Whip Up Love: A Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Calls for 1/3 Cup

Originally posted on November 11, 2023 @ 4:39 am

Macaroni and cheese is one of America’s most beloved comfort foods. Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing potluck dish, mac and cheese is always a hit. But what if we told you that there’s a secret ingredient that can take your homemade mac and cheese from good to great?

In this article, we’ll share a delicious macaroni and cheese recipe that calls for a specific measurement of 1/3 cup. This secret ingredient adds a level of creaminess and flavor that will make your mac and cheese stand out. We’ll also provide you with easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips to ensure your mac and cheese turns out perfectly every time.


Key Takeaways:

  • Adding a specific measurement of 1/3 cup to your mac and cheese recipe can enhance its flavor and creaminess.
  • The perfect mac and cheese ingredients include pasta, cheese, milk, butter, flour, and seasonings.
  • Follow our step-by-step cooking instructions and helpful tips for a cheesy success every time.
  • You can pair your mac and cheese with the perfect side dish to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
  • Leftover mac and cheese can be just as delicious if stored properly and reheated correctly.

The Perfect Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that everyone loves, but not all recipes are created equal. To create the perfect mac and cheese, you’ll need to start with the right ingredients. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, gathering the necessary ingredients is the first step to making a delicious and easy macaroni and cheese.

The Essential Ingredients

The basic mac and cheese recipe requires simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients Quantity
Elbow macaroni 1 pound
Butter 4 tablespoons
All-purpose flour 4 tablespoons
Whole milk 2 cups
Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 2 cups
Salt and pepper To taste

These ingredients are enough to make a delicious and creamy mac and cheese that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Making the Recipe Your Own

The beauty of mac and cheese is that it’s a versatile dish that can be customized to your liking. If you love a bit of heat, you can add some cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the recipe. If you prefer a more decadent dish, you can add some heavy cream or even bacon. Here are some additional ingredients you can add to your mac and cheese recipe:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mustard
  • Parmesan cheese

Choosing the Right Cheese

The type of cheese you use in your mac and cheese recipe can make all the difference. To achieve the perfect balance of flavor and creaminess, it’s best to use a combination of cheeses. Sharp cheddar cheese is a classic choice, but you can also try using other cheeses such as Gouda, Swiss, or even blue cheese. Experiment with different cheeses to find your favorite combination.

With these ingredients and tips, you’re well on your way to making the perfect mac and cheese. Let’s move on to adding the secret ingredient that takes this dish to the next level of creaminess and flavor.

Adding the Secret Ingredient: 1/3 Cup

creamy mac and cheese recipe with secret ingredient 1/3 cup

Ready to take your mac and cheese to the next level of creaminess and flavor? It’s time to add the secret ingredient that makes this recipe unbeatable: 1/3 cup of cream cheese.

You may be wondering, “Why cream cheese?” Well, cream cheese is the perfect addition to give your mac and cheese that extra creaminess and tanginess that sets it apart from other recipes. It helps the cheese sauce adhere to the pasta, creating a velvety texture that is sure to please.

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To add the cream cheese to your mac and cheese, simply cube it into small pieces and add it to the cheese sauce as it’s melting. Whisk the sauce until the cream cheese is fully incorporated and smooth.

How Does 1/3 Cup Make a Difference?

The measurement of 1/3 cup is crucial in achieving the perfect balance of ingredients in this mac and cheese recipe. It’s not too little, which would make the cream cheese undetectable, and it’s not too much, which would overwhelm the other flavors in the dish.

Instead, 1/3 cup of cream cheese adds just the right amount of creaminess without overpowering the cheese or pasta. It’s a precise measurement that ensures each bite is a perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Incorporating 1/3 cup of cream cheese into your mac and cheese recipe may just be the game-changer your pasta dish needs. So go ahead, give it a try and experience the creamy, dreamy goodness for yourself!

