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Velveeta Mac and Cheese

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Indulge in a comfort food classic with this easy, no-fail Velveeta Mac and Cheese recipe. Featuring creamy Velveeta, Colby jack, and cheddar, a flavorful blend of seasonings, and a quick oven bake, it’s a mouthwatering dish that’s sure to hit the spot for a cozy, satisfying meal.

When it comes to mac recipes, opinions vary widely. But whether you’re on #TeamVelveeta 🧀 or not, there’s no denying that this Velveeta mac recipe is easy and amazinggg.

What is Velveeta?

Velveeta is a processed cheese known for its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture, making it the go-to choice for creamy mac ‘n cheese, velvety queso dips, and those ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches we all love. To amp up the richness of Velveeta Mac and Cheese, we’ve thrown in a mix of Colby jack and cheddar.

It’s important to keep in mind that while Velveeta is appreciated for its convenience and smooth melt when cooking, some folks, like Marrekus 👀, have a preference for the taste and authenticity of genuine, aged cheeses, like in his Southern Baked Mac and Cheese recipe which features sharp cheddar, Colby jack, and mozzarella.

So, whether you’re planning a cozy dinner at home, looking for the perfect side dish for a special holiday, or just wanting to create a dish that’s Instagram-worthy and utterly satisfying, we’ve got a recipe for that!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • kosher salt for pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • nonstick cooking spray to grease baking dish

Special Equipment and Tools

  • Large pot: A large pot is essential for boiling the macaroni. You’ll need plenty of space to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.
  • Colander: After boiling the macaroni, drain it over the sink.
  • Medium saucepan: You’ll need a saucepan to create the roux and the creamy cheese sauce.
  • Whisk: The whisk is your best friend for achieving a smooth and lump-free texture in the roux.
  • Large spoon: This is for stirring the sauce and transfer the macaroni mixture into the baking dish without spills like a pro.
  • 9 x 13 baking dish: You’ll need a baking dish for cooking Velveeta macaroni and cheese in the oven.

Recipe Substitutions

Cheeses: You can use extra cheddar, American, or other melting cheeses in place of Velveeta. To get a similar smooth texture, you will need to still use the roux (butter and flour mixture). Experiment with different combinations to find the flavor and texture that you prefer!

Pasta: Cavatappi, Rotini, and Shell pasta are some of our favorites.

Seasonings: Paprika, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper are great additions for a subtle kick.

How to make mac and cheese with Velveeta

Step 1: Preheat the Oven: First things first, let’s get that oven going! Preheat it to 350°F (175°C).

Step 2: Cook the Macaroni: While your oven is heating up, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Don’t forget to be generous with the salt; it’ll add great flavor to the pasta! Cook your macaroni according to the package instructions, but keep an eye on it and aim for that perfect al dente texture. Once your macaroni is cooked to perfection, drain it and set it aside.

Step 3: Make a Roux for Mac and Cheese: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt some butter, and then add the flour. Give it a good whisk until it’s nice and smooth. Now, slowly pour in the milk and heavy cream, while whisking continuously. You want to create a creamy mixture. Keep whisking until it’s all smooth and harmonious. Turn up the heat just a tad, and watch as your mixture starts to bubble away gently. Let it reach a low boil.

Step 4: Add the Cheese and Spices: Time to add the Velveeta, 1 cup of Colby Jack, and 1 cup of Cheddar into the mix. Stir it all up until it melts and the mixture is nice and creamy. Then, add some seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Be sure to stir everything together.

Step 5: Prepare to Bake: Mix your cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, making sure every pasta piece gets a cozy coat. Grab a 9 x 13 baking dish and grease it with either a touch of butter or a quick spritz of nonstick cooking spray. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining 1 cup of Colby Jack. This will create a beautiful cheesy crust when it bakes.

Step 6: Bake: Slide the baking dish into your preheated oven and let it bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the top is golden and bubbling. Let your Velveeta mac cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Instructions

Yes! You can make mac and cheese the day before if you have a busy schedule or if you’re preparing dishes for an event or gathering!

1. Prepare:

  1. Follow this recipe up to the point just before baking it. Alternatively, make the cheese sauce and then wait to boil a fresh batch of pasta just before baking to ensure that the pasta retains its ideal texture.
  2. Keep the pasta and sauce separate until you’re ready to assemble and bake the dish.

2. Refrigerate:

  1. Allow the cooked pasta and sauce to cool to room temperature.
  2. Place each component in separate airtight containers.
  3. Refrigerate for up to 24-48 hours.

