This Cheesecake Factory Mac and Cheese Recipe is the ultimate comfort food! Inspired by one of my favorite dishes at The Cheesecake Factory, this recipe is loaded with 4 different types of cheese mixed with butter, half and half and spices.
Full disclosure: I met my husband at the Cheesecake Factory about 20 years ago. We were both servers and we worked there for a couple of years. In all honesty, I loved my time working there. And, it’s where I fell in love! So, The Cheesecake Factory will always hold a special place in my heart.
Cheesecake Factory Mac and Cheese
If you’ve ever been to The Cheesecake Factory, one thing that will be immediately evident is how extensive their menu is. The have A LOT more than just Cheesecakes there! One of their most popular dishes is their Macaroni and Cheese. Hidden in their “side dishes” portion of the menu, this actually one of the tastiest things on there!
If you’ve been to this website a lot, you know that Bubba Pie is ALL ABOUT the side dishes. They are often some of our favorite things to make (and eat!). We love these Smashed Brussels Sprouts with garlic, cheese and just a pinch of heat. And this Green Bean Casserole is the perfect side dish for any occasion, from Easter Brunch to a casual summer cookout. So, it was only a matter of time til we would share a copycat recipe inspired by one of our favorite side dishes of all time!
How Hard Is It To Make Homemade Macaroni and Cheese?
I’ve tried several different recipes to make my own Mac and Cheese. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. It’s not a simple as just making some “Macaroni” and putting some “Cheese” into it. In order to really get that creamy, gooey, cheesy kick that we all crave, there are a couple of tips and secrets.
- Use several different kinds of cheese-Each different cheese has it’s own taste and consistency that will help give your Mac & Cheese dish that symphony of flavor. In fact, some people swear by using Velveeta for Mac and Cheese (or any processed cheese). We did end up trying this. And it was awesome!
- Use lots of dairy-We use half and half for this recipe, but if you really want to go big and aren’t worried about your waistline, go for heavy cream!
- Seasonings, seasonings and seasonings-Some of the most famous chefs have said that the difference between a mediocre dish and an awesome dish could be as simple as adding a little salt and pepper. Don’t forget to add salt, pepper and some of the other fun seasonings that we put into this recipe!
- ALWAYS top with breadcrumbs-while I love different flavor combinations (sweet and savory, sweet and spicy, etc…) I also love “texture” combinations. Having a nice crispy crust on top of our creamy and tender Mac & Cheese really puts this dish over the top!
- If you are looking for a great saucepan for this recipe, we love to use this one! Or, check out the great deal on this whole set!
What Ingredients Will I Need For Cheesecake Factory Mac and Cheese?
- elbow macaroni, prepared
- shredded gouda cheese
- shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- shredded cheddar jack cheese
- shredded Velveeta cheese
- half and half
- black pepper
- bread crumbs
How Long Will Mac and Cheese Stay Good In The Fridge?
Your Cheesecake Factory Mac and Cheese recipe should stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
We love to bake in our 9X13 Le Creuset Casserole Dish because it comes with a lid! You can just keep your leftovers right in your casserole dish in the fridge! Or, if you are looking for something a little less expensive, this one works great too!
If you really want to extend it’s life, you can freeze it. You can even separate it into different portions and simply thaw it out and heat it up as needed! We love to use these gallon sized freezer bags.
Although these tweaks will certainly take this recipe away from the dish that inspired it, there are always tons of fun things you can do with Mac and Cheese! For instance, you could get some nice and crispy bacon to put in with the cheese. Or you could sub one of the cheeses out for Pepper Jack cheese to give it a little extra kick!
Macaroni and Cheese is one of those CLASSIC comfort foods and I’m glad we finally got around to putting a recipe up here on Bubba Pie. Let me know how it turns out for you in the comments. Enjoy!
Cheesecake Factory Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 16 ounce package elbow macaroni prepared
- ½ cup shredded gouda cheese
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Velveeta cheese
- 1 stick butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ cups breadcrumbs mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 baking dish by greasing with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine all the cheeses in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook until bubbly and browned, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the half and half and reduce heat. Simmer until sauce begins to thicken, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Stir in ¾ of the cheese mixture until well combined and melted. Pour cheese sauce over the top of the prepared macaroni noodles.
- Spread the noodle mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Top with remaining cheese.
- Spread the breadcrumb and butter mixture over the top of the casserole.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Comments & Reviews
This is divine! So good. Made for a family party last weekend & making again this weekend.. The one thing I won’t be doing is shredding Velveeta.. no can do.. will slice as thin as possible. I used potato chips as the topping & heavy cream.. so so yummy!
Thank you for sharing, I am glad you enjoyed it!
Adena Hejl says
There are now Velveeta shreds and I made the recipe last night. Absolutely delish!!!!! Also I doubled the sauce recipe and it was perfect. I also added some extra cheese to sauce AND on top!
Can this be made ahead of time??? Like a couple of days ahead?
I’d leave off the crunchy topping until rewarming it but otherwise yes.
Do I need to let it completely cool before storing it in fridge for a few hours before baking? I don’t want the noodles to get soggy!
Yes, I wouldn’t put it in hot.
Norma RiveraYourTun says
This recipe looks fantastic. I’m going to try it. Thank you so much.
Please let us know what you thought!
Jennifer M Grove says
We love homemade mac and cheese and this was definately top notch!!!! Excellent to make 2 and give away 1;)
I love this recipe. I made a slight adjustment in the cheeses, and subbed cream cheese and sour cream for the Velveeta (can’t stand the stuff!). Colby jack also works in place of cheddar jack, if you want more cheese diversity. It is so versatile! Thanks so much for sharing!
Great suggestions Kelli! Yes, my wife also hates Velveeta…. So we completely understand! Thanks for the comment!
Can this be made in a slow cooker?
Probably. But the best part of it is that crispy breading topping, the you can only get in an oven.
Anne Clark says
Would this freeze well? I
My whole family enjoyed it and my 4 year old is a mac n’ cheese connoisseur! In additional to being incredibly delicious, this recipe is very easy to make.
OMG the best creamy delicious
Best Mac and cheese I’ve tasted I made this with med size shell macaroni love when the cheese is in the shell
Mel M. says
Used this recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Absolutely the best I have every made. Great taste and easy to follow. Thank you!