My husband is known for making the best macaroni and cheese. Every time we bring it to an event, he’s asked for the recipe. Creamy, baked macaroni and cheese that has a secret ingredient…
Mac and Cheese with Cheddar Cheese Soup
Oh, and mac and cheese in a mug for when you’re short on time.
This particular version is one of the first recipes I posted back in 2009 and I called it Mr. Williams’ Mac & Cheese. Bob is well known for it. Every time we go to a gathering, everyone raves about it and asks for the recipe.
It has a secret ingredient that I’ll bet you won’t expect – cheddar cheese soup.
If you’ve ever been browsing the soup aisle at the market and seen Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup and wondered what to do with it (like I used to), I’ve got an idea for you.
Adding it to your mac and cheese makes for a really creamy, cheesy sauce that bakes up beautifully.
Tools you’ll need
- Colander – I used to think a colander with a handle with unnecessary but I really do love mine.
- Casserole Dish – You’ll want to bake this recipe in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. If you use one with a lid, it makes it really easy to store leftovers.
- Box Grater or Cheese Grater – I don’t always grate my own cheese, but every time I do I appreciate that I did. The cheese is creamier and melts better without the preservatives & anti-caking agents they put on shredded cheese.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Noodles – We usually use cavatappi noodles in this recipe, but we happened to use regular macaroni noodles for this batch.
- Cheddar Cheese Soup – Two cans of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup.
- Shredded Cheese – We generally mix mild cheddar with mozzarella. Use your favorite.
- Butter – To add to the top before you bake it.
What is cheddar cheese soup?
Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup is basically a very thick cheddar béchamel sauce, which would be made with butter, flour, milk, cheddar cheese and salt.
How do you keep mac & cheese creamy?
No one wants dried out macaroni and cheese, which can happen when you’re baking it. Adding canned cheddar cheese soup to this recipe helps to keep it really creamy.
Which cheeses should I use?
We typically use shredded mild cheddar and shredded mozzarella cheese when we make this recipe, but you can use all cheddar or mix up sharp cheddar cheese or white cheddar. Sometimes we use pepper jack to spice it up.
I always recommend shredding your own cheese from a block over a bag of pre-shredded cheese. Those have anti-caking agents on them that prevent them from melting nicely. You’ll get better results when you grate it yourself.
How to make Cheddar Cheese Soup Mac and Cheese
This recipe is so easy, you’re gonna love it.
- STEP ONE: Boil the noodles in well salted water until al dente. Drain and return the noodles to the pan. Pour the cans of cheddar cheese soup over the noodles and stir to evenly distribute.
- STEP TWO: Butter a casserole dish (or spray with non-stick spray) and start layering – noodles & shredded cheese – repeating until you’re out and ending with shredded cheese.
- STEP THREE: Once you’re done making layers, add a few pats of butter and bake at 325°F just until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
That’s it! Serve and enjoy.
What to serve with Mac & Cheese
What doesn’t go with macaroni and cheese?!
Here are some of my favorite pairings:
- Laughing Cow Stuffed Chicken
- Meatloaf with Brown Gravy
- Crispy Baked Chicken Strips
- Spicy Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken
How to store leftovers
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Need more cheesy recipes? Try these:
Originally published December 3, 2009