This Cavatappi Mac and Cheese is super-cheesy with a homemade cream sauce and is topped with a breadcrumb topping. Enjoy it as a side dish recipe or add a side salad and turn it into a main course. Love cheesy recipes? Try this baked ravioli Alfredo recipe.
Pasta bake recipes are a staple in our home and if you love this one, then you've gotta try Gigi Hadid's Spicy Vodka Pasta Recipe! You can even omit the vodka and reduce the amount of spiciness to suit your family's taste.
I've added storage directions to the recipe card but you're likely not going to need it!! This delicious Mac and cheese recipe always disappears on the first day in our house!
- Cavatappi pasta - this corkscrew pasta is the perfect pasta shape for these cheesy sauce to cling to or you can substitute another pasta shape such as macaroni, rotini.
- whole milk
- heavy cream
- sharp Cheddar cheese - if you prefer, use a milder Cheddar such as medium or mild.
- Gruyere cheese
- butter (melted)
Step by Step Instructions
You can find the full recipe card, with ingredient amounts and instructions at the bottom of this page. I've included some visual references below for step by step instructions.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Cook cavatappi pasta in boiling water until al dente following package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook a few minutes until tender.
- Whisk in flour, continue whisking for two minutes. (mixture will thicken)
- Gradually add in milk and cream, whisking constantly after each addition.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue to simmer until thickened. This should take approximately 1 and ½ to two minutes.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in 2 and ¼ cups of shredded Cheddar cheese ¾ cups shredded Gruyere cheese (reserving the remaining cheese for the top) and stir until sauce is thick and creamy.
- Stir in cooked pasta, then transfer to prepared baking dish.
10. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. (¾ cup Cheddar and ¼ cup Gruyere)
11. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Stir in breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.
12. Bake in 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly.