Creamy No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese – hands down the BEST mac & cheese EVER! Cottage cheese, milk, dijon mustard, cayenne, salt, pepper, sharp cheddar cheese, and macaroni. Everything cooks in the same pan, even the pasta! Can make the cheese mixture ahead of time and add noodles right before baking. Delicious side dish or meatless main dish.

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The BEST Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite side dishes, and this No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese recipe is the best of the best. There are only a few simple ingredients in this casserole – macaroni, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and milk. It is so easy to make and it tastes AMAZING! Don’t worry if you don’t like cottage cheese; I couldn’t taste it. It just added a really nice creaminess to the whole dish. We served this as a side dish, but I could have easily eaten this as my meal. It is the BEST!

baking dish of baked macaroni and cheese

How to Make Creamy No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese

As I said, this casserole is effortless to make. In a food processor or blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper together. Combine shredded cheddar cheese, uncooked macaroni and the cottage cheese mixture. Pour into a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Top with more cheddar cheese and bake an additional 30 minutes. Let the pasta rest for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

  • You can use any shredded cheese that you enjoy. Gouda or Colby would be delicious.
  • Feel free to toss in some cooked chicken, steak, bacon, or ham and turn this side dish into an easy main dish.
  • Can No-Boil Mac & Cheese be made in advance? you can make the cheese mixture ahead of time and add noodles right before baking.
  • It is important to let the casserole rest 15 to 20 minutes before serving. The mixture will be hot and runny when it comes out of the oven. Once it has cooled a bit it will be super creamy and delicious.
scooping macaroni and cheese from baking dish

What to Serve with Mac & Cheese

Did you know that we actually consider it to be a vegetable in the South? Right or wrong, that is just the way it is. I for one and fine with it. This recipe tastes just like Southern macaroni and cheese is supposed to taste. Super cheesy, creamy, and delicious! This casserole goes with absolutely everything – chicken, pork, casseroles, steak. Anything! You can even serve this as a meatless main dish. YUM! You must make this ASAP!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this cheesy pasta:

scooping macaroni and cheese from baking dish with text overlay

Creamy No-Boil Macaroni & Cheese

Yield: 6 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Creamy No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese – hands down the BEST mac & cheese EVER! Cottage cheese, milk, dijon mustard, cayenne, salt, pepper, sharp cheddar cheese, and macaroni. Everything cooks in the same pan, even the pasta! Can make the cheese mixture ahead of time and add noodles right before baking. Delicious side dish or meatless main dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • pinch cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 -oz uncooked elbow pasta

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly spray a 9-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a food processor or blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper together.
  • Reserve ¼ cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, cottage cheese mixture, and uncooked pasta.
  • Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  • Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Notes:

  • You can use any shredded cheese that you enjoy. Gouda or colby would be delicious.
  • Feel free to toss in some cooked chicken, steak, or ham and turn this side dish into an easy main dish.
  • Can No-Boil Mac & Cheese be made in advance? you can make the cheese mixture ahead of time and add noodles right before baking.
  • It is important to let the casserole rest 15 to 20 minutes before serving. The mixture will be hot and runny when it comes out of the oven. Once it has cooled a bit it will be super creamy and delicious.

Steph

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scooping macaroni and cheese from baking dish with text overlay

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Comments

  1. I made this recipe as described, but found I had to use a 2 qt casserole. Also, after the first 30 min. I found it way too runny,so I added the remaining 8 Oz elbows, covered it again tightly, and it turned out very well after the next 30 min.( It thickened up as it cooled, but when reheated for a second meal the creaminess returned. )

    1. I made it with ricotta because that’s what I had. I think cottage cheese has more liquid and more salt. I added extra salt to taste, but didn’t end up with a creamy texture. The flavor was still excellent though!

  2. The pan size is 9-inch square and you bake it at 375. You can half it. You would need a small dish – maybe a 5-inch dish.

  3. Can I half this recipe? Is the pan size 9×13? It's says cook for 30min but not at what temp. Cooking rookie 🙂

  4. Just out of curiosity, what will happen if this is made with low fat cottage cheese and milk? Will the results vary too greatly?

    1. This is my go-to recipe for Mac and cheese. I have always used 4% fat cottage cheese and whole milk. Why mess with perfect?

  5. This looks delicious Steph! Can't wait to try it! I'm a huge sucker for mac & cheese – we even had it at our wedding 🙂

  6. I have been looking for a "no boil" mac and cheese. I love the idea. You are the mac and cheese "go to" blog…

  7. Intriguing! I love that you don't boil the noodles, and that you call this a vegetable. That my dear is a win-win!

  8. Wow Steph I love this recipe. Going to try it tonight. Its easy yet looks and sounds so good. Thanks for sharing.

    Also loved your fajita wraps. I'm a bit behind in reading my email posts and am just catching up. Everything you do on here is a winner!!!

    Nann

  9. I feel sorry for those who are unaware of macaroni and cheese as a vegetable. Poor things don't know what they're missing. This looks delicious, it's been pinned.

  10. In my family it is acceptable as a veggie .. that way you can serve it with mashed potatoes on the menu, too!

  11. Wait. I'm confused. Are you saying everyone doesn't consider it a vegetable?? 🙂 Can't wait to try this!

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