White Mac and Cheese

This White Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food dish! Tender pasta coated in a creamy cheese sauce made with two kinds of cheese: fontina and white cheddar cheese. This combo makes the creamiest, silkiest macaroni and cheese with lots of flavor. Oh, and bonus! It’s made on the stovetop, so it’s super easy.

white mac and cheese in a bowl.

One of the many things I love about life is mac and cheese – it’s like a great friend who’s there to offer up some comfort, and good feels when you need it most. Even if it’s been a while since mac and cheese and I have met, I can always depend on what it has always delivered: good old-fashioned cheesy pasta comfort food goodness. 

close-up shot of the dish.

And today, it’s a white mac and cheese recipe made with white cheddar cheese for an old-school flavor and Fontina cheese to amp up the rich and creamy factor. It’s made on the stovetop, so it’s easy, and the taste and texture give it a nostalgic blue box-meets-Panera mac and cheese vibe, but trust me on this, it’s a million times better.

Ingredients

  • Rotini pasta or any short pasta shape like elbow macaroni, penne, or cavatappi.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cornstarch
  • All-purpose flour
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground dry mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • White pepper – this type of pepper is – surprise! – white and has a mild flavor. You can use black pepper in its place if you prefer.
  • Whole milk – half and half also works for a more decadent sauce.
  • Shredded Fontina cheese
  • Shredded white cheddar cheese – don’t use aged white cheddar cheese because it will make the sauce grainy.
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
ingredients for the recipe.

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Instructions

Boil the pasta to al dente in a large pot following package instructions. While the pasta boils, combine the cornstarch, flour, garlic powder, ground mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

the seasonings, butter, and milk being added to the pan.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour mixture and stir for a minute or so until smooth. This creates a roux that thickens the sauce.

Slowly add the milk while whisking continuously. There should be no lumps. If lumps form, stop adding the milk and whisk to remove them before adding the rest of the milk.

the cheese and pasta being added to the sauce.

Heat the mixture for a few minutes, and then add the shredded cheese in small batches, stirring with a rubber spatula until the cheese is melted.

Drain the noodles and add them to the cheese sauce. Stir to coat the pasta evenly in the sauce and garnish it with parsley for serving.

overhead shot of the mac and cheese in a pan.

Recipe Tips

  • What I love about this white cheddar mac and cheese is that it goes from pot to plate in about 30 minutes.
  • You can fancy it up and spread it in a baking dish and sprinkle more cheese (like sharp white cheddar or Parmesan cheese) over the top. Pop it under the broiler to melt the cheese. You get those golden brown spots, too, which are always nice.
  • Or sprinkle seasoned buttered bread crumbs over the top and broil them until crispy.

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • It’s best when it’s made, but leftovers will keep in an airtight container for a few days in the refrigerator.
  • When you warm them up, you may need to add a few splashes of milk to loosen the cheese sauce.

I hope you give this creamy stovetop mac and cheese a try. Save it for a day when you want a cheesy pasta hug. It won’t disappoint.

Happy cooking,

April
mac and cheese being spooned in a a bowl.

More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

📣 Do you love this recipe? I would love to know! Leave a comment below the recipe, along with your recipe star rating.

Print

White Mac and Cheese

close-up shot of the dish.

This White Mac and Cheese will soothe your cheese-lovin’ soul with its rich and creamy cheddar-Fontina cheese sauce, tender pasta, and quick prep time. This is what to make when you’re craving some cheesy pasta comfort.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 10 ounces rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta following package instructions. Combine the cornstarch, flour, garlic powder, ground mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour mixture and stir until smooth. Cook the mixture for a minute or so.
  3. Slowly add the milk while whisking continuously. There should be no lumps. If lumps form, stop adding the milk and whisk to remove them before adding the rest of the milk.
  4. Heat the mixture for a few minutes and then add the shredded cheese in small batches, stirring with a rubber spatula until the cheese is melted.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat it in the sauce. Garnish with parsley.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 857
  • Sugar: 9.2g
  • Sodium: 1037.1mg
  • Fat: 47.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 27.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 65.4g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 41g
  • Cholesterol: 149.4mg

Keywords: white mac and cheese, white cheddar mac and cheese, white macaroni and cheese

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

Post updated from the archives. First published in February 2022.

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3 Comments

  1. I recently learned how to make mac and cheese, so I wanted to cook one with white cheddar cheese powder soon. It was a good tip when you told us to add a few splashes of milk when we reheat the mac and cheese after storage since this will help loosen the cheese sauce. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for where I can buy white cheddar cheese powder online soon.

  2. This recipe is a good and simple take on mac and cheese! Although I still use all flour rather than splitting it with cornstarch.
    You have the same ideas I have about cooking….simple, quick, and tasty if possible. I make the white sauce…add the cheese, then bake in the oven, though with the bread crumb topping.
    Toasted top, and bubbling twice baked mac and cheese.
    Oh, and I still use elbow macaroni…my husband and I are …olddddd……fashioned! and OLDER too!
    Thanks again for your tips…I get tips from all your recipes! This time it was the dry mustard. Never tried that before in my mac and cheese! Sounds like a winner!

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