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Spaghetti Mac and Cheese

Spaghetti mac and cheese is a quick and easy weeknight meal everyone will love! Spaghetti noodles are perfectly cooked, smothered in a delicious, creamy cheese sauce, and served in under 30 minutes.

For more spaghetti recipes, try this delicious Velveeta chicken spaghetti. We also adore this delicious Greek spaghetti recipe!

bowl of mac and cheese with spaghetti noodles on a plate with a blue white napkin.

Mac and cheese with spaghetti noodles

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of homemade mac and cheese?

We have made many variations over the years because we just can’t get enough, but this mac and cheese with spaghetti noodles puts a new twist on an old favorite!

Although macaroni is traditionally used, you can also make amazing mac and cheese with spaghetti. It’s creamy, cheesy, and utterly delicious.

Best of all, this easy comfort food dish is ready in under 30 minutes, making it the perfect addition to your dinner rotation.

Whether you want to try something new or crave homemade mac and cheese and spaghetti are the only pasta in your pantry, I hope you try my recipe!

Check out our evaporated milk mac and cheese, Popeyes mac and cheese, and Chick Fil A mac and cheese for more easy recipes!

spaghetti mac and cheese ingredients.
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Ingredients

The best thing about spaghetti mac and cheese is that you can make it with ingredients you likely have on hand. Please see the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Spaghetti noodles are an unusual pasta shape for mac and cheese, but they work well in this cheesy dish.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: Use freshly grated cheddar cheese because pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents that create a grainy texture.
  • American cheese melts perfectly, and the sauce won’t come out the same without it. I recommend getting it fresh from the deli, but pre-wrapped singles are fine, too.
  • Cream cheese gives the sauce an incredibly thick, creamy texture. Cream cheese is also why we can skip the flour and make mac and cheese without flour.
  • Milk is the base of the sauce. I prefer whole milk, but any milk will work.
  • Butter: Both salted and unsalted butter will work here. It really depends on what you have available.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need salt, pepper, and garlic powder for the main seasonings. I also like to add a little Dijon mustard for extra flavor.
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Substitutions

  • Pasta: Substitute other long pasta such as linguine, tagliatelle, paradelle, or angel hair pasta.
  • Cheese: Shake up the flavors with different cheeses depending on your preferences. White cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and Monterey Jack, or a mix of any of those cheeses will work.
  • Velveeta is an excellent substitute for American cheese because it melts similarly. I also have this dedicated Velveeta mac and cheese recipe.
  • Mascarpone and Neufchatel are excellent substitutes for cream cheese.
  • Half-and-half: If you prefer a richer sauce, use half-and-half milk instead.
  • Spices & herbs: Feel free to play around with the seasonings and try adding hot sauce, fresh garlic, paprika, Italian seasoning, or Worcestershire sauce.
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How to make spaghetti mac and cheese

Follow these simple instructions and you’ll end up with delicious spaghetti mac n cheese!

step 1 cook spaghetti.

1 Cook spaghetti

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.
  • Drain the spaghetti.
step 2 add cheddar and cream cheese.

2 Add cheddar and cream cheese

  • Before putting the spaghetti back into the pot, place butter, cream cheese, and grated cheddar cheese into the pot.
step 3 return spaghetti to the pot.

3 Add pasta

  • Pour drained spaghetti back into the pot, on top of the cream cheese and cheddar.
  • Add the cut-up American cheese and 1 cup of milk.
step 4 add milk and melt in American cheese.

4 Melt cheese

  • Return the pot to the stove and turn the burner to low heat.
  • Give everything a good stir to combine the ingredients.
Step 5 add seasonings.

5 Add seasonings

  • Stir in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and mustard.
step 6 finish cooking spaghetti mac.

6 Continue cooking

  • Add an additional 1/2 cup of milk as the cheeses start to melt.
  • Continue stirring over low heat until the sauce has melted and combined with spaghetti. This may take some time, just keep stirring until everything is incorporated.
  • Add additional milk as needed to reach your desired creaminess.

Baked spaghetti mac and cheese

To make baked mac spaghetti, prepare the recipe as directed above.

Then, transfer the spaghetti and sauce into a large, greased baking dish and top with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese.

Bake in a preheated 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese topping has melted and the sides are bubbling.

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Tips

Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind so your spaghetti mac and cheese turns out perfectly:

  • Don’t overcook your spaghetti: You’ll be golden as long as you cook the spaghetti until they’re al dente. Avoid overcooking – otherwise, the pasta will be too soft and squishy.
  • Use freshly grated cheese: For the best taste and texture, grate the cheddar from a block versus pre-grated cheese. Packaged pre-shredded cheese contains starches and anti-caking agents, which prevent it from melting well.
  • Adjust the seasonings: I find that 1/2 teaspoon of salt is enough for extra sharp cheddar. You can add more salt and seasonings if you’re using mild or sharp cheddar. We all have different palates, so season to your liking.
hand putting fork into bowl of mac and cheese with spaghetti.
Variation Icon

Mix-ins

Add some protein or vegetables to make this spaghetti macaroni recipe a whole meal.

