Mozzarella Mac and Cheese
I absolutely love mozzarella mac and cheese! It’s so creamy, cheesy, and delicious. The combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese creates a perfect harmony of flavors. You get the creaminess from the mozzarella and the bite and saltiness of the parmesan. It’s delicious!
Cheddar cheese tends to get all the credit when it comes to mac and cheese, but if you’ve ever wondered “Can I make mac and cheese with mozzarella?” The answer is yes!
I also love how versatile it is – you can make it with different types of cheese, vegetables, and even meat! I tend to throw in some fresh basil into this recipe, but you can also do parsley if you prefer. You can add your favorite mix-ins, too. Steamed broccoli, asparagus, or even crispy bacon are all great additions to this homemade mozzarella macaroni and cheese recipe.
I make my mac and cheese gluten-free with gluten-free macaroni noodles and gluten-free flour because I have celiac disease, but if you aren’t gluten-free feel free to use regular noodles and flour!
You’ll love this recipe because:
- Macaroni noodles – Since I have celiac disease, I used gluten-free macaroni noodles for this recipe. You can use your favorite macaroni noodles, gluten-free or not.
- Mozzarella cheese – I used a block of mozzarella cheese that I shredded myself. I don’t like the pre-shredded cheese as the starch on it to prevent it from sticking together also prevents the cheese from melting easily into a sauce. You can use fresh mozzarella cheese if you prefer.
- Parmesan cheese – Parmesan cheese adds a little bit of a nutty bite to this pasta. Since mozzarella cheese is rather mild, just a bit of parmesan cheese goes a long way in helping to flavor your mozzarella mac and cheese.
- Ground dry mustard (ground mustard powder) – I like to think of ground dry mustard as my secret ingredient to my macaroni and cheese. All you need is a teaspoon of this spice to take your mac and cheese recipe to the next level. Ground mustard adds a subtle tanginess to your mac and cheese and enhances the flavor of the mozzarella and parmesan. If you don’t have dry ground mustard in your spice rack, you can use 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard in its place. Add it with the milk instead of in the roux with the flour.
- Basil – I didn’t include fresh basil in the ingredients list because you don’t have to include it. However, if you have it on hand, I highly recommend stirring in ¼ cup of chiffonaded basil into the mac and cheese. It goes so well with the parmesan and mozzarella. You could also use finely chopped parsley instead if you prefer.
For best results, use blocks of cheese that you shred yourself. Pre-shredded packaged cheese is coated with a starch to keep it from clumping up together in the bag. This also prevents it from melting smoothly. Use a box grater or the shredding attachment of your food processor to quickly shred your cheese just before using.
This mozzarella mac and cheese is so simple to make with just a little bit of time and some pantry staples. The steps below with matching photos are meant to help you see the recipe made at different stages so you know what to look for. Pay attention to the color of the roux in the 3rd step and the consistency of the cheese sauce in the 6th step!
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
You sure can and this recipe proves that! Mozzarella cheese melts beautifully into a creamy sauce and coats macaroni noodles so well. It’s a subtle flavor that is enhanced by parmesan cheese, ground mustard powder, and black pepper.
Yes, if you aren’t ready to go with a full mozzarella mac and cheese, feel free to use half mozzarella cheese and half of another cheese like sharp cheddar. White cheddar is one of my favorites to pair with mozzarella! Some other great options include gouda and gruyere. … even pepper jack cheese to change up the flavor (maybe add some bacon and jalapeños as some fun mix-ins, too!) Some of the best mac and cheese recipes use a combination of cheeses for flavor! You can also try my classic gluten-free mac and cheese recipe which has a combination of cheddar and parmesan cheese.
No, you don’t. As written this recipe is gluten-free, but I’ve included notes where you can use regular macaroni and all-purpose flour instead. The recipe has been tested both ways.
hints & tips
- Storage: Store leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat: To reheat, you can either use the microwave or the stovetop. I recommend adding a splash of milk to thin out the sauce when reheating for the best consistency.
More delicious gluten-free dinners to try
Did you make this recipe?
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Gluten-Free Mozzarella Mac and Cheese
- 12 oz gluten-free macaroni noodles (340g)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (43g)
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour (27g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk (16 fl oz, 480g)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded (230g))
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded (48g))
- Cook the gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles according to the package directions. I personally like to take 2 minutes off of the cooking time so that my pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Place a large skillet or saucepan on the stove top over medium heat. Add the unsalted butter and melt.
- Once the butter is melted, add the gluten-free all-purpose flour, salt, ground mustard, onion powder, and black pepper. Whisk until a paste forms, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the whole milk. Whisk until the mixture has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Mix until the cheese is completely melted.
- Add the cooked pasta back into the pan.
- Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce. Top with fresh basil if desired. Serve immediately.
- I do not like to use pre-shredded cheese because it typically has an anti-caking coating on the cheese which doesn’t allow it to melt as smoothly. Instead, shred a block of cheese yourself for best results.
- I used Jovial gluten-free elbow macaroni in this recipe and cooked the pasta until al dente, about 9-10 minutes total.
- I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (in the blue bag) in this recipe. You can use any gluten-free flour blend that is meant to be a 1-to-1 swap with all-purpose flour.
- If you are not gluten-free, feel free to use regular macaroni noodles and all-purpose flour in this recipe. It’s delicious!
- You can use other cheeses besides parmesan and mozzarella. Some other options to try are cheddar, gouda, white cheddar, gruyere, fontina, and monterey jack. I personally like to use a mix of cheeses to give the mac and cheese some interest.
- To reheat, you can either use the microwave or the stovetop. I recommend adding a tablespoon or two of milk to thin out the sauce when reheating for the best consistency. If you cooked your gluten-free noodles just until al dente, you should not have any problems with them becoming mushy when reheating.
- Remember to cook the noodles until al dente. A good starting point is to knock 2-3 minutes off the cooking time on the box of pasta and check for doneness.
Yum! This looks awesome. Definitely going to try this out.
I loooovvveee paneras mac and cheese. White cheddar is awesome. Now I’m craving it.
First of all, I can’t believe you had never liked mac and cheese before college! It was definitely a favorite of mine as a kid. I never have mac and cheese anymore, though! Don’t know why. Now I have a huge craving… Panera has the best white cheese mac n’ cheese, btw!
Fresh basil would be incredible in this mac n’ cheese! Ahh, I’m drooling.
i just ate lunch but i am still wanting this NOW!
Can you bake this?
I made this last night, I did end up throwing it in the oven for about 30 minutes, and I didn’t follow it exactly (I like to mix things up) but it turned out amazing! Thank you for such a great recipe.
Thanks Katharine! I’m glad you liked it!
I made this tonite – (Oct 2, ’12) — and it PASSED THE HUBBY TEST!!! Now that’s is a winner!!! I did have to do some modifications — just milk, no heavy cream… omitted the onion and pepper, used less salt and used a GF flour… and poured the sauce over GF brown rice elbow mac….
So glad you liked it and were able to make modifications to make it work for you and your family!