The Magic of 1/3 Cup

1/3 cup measuring cup

Have you ever wondered why some macaroni and cheese recipes are creamier and more flavorful than others? It all comes down to the precise measurement of one specific ingredient: 1/3 cup.

Adding 1/3 cup of this secret ingredient to your mac and cheese recipe can take your dish to new heights of deliciousness. It enhances the texture and flavor, resulting in the creamiest, most satisfying bite.

The magic of 1/3 cup lies in achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Too little of this ingredient and your mac and cheese may lack the desired creaminess. Too much and the flavor can become overpowering.

So, what is this secret ingredient? Without giving too much away, let’s just say that it adds a touch of tangy and sharp flavor to the dish, balancing out the richness of the cheese and adding depth to the overall flavor profile.

Comparing Mac and Cheese Recipes with and without 1/3 cup Ingredient

Recipe Texture Flavor
Without 1/3 Cup Ingredient Inconsistent Flat
With 1/3 Cup Ingredient Creamy Rich and Tangy

As you can see, incorporating 1/3 cup of this specific ingredient into your mac and cheese recipe can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the amount and find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

Next time you make mac and cheese, don’t forget to add 1/3 cup of this magical ingredient. Your taste buds will thank you.

Cooking Instructions for Mac and Cheese

Cooking Macaroni and Cheese

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s get cooking! Follow these simple steps to create the creamiest and most delicious mac and cheese ever.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add 8 ounces of elbow macaroni to the boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until al dente, stirring occasionally.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, pour 2 cups of milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it begins to steam.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the milk and stir until melted.
  5. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until smooth and free of lumps. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of the special ingredient and whisk it in until it is fully combined with the milk mixture.
  7. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth.
  8. Once the macaroni is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and stir until the pasta is fully coated with sauce.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!

This easy macaroni and cheese recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re cooking for a crowd or whipping up a quick dinner for yourself. Feel free to adjust the measurements based on your personal preferences.


If the sauce seems too thick, add more milk to thin it out. If it’s too thin, add more cheese to thicken it up.

Tips for a Cheesy Success

mac and cheese toppings

If you want your macaroni and cheese recipe to turn out creamy and delicious every time, follow these helpful tips:

  • Use high-quality cheese: The key to a truly amazing mac and cheese is using good, flavorful cheese. Choose a cheese that melts well, such as cheddar, Gouda, or Fontina.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta: Overcooking the pasta will result in a mushy mac and cheese. Cook the pasta al dente (firm to the bite) for the best texture.
  • Make a roux: A roux is a mixture of butter and flour, which helps to thicken the cheese sauce. Cook the roux until it is a golden color before adding the milk.
  • Gradually add the milk: Adding the milk slowly and stirring constantly will create a smooth and creamy cheese sauce.
  • Use evaporated milk: For an even creamier mac and cheese, swap out regular milk for evaporated milk.
  • Season to taste: Don’t forget to add salt and pepper to your mac and cheese for added flavor. You can also add other seasonings, such as garlic or onion powder, to customize the taste.

If you follow these tips, your macaroni and cheese recipe will turn out creamy, delicious, and oh-so-satisfying every time. And if you want to take your mac and cheese to the next level, try incorporating different types of cheese, such as blue cheese or Gruyere, or adding toppings such as breadcrumbs or bacon bits.

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Mac and Cheese Toppings:

Consider adding one of these delicious toppings to your macaroni and cheese recipe:

  • Breadcrumbs: Toasted breadcrumbs add a nice crunch to the top of your mac and cheese.
  • Bacon bits: Everything is better with bacon, including mac and cheese.
  • Jalapenos: For a little kick of heat, add sliced jalapenos to your mac and cheese.
  • Green onions: Chopped green onions add a pop of color and fresh flavor to your dish.

Experiment with different toppings to find your favorite combination. And don’t forget to take a picture of your delicious creation to share on social media!

Serving Suggestions and Variations

macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs topping

Now that you’ve mastered this delicious macaroni and cheese recipe, it’s time to get creative with your presentation. Here are some suggestions to make your dish even more enticing:

  • Sprinkle some breadcrumbs or crushed potato chips on top of the mac and cheese for added crunch.
  • Add some diced jalapeños or hot sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Create a deluxe mac and cheese burger by sandwiching a generous scoop of mac and cheese between two burger patties.
  • Use the mac and cheese as a filling for a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • For a gourmet twist, add some truffle oil or chopped truffle to your mac and cheese.

But don’t just take our word for it! Let your imagination run wild and come up with your own unique variations of this classic cheesy pasta recipe.

And if you’re looking to pair your mac and cheese with the perfect side dish, consider serving it alongside some roasted vegetables or a simple green salad. The acidity of the greens will help cut through the richness of the cheese, providing a well-rounded meal.

Pairing Mac and Cheese with the Perfect Side Dish

macaroni and cheese

Mac and cheese is a delicious and filling main dish on its own, but it can also be the perfect side dish to complement other meals. Whether you’re planning a dinner party or a cozy night in, there are plenty of options for pairing your mac and cheese with the perfect side dish. Here are a few ideas:

1. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is a classic side that complements any pasta dish, and mac and cheese is no exception. Simply slice up a fresh baguette, brush it with garlic butter, and toast it in the oven until it’s crispy and golden. Serve it alongside your mac and cheese for a carb overload that’s sure to satisfy.

2. Roasted Vegetables

If you’re looking for something a little lighter to balance out the richness of your mac and cheese, try pairing it with some roasted vegetables. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus are all great options that add a touch of color and nutrition to your plate. Simply toss your vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they’re tender and slightly browned.

3. Salad

A fresh salad is a great way to balance out the comfort food vibes of mac and cheese. Try a Caesar salad with homemade dressing, or mix up a simple green salad with your favorite veggies and a vinaigrette. The crispiness of the greens will be a perfect contrast to the creamy mac and cheese.

4. Grilled Chicken

If you’re looking to add some protein to your meal, grilled chicken is a great option. Marinate your chicken in your favorite spices and grill it to perfection, then serve it alongside your mac and cheese for a complete and satisfying meal.

No matter what you choose, the cheesy goodness of your mac and cheese will be the perfect foil to whatever side dish you choose. Experiment with different flavors and textures to find your favorite pairing!

Leftovers and Reheating Tips

mac and cheese leftovers

Leftover mac and cheese can make for a quick and easy meal the next day. However, if reheated improperly, it can become dry and unappetizing. Here are some tips for storing and reheating your mac and cheese:

  1. Storage: Store your leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Make sure to label the container with the date so you know when it was made.
  2. Reheating: To reheat your mac and cheese, place it in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave the dish in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it reaches the desired temperature. You can also reheat it in the oven by placing it in a baking dish, covering it with foil, and baking at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Adding moisture: If your mac and cheese is looking a little dry after reheating, add a splash of milk or cream to the dish before reheating. This will help restore some of the creaminess.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your easy macaroni and cheese for days to come without sacrificing its deliciousness.

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe FAQs

Looking to perfect your creamy mac and cheese recipe even further? Check out these frequently asked questions for additional insights and suggestions.

How can I make my mac and cheese creamier?

There are a few things you can do to achieve an even creamier mac and cheese. Adding more cheese or a splash of heavy cream can up the creaminess factor, while also enhancing the overall flavor. Additionally, not overcooking the pasta can help preserve the texture and creaminess of your dish.

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What type of cheese is best for mac and cheese?

While you can use virtually any type of cheese for mac and cheese, some varieties work better than others. Cheddar and Gouda are popular choices because they melt well and have a flavorful, slightly sharp taste. Combining different types of cheese, such as using a mix of cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan, can also create a unique and delicious flavor profile.

Can I make mac and cheese ahead of time?

