs.... place under broiler for a few minutes (after fully baking the macaroni and cheese) until slightly brown and bubbly.....oh yeah!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      Thanks, Rose Mary... I'm going to check out your hub, and I'll add a link too!

      mmm.. I want mac-n-cheese right now!

    • rmcrayne profile image


      9 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      The cream cheese has me interested. I finally did my Mac and Cheese hub. Actually I was waiting for REAL photos of my actual Mac and Cheese, and I pretty much just fix it at T'giving and Christmas. ANYwho, I linked to this hub in mine.

    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      Tamarii2, your kind words are invaluable, thank you.

      Hope you make this recipe and share it with those you love.

    • Tamarii2 profile image


      9 years ago from NEW YORK

      Great hub.It made me want to cook mac & cheese.Thanks 4 responding to my question.Thanks 4 this journey.>peace 2 U.

    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      Ground mustard is an underrated spice, it adds a nice flavor to cheese dishes, especially this one

      (I've been watching a lot of Food Network lately)

      thanks for your comment DeBorrah!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      9 years ago

      Hmmm This is one of my families favorite side dishes. But I have never added mustard? I'll have to try this



    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      Me too... and after making your own, the blue box just doesn't measure up..

      thanks, LAS

    • Life's A Stage profile image

      Life's A Stage 

      9 years ago from Center Stage

      I'm always looking for recipes for mac n cheese. mmmm im hungry now.

    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      Chelles, this is a great basic recipe to change as you like.

      IF you make it healthier, however, that means you get to eat more!

    • Chelles profile image


      9 years ago

      Sounds yummy. Maybe whole grain pasta, skim milk and low fat cheese could make it healthier? Though would likely notice a difference!

    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      James, The blue box stuff just doesn't even come close, does it?... thanks for checking out my recipe

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      If there is one thing I love, it is mac & cheese. I have never felt a twinge of guilt about it either. :)

      Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to try it.

    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      Keith S--Glad it sounds tasty, just make yourself a fruit salad, and you're good to go!

    • Keith S profile image

      Keith S 

      9 years ago

      I was minding my own business and then read your hub. I want mac and cheese for breakfast.


    • elisabethkcmo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      Glad you like it!

      Let me know how it turns out.

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 

      9 years ago from Northwestern Montana

      Yumo!!!!! Always looking for good, new recipes!!! I have never made it with cream cheese....sounds like it will be sooooooooo good!!! I'm bookmarking the recipe!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)