Whole Wheat Creamy Mac and Cheese

31 Reviews / 4.4 Average
Making mac and cheese from scratch is almost as easy as the boxed stuff, and the homemade version tastes SO MUCH better (at least in my opinion). With very little ingredients and only 15 minutes of your time, you can make this Creamy (Whole-wheat) Mac and Cheese recipe your family will love.
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creamy mac and cheese recipe made with whole wheat noodles and cheese in a white bowl

I had a reader tell me that she and her husband decided to race against each other – one making homemade creamy mac and cheese and the other making it out of a box – and it took them the same amount of time!

Whole Wheat Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe

To be honest, I can’t even hardly eat the boxed stuff anymore because the taste of the powdered cheese just doesn’t cut it for me like it did in the old days.

I’ve shared a mac and cheese recipe on the blog before, but recently discovered a different way to make it (below).

One night I was actually making Fettuccine Alfredo as a side dish, but I didn’t have any fettuccine on hand so I used macaroni noodles instead. My younger daughter said “Oh mommy, thank you for making macaroni and cheese.” (one of her favorites), and I said “Well, this isn’t exactly ‘macaroni’ babe.”

Creamy No Roux Mac and Cheese Recipe

But that gave me an idea. Instead of starting with a roux (butter and flour) to make macaroni maybe I could alter my Alfredo recipe and use less cream and lots more cheese for a new, creamy version of macaroni and cheese. And voila! Here you have it below…

Using Whole Wheat Macaroni in This Recipe

Dishes like mac and cheese are a great example of how easy it is to incorporate whole food comfort options into your weekly meal plan! This recipe for instance makes the simple switch to whole wheat macaroni for added protein and nutrients, as well as a creamy cheese sauce as opposed to a traditional roux. It’s creamy, satisfying and much more nutritious than the boxed alternative. Enjoy!

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227 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Creamy Mac and Cheese”

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Recipe Rating




    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Rachel. It will be a stringy mac and cheese but I’ve made it with mozzarella before. ~Amy

  1. You can also skip the butter and cream. I use only cheese and a little bit salt and my kids love it. I only tried to make boxed mac and cheese once and my kids did not like it at all. I also use whole wheat rice noodles sometimes and they like it that way as well. :)

  2. Is it possible to make this recipe ahead? I want to make it for a birthday party. I plan to make it earlier in the day and keep it warm in a crock pot. Has anyone tried this? Will the sauce curdle?

  3. Thank you!! I’ve tried so many different homemade Mac and cheese recipes and my boys NEVER liked them! I served this tonight and it was a huge hit. Finally, a win for Mom in the mac and cheese department !

  4. 5 stars
    My husband and I love this recipe! We use a mixture of sharp cheddar and Dubliner cheese and add garlic pepper for a more adult taste. It’s delicious!

  5. This was awesome! My toddler loved my mom’s baked mac n cheese which I’m pretty sure uses Velveeta (yuck!). This was perfect! And I really don’t mind that it used such heavy ingredients. It’s hard to get my toddler to slow down long enough to eat so he needs calorie dense, whole foods. Thanks!!

  6. I love this recipe and make it all of the time. I usually cut back on the cream and butter to make it a tad lighter. I actually am using your recipe on my dinner meal plan this week- I link to your recipe on my blog. Anyway, I think it’s great that you are raising awareness regarding processed foods. Our blog supports your efforts. We strive to raise a similar awareness regarding organic infant formula, and other health issues related to babies. Check it out if you get a chance…
    -Elleigh
    http://www.littleworldorganics.com

  7. What brand of heavy cream do you use? I have been using Horizon which has carrageenan in it. Which is bad for you right?

  8. 5 stars
    This was so delicious!!! I didn’t have any elbow macaroni so I used penne, still amazing. Sooooo easy! I loved that it only uses one pot. Not much clean up!

  9. 4 stars
    This was a hit with my super picky 8 YO. Made it on Saturday and she requested it again tonight! Finally I can move away from the box. I made the granola bars too & LOVE them!

  10. 4 stars
    I don’t know what I did wrong, but I needed more heavy cream – and it still didn’t stay creamy. It was good and the kids didn’t complain that it wasn’t box mac and cheese – so overall – it was a win!!! But, I actually thought it was too cheesy (oh my, I must have a fever)!

  11. 5 stars
    This was so delicious!

    I do love mac n cheese, but I like it to stay creamy (straight from the pot onto the table) as I really dont like thickened sauce.

    This recipe did the trick! We had it with your over yummy tomato bisque soup and salad.

    Thank you!