Yes! Mac and cheese can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. To reheat, simply cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven until heated through. You may need to add a bit of extra milk or cream to restore the creaminess of the dish after reheating.

Can I make a gluten-free version of this mac and cheese recipe?

Absolutely! Simply swap out the regular pasta for a gluten-free alternative, such as brown rice noodles or quinoa pasta. Be sure to check the labels of your other ingredients to ensure they are also gluten-free.

What are some creative variations I can try with this mac and cheese recipe?

There are plenty of ways to put a unique spin on classic mac and cheese. You can add ingredients like bacon, jalapenos, or sun-dried tomatoes to create a new flavor profile. You could also try using different types of pasta, such as penne or fusilli, to switch things up. Or, for a healthier twist, try using cauliflower or butternut squash in place of some of the pasta.

Whether you’re a mac and cheese enthusiast or trying your hand at this classic comfort food for the first time, these FAQs will help you perfect your recipe and impress your taste buds.


Now that you’ve learned about the secret ingredient and easy-to-follow instructions for creating the perfect mac and cheese, it’s time to get cooking! With a creamy texture and burst of flavor in every bite, this macaroni and cheese recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

While the recipe we’ve shared is delicious as is, don’t be afraid to mix things up and add your own personal touch. Try adding in some bacon or diced tomatoes for a savory twist, or experiment with different cheeses to change up the flavor profile.

Share your creations with us

We’d love to see how your macaroni and cheese turns out! Share your creations with us on social media and let us know if you have any other tips for making the ultimate cheesy pasta dish. Happy cooking!


What ingredients do I need to make macaroni and cheese?

To make macaroni and cheese, you will need macaroni noodles, cheese (such as cheddar or a combination of cheeses), milk, butter, flour, salt, and optional seasonings or toppings.

What is the secret ingredient in this mac and cheese recipe?

The secret ingredient in this mac and cheese recipe is 1/3 cup of a special ingredient. It adds a creamy and flavorful touch to the dish.

How does adding 1/3 cup of the secret ingredient enhance the mac and cheese?

Adding 1/3 cup of the secret ingredient enhances the texture and flavor of the mac and cheese, making it even creamier and more delicious.

Why is the measurement of 1/3 cup important in this recipe?

The measurement of 1/3 cup is important because it ensures the perfect balance of flavors and textures in the mac and cheese, resulting in a mouthwatering dish.

What are the cooking instructions for making mac and cheese?

To cook mac and cheese, you will need to boil the macaroni noodles, prepare the cheese sauce, and then combine them together. The detailed cooking instructions will guide you through each step for a successful mac and cheese.

Do you have any tips for making the best mac and cheese?

Yes, we have some tips for making the best mac and cheese. These tips include choosing the right cheese, achieving the ideal level of creaminess, and adding extra flavor boosters if desired.

Can you suggest any variations or serving ideas for mac and cheese?

Absolutely! We can suggest variations such as adding bacon, vegetables, or different types of cheese to your mac and cheese. As for serving ideas, we’ll recommend creative presentations and garnishes to make your mac and cheese visually appealing.

What are some good side dishes to serve with mac and cheese?

Mac and cheese pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Some popular options include salad, roasted vegetables, grilled chicken, or even a crusty bread for dipping.

Can I store leftovers of mac and cheese?

Yes, you can store leftovers of mac and cheese. We’ll provide you with tips on how to properly store them and how to reheat them to maintain their creamy texture and taste.

Are there any additional tips or FAQs for making mac and cheese?

Yes, in this section, we will address additional tips and frequently asked questions to ensure your mac and cheese making experience goes smoothly. We’ll cover common concerns and provide more guidance to help you achieve the best results.

I’m Emily Davis, the founder and passionate food enthusiast behind this recipe blog. At EveryLastRecipe.com, we aim to inspire, educate, and empower fellow food enthusiasts to embark on their culinary adventures.

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