3 cheese mac and cheese is the ultimate mac and cheese meal for anyone of all ages! How to make easy, homemade, cheesy macaroni is very simple as it only requires 4 ingredients plus seasonings. Macaroni and Cheese is a favorite dish for many people. This dish has become the staple comfort food for many families. Only takes 15 minutes to make, which is perfect for those who are busy or have other things they need to do. Short, bent, hollow tubes covered in rich, creamy delicious cheese.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I may earn a small commission from it. In the footer of this page is my full disclosure policy.
- Macaroni noodles - you can use other noodles if you don't have this shape
- Shredded pepper jack cheese - adds spice, recommended that this is freshly shredded
- Shredded mozzarella cheese - easy to keep on hand and always good in pasta
- Shredded cheddar cheese - adds color to the cheese so it looks like regular macaroni
- Seasoning: paprika, garlic salt, celery salt, pepper - all taste good in mac and cheese
How to make mac and cheese without milk:
It is actually pretty simple to make mac and cheese without flour and milk like traditional pastas. Save back some pasta water instead of draining it. This will help melt the cheeses and pasta together in lieu of milk.
Can you make macaroni in advance?
Yes, you can make pasta in advance. Just prepare as directions say. Then, let cool and place in an air tight container in the fridge until ready to eat. When ready to eat, warm up the cheesy pasta in the oven!
What are the best cheeses for three cheese mac and cheese?
Mozzarella and cheddar always go well together and those are the cheeses most people keep on hand at home. I threw pepper jack in this recipe because the spices give extra flavor!
Always use freshly shredded cheese while making any sort of pasta.
This helps it melt better since it doesn't have the chemicals store bought shredded cheese has to prevent it from sticking. If you don't want to shred the cheese by hand, you can get the shredding attachment for your kitchen aid mixer!
Don't over cook the noodles.
This recipe continues to heat the noodles by frying them with the cheese. They don't have to be super soft while boiling, just ala dente
Differences between stove top and baked macaroni:
Stove top macaroni is less time consuming to make since there is no bake time and it does not have a roux. Stove top macaroni is also more creamy.
Homemade baked mac and cheese is more time consuming, as you have to wait for the oven to heat up and waiting on the bake time. However, the flavors get blended together more being baked and you can bake breadcrumbs on top or have an extra layer of baked cheese on top.
It really depends on your preference and what you have time for which to go with.
Variations of 3 cheese mac and cheese without milk:
- Add meat - You can add meats as well such as bacon, chicken breast, sausage, salmon, tuna, etc. Macaroni is pretty customizable to ones taste buds.
- Different pasta - you can make this a penne pasta as well by using penne noodles instead. Any noodles work here. You could even make spaghetti noodles work.
- Baked pasta - making this pasta a baked mac and cheese without milk is another option to help blend the flavors. After the noodles are cooked, instead of using the stove to warm up the cheese and milk together, you can put the ingredients in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Then, stir them all around until well mixed. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve. If going this route, you can make this a three cheese baked macaroni and cheese with bread crumbs on top. The baking part would really crust up the bread crumbs.
- Add veggies - artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, olives, etc can be added to give this dish not only flavor, but nutritional value as well.
- Season - additional seasonings can be used to flavor your recipe in any way you desire.
- Less liquid - I don't like my homemade macaroni to be very thick, so there is about 1 cup of liquid in this recipe. If you like yours more thick, cut down on the liquid.
Homemade mac and cheese goes great with just about anything. Because this recipe is carb heavy, I recommend serving it with something healthy such as a salad or fruit.
If you are not interested in lower carbs, then Texas garlic bread or breadsticks are a popular option that go great with pasta.
- Fridge - store this ultimate mac and cheese in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Reheat with a splash of milk/water to prevent pasta from drying out.
- Freezer - this fancy mac and cheese can be a freezer meal! Put leftovers into an air tight container and store in the freezer. When ready to eat, let thaw in the fridge for a few hours. Then, warm up in the microwave, stove top, or oven with a splash of milk/water on top. Enjoy again!
Looking for more macaroni recipes?
Homemade 3 Cheese Mac and Cheese
- 1 box macaroni noodles
- ½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon of each seasoning: paprika, garlic salt, celery salt, pepper
- Boil macaroni noodles according to directions. Drain all the water out besides about ¼ cup. Add all the ingredients to the noodles stirring over medium heat until cheese melts. Serve your 3 cheese mac and cheese hot!
All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutritional facts listed are a rough estimate and should only be followed as a general idea.