Creamy and rich, this is the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe! Packed with flavor, it's a meal the whole family will love. This is the ultimate comfort food for a chilly evening!
👩🏻🍳 Recipe Back Story
This isn't your ordinary dish, but truly the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe you've ever tried. Repurposing leftover dip and combining it with noodles and more cheese makes it the MOST flavorful!
I love mac and cheese. And not the kind from the blue box, either! I actually used to really like that stuff, but now that I have realized it is not so hard to make my own, I don't think I will ever go back!
I have Thing 1 to thank for that. He was feeling 'mac-and-cheese-y' one day, but I did not have any of those blue boxes in the house. However, I did have pasta, and cheese, and various other needed ingredients, and so he made his own!
And he put a great spin on it too, using pasta shells and shrimp (as well as French fried onions!) and we called it Seashore Mac and Cheese. If you like mac and cheese, you should definitely check out that recipe as well as this one!
One additional homemade mac and cheese recipe that I just have to mention is my super-cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pasta, made in the slow cooker! So easy and yet so yummy!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
For this recipe, I combined pasta and a little extra cheese with my already cheesy and delicious Jalapeño Artichoke Dip (it's what makes this the best Mac and Cheese recipe!). I love that I found a great way to turn my favorite dip into an actual meal!
For a complete list of ingredients, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- macaroni pasta
- Guilt-Free Jalapeno Artichoke Dip - cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic, canned artichokes, pickled jalapeños
- mozzarella cheese
Please note: This is an overview of the instructions. You'll find the complete instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Preheat the oven. Cook the pasta, drain and return to the pot.
- Add the jalapeno artichoke dip and shredded cheese into the pot
- Mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and bake for 12-14 minutes, uncovered.
Yes, rinsing the pasta will stop the cooking process and help keep it from turning mushy when baking.
If it's too dry, it needs more liquid! Add a touch of milk to the pasta as you're mixing it up before baking.
Always grate more cheese than you think you'll need! You want to make sure that it's good and cheesy. If you don't need it, you can always save it for another use!
💭 Top Tips
Make a double-batch of the artichoke jalapeño dip. One for movie night or game day and tuck the second batch in the refrigerator. That way when you get home from work this meal is a snap to put together!
Tucking the finished pasta under the broiler for just a minute or two will give it a beautiful golden crust.
For easy pasta draining, I use a pasta pot with strainer lid. Or if you like the pot you have and don't want to switch, use a clip on silicone colander. It works with any size pot and makes your prep much easier!
Repurposing leftover Jalapeno Artichoke Dip and combining it with noodles and more cheese makes it the MOST flavorful!
🥗Suggested Side Dishes
🍝 Additional Pasta Recipes
Do you agree, is the the BEST Mac & Cheese Recipe? I thought you would! If you're still hungry for pasta, here are more of our favorite recipes!
- One Pot Curry Pasta is a real favorite, it's filled with yummy flavor and so easy to make, even the kids get on board with this dish! I love how easy it is to make!
- If you love loads of cheesy goodness (and I'm sure you do if you're here!) then this recipe for chicken parmesan pasta looks absolutely mouthwatering!
- Hamburger Casserole is a great hearty meal that's easy to make and perfect for the whole family!
- This Instant Pot Chicken Mac and Cheese is a great option for some added protein!
Check out this story on how to make the Best Homemade Mac and Cheese!
Best Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star ⭐ rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
📋 Recipe Card
Best Homemade Mac and Cheese with Jalapeno and Artichoke
- 16 ounces macaroni pasta
- 1 recipe Guilt-Free Jalapeno Artichoke Dip
- 1 and ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Cook the pasta, following the instructions on the box. Drain and return to the pot.16 ounces macaroni pasta
- Add the jalapeno artichoke dip and shredded cheese into the pot and mix well.1 recipe Guilt-Free Jalapeno Artichoke Dip, 1 and ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish (9x9 or 2 quart round) and bake for 12-14 minutes, uncovered.
- Rinsing your pasta will prevent it from getting too mushy while baking.
- Broil the finished pasta for a minute or so to get a delicious golden crust.
- If your mac and cheese is too dry, mix a touch of milk into the pasta before you bake.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in September 2015, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in February 2021.