    Christy

  12. Any idea how to make it dairy free? I could probably try goat cheese? Also, was looking for the recipe where you have peas and carrots mixed in :)

  13. 3 stars
    What did I do wrong with this? It tasted delicious (to me…my kids both took one bite and refused more). I think the main issue they had was the stringiness of the cheese. When I put the cheese into the milk/butter mixture, it turned into one semi-melted giant stringy cheese blob. It took turning up the heat and basically “cutting in” the cheese ball with the pasta. Once I had it as mixed in as it was going to get, the stringiness was still crazy!

    1. 4 stars
      I had the same issue tonight. It tasted good but I was worried my 3 year old would chock on the cheese. From now on I will stick to the other recipe with the roux…that one turned out great!

  14. 5 stars
    Loved this but found no reason to shred the cheese- just cut it in cubes. Also used light butter and 2% milk. Threw in some fresh organic baby spinach for some green…Yum!

  15. 5 stars
    I MADE THIS TONIGHT WITH VEGGIE PASTA ADDED THE PROSCIUTTO AND OMG ITS WAS SOOO GOOD!! ALONG SIDE GRILLED EGGPLANT YUM!! THANKS FOR ANOTHER GREAT RECIPE!

  16. TIP: My kids loved this so much that I increase all the ingredients respectively to use up a 2-lb block of cabot cheddar, since I shred it all at once in the food processor. It was a huge pot of sauce! Then I divided it into freezer bags and froze them. That way, when they want mac and cheese (even for lunch) I thaw the sauce in hot water while the noodles cook. Drain the noodles, cut the corner of the bag and squeeze the sauce right into the pot, stir, add the splash of heavy cream (ESSENTIAL!) and serve – VOILA – as simple as Velveeta Shells!!! Makes life just a little simpler!! They also like a package of tuna mixed in!!

    1. Hi Amy! I just made a 1/2 batch to test and love this super easy recipe…and have been looking for a real cheese recipe to batch and freeze the sauce. I also buy cabot in 2-lb blocks, but not sure how that translates into cups shredded. Since you’ve already been down that road, can you share your proportions? Also can you add your cups frozen sauce to pasta ratio? THANK YOU!!!

  17. This was really yummy! I had some pasta already prepared that I needed to use so I think this took me 10 minutes start to finish! I used only 1 cup of cheese- about 1/2 sharp cheddar and 1/2 parmesan. I added some chopped spinach and also red chili pepper for a little kick. If I’d had broccoli I would have used that as well. Next time I think I’ll also add garlic. Far better than anything from a box!

  18. 2 stars
    I made this but I feel awful about feeding my kids so much cheese and heavy cream in one sitting. I won’t make it again.

  19. Brittany Enders

    Instead of cream I puree cottage cheese with a little milk in my magic bullet – makes the mac and cheese nice and creamy!

  20. What brand of pasta is pictured here? When I make whole wheat noodles, they are more beige in color and my daughter doesn’t like the grainy texture or look. I’ve tried cooking the noodles longer, but that didn’t help. Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Catherine. It is whole wheat macaroni from Earth Fare. The noodles look light because of the sauce. There can be a bit of an adjustment period when switching to whole grain pastas. Sometimes I used the 100% whole brown rice pasta as we transitioned and the kids really liked it. Hope that helps. ~Amy

  21. Where do you get your whole wheat elbow macaroni? I can only seem to find 100% whole wheat penne, rotini, and spaghetti

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jennifer. I have found it at Whole Foods and Lisa buys hers from Earth Fare. ~Amy

  22. Michelle Bennett

    This is so yummy – I added 1/2 cup of pumpkin to it and it made it the same color as the box stuff – that is not why I added the pumpkin but it was a nice surprise :). Thanks so much for this blog and all your yummy recipes!

  23. So excited to try this recipe tonight-I’ve been trying to get my husband to eat better but it’s been a long process finally today he said I could make mac and cheese any way I wanted-so I’m going to do this recipe with broccoli and bacon-the cheese and bacon should cover the fact that its whole grain! Here’s to trickery!

  24. I made this tonight for myself and my two daughters — almost 3 and 17 months — and I can’t keep myself from nibbling on their leftovers. Honestly, I’m surprised they left any in their dishes! This recipe is going definitely being saved for nights when something quick and easy is all we have time for. Thank you!

  25. I was pleasantly surprised! I have been looking for a simple mac and cheese recipe to get away from the boxed, processed stuff. Although I am a bit worried with the amount of real cheese because my little one has constipation issues, but in moderation, this is a wonderful alternative! Way to go!! Thank you so much!