The Ultimate List of Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes

March 30, 2020

See our top five mac and cheese recipes made with authentic Wisconsin Cheese. Home-cooked comfort food has never been so easy. 

The Ultimate List of Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes

Close your eyes. Picture yourself sitting in your favorite comfy chair, snuggled up with a blanket, with a hot-off-the-stove bowl of mac and cheese in your hands. If this sounds like heaven to you, then you’re on the right page.

Making mac and cheese from scratch is a bit more effort than the boxed stuff, but you’ll be blown away by how good these homemade mac and cheese recipes are. Packed full of flavor, texture, and yes, cheese, we have recipes that cover everything from classic mac and cheese to the adventurous and spicy.

Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese

Jalapeno poppers in mac and cheese form? Yes, please. 

Don’t let the jalapeno scare you off. This cheesy, deconstructed version of jalapeno poppers is spicy enough to wake up those tired taste buds without having you grasping for that glass of water. 

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Crystal Farms’ Original Cream Cheese: If you want to start an argument with someone, just ask them what their favorite cream cheese is. While we don’t condone fighting, we do love cream cheese—especially Crystal Farms’. While cream cheese might be a bit of an unorthodox addition, it’s our secret to ultra-creamy mac and cheese. It lightens the flavor and gives the texture a smooth, silky finish.

Arena Cheese’s Colby-Jack: Colby-Jack is the brilliant child of colby and monterey Jack. This mellow and meltable cheese is a crowd-pleaser and makes a great addition to our Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese. As an added bonus, Arena Cheese specializes in colby so you know you’re getting the best-of-the-best. If colby-jack isn’t your jam you can easily substitute monterey jack or muenster.

Pasture Pride Mild Cheddar: Age isn’t everything when it comes to cheese. This young and mild cheddar from Pasture Pride Cheese has plenty of rich flavor without drowning out the subtleties of our colby-jack and cream cheese.  

Recipe Tip: If you enjoy some added heat, try adding more of the pith and ribs of the pepper. That white stuff in the middle has most of the pepper’s capsaicin, which gives jalapenos their heat.

Get the full recipe and cooking guide here.

Barbecue Chicken Mac and Cheese

Marry your love for cheese and grilling in this delicious combo.

There's something about rib-sticking Southern-inspired food that's just hearty and feel-good beyond compare. Having trouble deciding between the BBQ roasted chicken and creamy mac and cheese?

We've got good news for you: this BBQ chicken mac and cheese is the best of both worlds. But that’s not all: this smoky, cheesy twist on mac and cheese is as easy as it is delicious. Move over BBQ; say hello to "bar-be-phew, that was easy!"

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Wisconsin aged cheddar: Cheddar is the tasty foundation for almost any mac and cheese recipe, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The reason cheddar is so good in mac and cheese is simple: it strikes a perfect balance of meltability and flavor. What cheddar should you pick? Well, that’s half the fun! For this recipe, we would recommend an aged variety, something like Hook’s 12-Year Aged Cheddar or Saxon Creamery’s Pastures Aged Cheddar. 

Wisconsin smoked gouda: We love gouda in all its flavor varieties, but this smoked gouda truly shines in this dish. Providing a smoky flavor and a silky-smooth texture, biting into this cheese will make you feel like you’re at a backyard BBQ, soaking up the sun and smelling freshly roasted hickory wood. 

Recipe Tip: Make sure to wash your hands after handling hot peppers like jalapeno. The oils left over on your hand have plenty of heat that will make you regret touching your face or worse—rubbing your eyes.

Get the full Barbecue Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe and cooking guide here.

Taco Macaroni and Cheese Bake

Southern taco flavors and toppings meet macaroni and cheese in one tasty bowl. 

Put a new twist on Taco Tuesday with this cheesy bake. It’s got all the classic flavors of a taco bowl, only with a little more pasta and a lot more cheese.

With peppers, corn, and tomatoes, it’s a great way to sneak some hidden vegetables into a meal for the kids (and yourself)—while getting your cherished cheese in too.

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Wisconsin cream cheese: If you’re looking for extra creamy and smooth mac and cheese, cream cheese is the key to making that happen. The cream cheese in this recipe melds all the different flavors into one cohesive, yummy, symphony of flavor your taste buds won’t forget.  

Wisconsin cheddar: Here’s where you can give this recipe some personal flair. Whether you’re looking to add some extra heat with a jalapeno cheddar, or you’d like to keep things mild with a young cheddar—Wisconsin has every variety you could possibly want in your mac and cheese. For a safe option that’s sure to be a hit we’d recommend a mild to medium cheddar aged around a month.

Wisconsin pepper jack: A close sibling of monterey jack, pepper jack has the same delicate texture and milky flavor—but with a kick. Wisconsin cheesemakers infuse pepper jack with a variety of different peppers, chilies, and spices (like rosemary and garlic). 

Recipe Tip: This is a great make-ahead recipe! Pour the pasta mixture into the casserole and let it cool before refrigerating overnight or up to three days. When you’re ready to eat, let it come to room temperature and bake 25-35 minutes or until it reaches 165° Fahrenheit. Let stand for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Get the Taco Macaroni and Cheese Bake recipe and baking guide here.

Grandma Siemer's Macaroni and Cheese Bake

Here in Wisconsin we’re big on tradition—and sharing. That’s why we’re giving out one of our favorite family mac and cheese recipes so you can have some Wisconsin style love in your life too.  

Nearly everyone has a story about a meal or recipe that brings back fond memories of time spent with friends and family.

After all, what better way to bond than to share a warm meal? That’s what Grandma Siemer’s Macaroni and Cheese Bake is all about: comfort food that reminds you of good times with good people.  

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Widmer’s Mild Cheddar: Widmer’s has been making artisan cheeses since 1922 and this cheddar was one of their first—and grandma’s favorite. Rich, nutty, and delightfully smooth, this cheddar is so much more than just mild.

BelGioioso’s American Grana® Parmesan: This is it, the secret ingredient. BelGioioso’s award-winning American Grana parmesan packs plenty of complex, savory umami flavor into every hand-turned wheel. Life is just better with parmesan.

Get Grandma Siemer's Macaroni and Cheese Bake recipe here.

Favorite Mac and Cheese

It’s in the name. This is the definitive Wisconsin take on the classic macaroni and cheese formula: cheese, pasta, and broccoli florets.

For the times you just want a classic no-frills mac and cheese, this recipe delivers.We love trying new things, but sometimes you just want to drill down to the essence of what mac and cheese really is.

Our Favorite Mac and Cheese recipes has just 30 minutes of cooking time and six simple steps to follow. Give it a try and we’re sure it’ll become one of your favorites too.

Featured Cheese

Pine River Sharp Cheddar Cold Pack: High-quality Wisconsin aged cheddar in a convenient cold pack. What makes this cold pack so good? Pine River blends in Grade A Wisconsin aged cheddar, cream cheese, and herbs and spices into one package so all you have to do is add it to your saucepan. No mess, no fuss, just warm mac and cheese made with Wisconsin cheese—right at your fingertips.

Recipe Tip: Unlike pasteurized process cheese, no heat is used to process cold pack cheese; therefore, it should be stored refrigerated. This method maintains all that rich, natural cheese flavor that our cheesemakers worked so hard to create.

Get our Favorite Mac and Cheese recipe and cooking guide here.


If you made it this far, you’re probably ravenous for a warm bowl of mac and cheese—that’s totally normal. Pick from the recipes above to satisfy your craving, or if you’re eager to pick something else that suits your style, choose from our selection of over 300 handcrafted recipes featuring Wisconsin cheese. Share your mac and cheese with us on Instagram or Facebook and become part of the largest cheese community in the world.


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