Mac and Cheese Pasta Side Dish Recipe

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Mac and cheese squares are a great addition to any menu when you know you might have picky eaters at the table. I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central for the National Pasta Association.

I received pasta samples and a stipend to facilitate the creation of pasta recipes as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Mac and Cheese Pasta Side Dish Recipe

At most family gatherings you will find a few picky eaters in attendance. Since I happen to be one of them, I like to bring a side dish that I know will be picky-eater-approved.

I don’t think I have met a person that’s turned down mac and cheese. It’s definitely a winner when it comes to pasta sides.

Of course, there are several boxed varieties to make, but making your own is extra tasty. Plus, then you can control exactly what’s in it.

Mac and Cheese Pasta Side Dish Recipe

Inspired by a recipe that I found on, I made a mac and cheese squares side dish. This recipe is tasty enough for everyone but safe for the picky eater crew, too.

A lot of the sides found at my family’s house during holidays will contain onions or other “scary” ingredients for picky eaters.

Bringing something like this that is totally safe is appreciated by several of the kids (and a few adults).

It goes great with the Turkey on thanksgiving, too.

Mac and Cheese Pasta Side Dish Recipe


  • 4 oz. pasta of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp./1 oz. butter
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups/16 oz. skim milk
  • 4 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
Mac and Cheese Pasta Side Dish Recipe


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add butter and, whisking constantly, stir in the flour making sure that the flour doesn’t brown. Continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the milk. It will thicken as it gets hot. Whisk constantly; any lumps will smooth out. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes. Mixture will bubble and thicken. When it no longer changes in consistency, it’s done.
  4. Stir in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta, and any additions. Spread into a 9” x 9” pan. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and press them into the surface. Cool completely (at least 2 hours).
  5. Cut into squares or put into serving dishes. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Mac and Cheese Pasta Side Dish Recipe

This recipe is great for any time of the year. You can easily add in veggies and/or chicken.

I chose to leave it plain in order to use it as a holiday side dish. We all know that pasta is great to pair with fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce, and protein-packed lean meats, as well.

When it comes to holiday side dishes, it’s usually the more the merrier. This one is always a welcome addition!

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Do you like to serve mac and cheese as a side dish? What would you put in it?

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  1. Mac and cheese is my favorite side dish, and my kids go crazy for Mac and Dish. I love it when it is super cheesy.

  2. Shelley Zurek says:

    I was glad to see you chose sharp cheddar for this recipe. I think the pasta needs that extra flavoring of the sharp cheese.

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    That is right up our alley! We love stuff like this in our family!

  4. Mama to 5 BLessings says:

    Oh that looks good, I bet this would be a hit in our home. So much better than boxed!

  5. I would love to make this! I love sharp cheddar, and I would add some spice I am sure my daughter would love this too.

  6. Deborah A. says:

    What a great idea! I love making something that little picky eaters will love. 🙂

  7. DEElicious! Of course, I’m already thinking of ways to make the a crock pottable side. Love my crock pot.

  8. Melissa Pezza says:

    My kids are going to love this. It’s a picky eaters’ delight!

  9. Nancy @ Whispered Inspirations says:

    Mmmm, that is delicious! I absolutely love mac and cheese, yours looks perfect!

  10. Jennifer Sikora says:

    I love that you topped it with shaved parmesan. It looks very scrumptious and you just cannot go wrong with mac and cheese!

  11. Francine @ Teresa's Family Cleaning says:

    Oh, this looks really good. Yummy mac and cheese on a cold day sounds perfect today!

  12. Carrie - Huppie Mama says:

    My daughter’s favorite dish is homemade mac & cheese. This one looks delicious!

  13. Kelly Hutchinson says:

    This reminds me of my moms mac and cheese recipe. It is so delicious and a great dish to make on a cold winter night!

  14. We love mac and cheese at our house! This would make the perfect side for any meal!

  15. Tammi @ My Organized Chaos says:

    Mmm, this look like heaven in every bite! I never make mine with sharp cheddar cheese, I need to try!

  16. Chelley @ AisForAdelaide says:

    Looks delicious! I love making homemade mac n cheese!

  17. Amber Louise Edwards says:

    We can never go wrong with mac and cheese. My ultimate comfort food!!!

  18. Yes, please! I love mac and cheese and I’ll have it as a side dish any day!

  19. Talk about easy. I had no clue. I have never done it on my own because I thought so much more went into it. Thanks for the recipe.

  20. Dee Mauser says:

    Mac & Cheese? Yes please! This is one of my favorite side dishes to make for my family. I always bake it until it’s nice and golden but crunchy on top. That’s the best part!

  21. I love mac and cheese. Sometimes, I love to fill it with tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, or broccoli for a extra healthy serving!

  22. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I was looking for a creamy mac and cheese recipe and BINGO I think I just found it! My kids are going to love this!

  23. Marina @ MommySnippets says:

    Mmm, baked mac and cheese is one of my faves! This looks awesome.

  24. My kids are totally weird and prefer the boxed stuff. Did not get it from me as I love homemade mac and cheese.

  25. Ann BAcciaglia says:

    My daughter likes making homemade mac and cheese. I am going to share this recipe with her. Maybe she will make it for me 🙂

  26. This is the perfect side. What I really love is that it’s not TOO wet. I don’t like soggy mac and cheese.

  27. Tiffany (A Moms Take) says:

    Yes, we do like to serve it as a side dish. We will serve it as a meal if we put a meat of some sort in it and veggies.

  28. I really like mac and cheese. I would put several different cheeses in it and chopped up pieces of fried turkey bacon, yum. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  29. Yvette Figueroa says:

    My boys love mac and cheese! This recipe is perfect!

  30. Mac and cheese is my biggest indulgence. I love the flavors and the texture. Topping it with shaved parm makes it so decadent and grown-up.

  31. This looks so delicious! The different flavors in it are sure to impress guests! I’m definitely going to be trying this one.

  32. Birdiebee says:

    I love this recipe and will be testing it out on the grandkids.

  33. Debbie Welchert says:

    This sounds and looks so yummy. We love mac and cheese here and I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  34. David Fultner says:

    Homemade mac and cheese is my favorite.

  35. David Fultner says:

    Okay I tried it and I like the mustard.

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