3. Assemble and Bake:

  1. On the day of, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Combine the cooked pasta with the cold sauce, stirring until well coated. Alternatively, if you didn’t already, boil a fresh batch of pasta to al dente and drain it.
  3. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden and bubbling.

Storage & Reheating Tips

These tips can help you preserve the quality and flavor of Velveeta mac:

Storage

  • If you have leftovers, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Mac and cheese lasts for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Reheating

  • Microwave: Place a portion in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap (leave a small vent for steam), and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval until it’s evenly heated.
  • Oven: For larger portions or if you want to maintain the crispy top layer, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer to an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until it’s heated through. If you prefer a crispy top, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.
  • Stovetop: Reheat on the stovetop by placing it in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking or burning. You can add a splash of milk to help maintain creaminess and adjust the consistency if needed.

What Goes with Baked Mac and Cheese?

Serve straight from the baking dish for a comforting and cozy family-style meal alongside:

  • Fried Chicken: A Southern favorite, crispy fried chicken is a natural companion to collard greens. The contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender greens is pure comfort food.
  • Smothered Chicken: Smothered chicken, featuring tender, juicy chicken smothered in a rich, flavorful gravy, is a Southern classic that complements collard greens perfectly. The gravy adds an extra layer of savory goodness to your meal.
  • Smothered Oxtails: Smothered oxtails are another soulful favorite. The slow-cooked oxtails in a savory gravy create a delicious and hearty pairing with collard greens, offering a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  • Fried Catfish: Crispy fried catfish or other fish varieties pair beautifully with collard greens for a complete Southern meal.
  • Candied Yams: Sweet, tender yams cooked with butter, sugar, and sometimes marshmallows provide a sweet contrast to the greens’ savory flavors.
  • Cabbage: Southern-style cabbage, often cooked with bacon or smoked meats, provides a similar earthy and hearty vibe as collard greens.
  • Pork Chops: Juicy, pan-fried or grilled pork chops are another protein option that harmonizes with the greens.

Commonly Asked Questions

How to make a roux for mac and cheese?

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablesppons butter, and then add 2 tablespoons flour. Give it a good whisk until it’s nice and smooth. Now, slowly pour in the milk and heavy cream (or half & half), while whisking continuously. You want to create a creamy mixture. Keep whisking until it’s all smooth and harmonious. Turn up the heat just a tad, and watch as your mixture starts to bubble away gently. Let it reach a low boil.

How do I get the crispy, golden top layer?

Top with some extra Colby just before baking uncovered! This will melt and create a golden, cheesy crust. If you want an even crispier top, you can finish by broiling for a couple of minutes, but be sure to watch it closely to prevent burning.

Should I bake it covered or uncovered?

This Velveeta mac and cheese bakes uncovered, however, if you don’t want a crispy, golden top layer you can cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes.

How to prevent pasta from sticking?

After draining, you can toss the pasta with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking. The oil forms a light, protective coat on the pasta. Use about 1-2 teaspoons of oil per pound of pasta.

Do I need to add eggs to this recipe?

Nope! This recipe does not need eggs. The roux thickens the sauce mixture so adding eggs is unnecessary. Our Southern Baked Mac recipe uses eggs though.

Have you tried our delicious Velveeta Mac and Cheese recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments below! If you’re snapping pics or shooting videos of your culinary masterpiece, be sure to tag us at @cookswithsoul on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok! We can’t wait to see and share your incredible creations with our community.

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Velveeta Mac and Cheese Recipe

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, main course, dinner
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Indulge in a comfort food classic with this easy, no-fail Velveeta Mac and Cheese recipe. Featuring creamy Velveeta, Colby jack, and cheddar, a flavorful blend of seasonings, and a quick oven bake, it’s a mouthwatering dish that’s sure to hit the spot for a cozy, satisfying meal. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • kosher salt for pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • nonstick cooking spray to grease baking dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain and set it aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, then add flour. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Slowly pour in milk and heavy cream, while whisking continuously. Increase heat until mixture reaches a low boil.
  5. Add Velveeta, 1 cup Colby Jack, and 1 cup Cheddar. Stir until it melts and the consistency is creamy.
  6. Add seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper; stir to combine.
  7. Mix cooked macaroni into sauce.
  8. Grease 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  9. Pour macaroni and cheese into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining 1 cup of Colby Jack.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until top is golden and bubbling. Let it cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings. Taste the sauce and add more salt, pepper, etc. if needed to suit your preferences.
  • Cooking the macaroni to al dente is crucial. It will continue to cook slightly when baked, so avoid overcooking it during the initial boiling.

Keywords: velveeta mac and cheese, mac and cheese, baked mac and cheese

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