Grilled or fried chicken, grilled shrimp, or even cut-up hot dogs are tasty add-ins. If you’re feeling fancy, serve the dish with steak bites or lobster.

For extra nutrients, stir in a handful of sautéed spinach, broccoli, peas, or mushrooms.

You can also customize your mac and cheese with extra sauces and spices. Try adding hot sauce, buffalo sauce, pesto sauce, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, or Cajun seasoning.

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Serving suggestions

Serve spaghetti mac and cheese as a main dish with sides like cornerbead, garlic bread, Italian cheese bread, or caprese salad.

It also makes a fabulous side dish alongside foods like chicken piccata, chicken marsala, and parmesan herb crusted chicken.

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Make-ahead

You can prepare spaghetti macaroni a day ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.

The spaghetti will absorb the sauce as it sits. Be sure to add some additional milk when reheating.

Another tip is to cook the spaghetti one minute short of the cooking time listed on the packaging. The noodles finish cooking as you reheat them.

You can also freeze cheesy spaghetti noodles for future meals. Keep in mind after cooked spaghetti pasta freezes and thaws, the texture will become a bit softer. Refer to the freezing section below for full instructions.

two bowls of mac n cheese spaghetti on a plate with crackers.
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Storage & reheating

  • Store: Transfer leftover mac n cheese noodles to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Warm on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave. Stir often and add a splash of milk or water if the sauce seems too thick.

Freeze spaghetti macaroni and cheese

Mac n cheese spaghetti tastes best fresh, but you can freeze it for future dinners.

It will last up to 4 months stored in an airtight container. Just note that the spaghetti will become softer after freezing and thawing.

Let the spaghetti macaroni thaw overnight in the fridge to make reheating easier and reduce the risk of breaking the pasta.

If the sauce has separated a bit after thawing, reheat and stir it to bring it back together.

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More pasta recipes

Craving more homemade pasta dishes? Here are a few more of your favorite easy pasta recipes:

Did you enjoy this recipe? Give it a 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a comment! Appreciate it so much, thank you!

If you had any issues, I’d appreciate the chance to help you troubleshoot before you rate.

spaghetti mac and cheese.

Spaghetti Mac and Cheese Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Spaghetti mac and cheese is a quick and easy weeknight meal everyone will love! Spaghetti noodles are perfectly cooked, smothered in a delicious, creamy cheese sauce, and served in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz / 300 g spaghetti noodles
  • 2 cups / 240 g / 9 oz freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices American cheese, cut into quarters
  • 3 oz / 90 g cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 1/2 cups / 360 ml / 12 fl oz whole milk
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Cook spaghetti. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain the spaghetti.
  2. Add cheddar and cream cheese. Before putting the spaghetti back into the pot, place butter, cream cheese, and grated cheddar cheese into the pot.
  3. Add pasta. Pour drained spaghetti back into the pot, on top of the cream cheese and cheddar. Add the cut-up American cheese and 1 cup of milk.
  4. Melt cheese. Return the pot to the stove and turn the burner to low heat. Give everything a good stir to combine the ingredients.
  5. Season. Stir in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and mustard.
  6. Continue cooking. Add an additional 1/2 cup of milk as the cheeses start to melt. Continue stirring over low heat until the sauce has melted and combined with spaghetti. This may take some time, just keep stirring until everything is incorporated.
  7. Adjust consistency. Add additional milk as needed to reach your desired creaminess.
  8. Serve. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

Baked spaghetti mac and cheese

To make baked mac spaghetti, prepare the recipe as directed above.

Then, transfer the spaghetti and sauce into a large, greased baking dish and top with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese.

Bake in a preheated 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese topping has melted and the sides are bubbling.

Tips

  • Don't overcook your spaghetti: You'll be golden as long as you cook the spaghetti until they're al dente. Avoid overcooking – otherwise, the pasta will be too soft and squishy.
  • Use freshly grated cheese: For the best taste and texture, grate the cheddar from a block versus pre-grated cheese. Packaged pre-shredded cheese contains starches and anti-caking agents, which prevent it from melting well.
  • Adjust the seasonings: I find that 1/2 teaspoon of salt is enough for extra sharp cheddar. You can add more salt and seasonings if you're using mild or sharp cheddar. We all have different palates, so season to your liking.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 778mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 18g

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