How to Make Homemade White Cheddar Shells & Cheese

Updated on January 22, 2020
mkjohnston81 profile image

I love cooking and I enjoy sharing my favorite recipes with others.

Cheesy goodness!
Cheesy goodness! | Source

Dear Kraft,

I regret to inform you that I will no longer be buying your little blue boxes. I will no longer partake in your packets of powdered orange cheese-product. There was a time when I thought I loved you, but I have found another. And now, I feel I can never go back…

3.8 stars from 4 ratings of White Cheddar Shells & Cheese

The Cold, Hard Truth

Macaroni and cheese in the box sucks. It is a terrible excuse for food. It does not matter what flavor it comes in or what shape the pasta is, it is all bad. Maybe we didn’t realize this as kids because this is all we got. Making homemade mac and cheese seemed like such a chore to our parents, and the boxed stuff is so simple… and maybe homemade seems like a chore to you too, so perhaps you have continued this tradition…

The Hot, Gooey Truth

But friends, I am here to urge you to back away from the box! Homemade mac and cheese is not as hard as you may think. And the extra time is worth every second when you take that first hot, gooey, cheesy bite of pasta perfection. Go ahead, give it a try… I bet you won’t be going back to the box anymore either!

White Cheddar Shells & Cheese

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: Serves 4-6 as a main dish; 6-8 as a side dish


  • 8 ounces (about half a box) medium shell shaped pasta
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups Sharp White Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Mild White Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, boiling for about 1 minute less than the shortest time recommended on the box (approximately 8-9 minutes). Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium-low flame. When it is melted and just begins to bubble, add the flour and stir constantly with a metal whisk for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to let the flour burn.
  4. Add the milk, whisking briskly to incorporate the flour/butter mixture (roux) into the milk so that no lumps form. Whisk in the salt, pepper, mustard, and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. As the mixture boils it will thicken to a gravy-like consistency.
  5. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the shredded cheeses, a little at a time, until you have about a cup of shredded cheese left. Put this to the side.
  6. Mix together the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce and pour into a greased, 8x8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining shredded cheese, and place the dish into your pre-heated oven. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Additions and Substitutions

I firmly believe that you must have fun with your mac and cheese. Switch things up by using different pasta shapes and different cheeses. Remember the basic rule that mac and cheese generally tastes best with a combination of sharp and mild cheeses. Of course, even this rule is made to be broken in certain situations: I sometimes make a gorgonzola mac and cheese that is to die for—but when using a cheese this strong you can’t use anywhere near the amount called for in the recipe. Simply add small amounts of the gorgonzola at a time and taste your cheese sauce periodically until you have achieved the right flavor. I like to top gorgonzola mac and cheese with panko breadcrumbs, melted butter and a few extra crumbles of cheese. You can also change up the seasonings by adding in garlic powder, a bit of red pepper, or maybe some adobo. Other ways to create new flavors include mixing in fun additions like sliced hotdogs or fajita-seasoned chicken strips. The sky is the limit!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • mkjohnston81 profile imageAUTHOR

      M.K. Bodo 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      It is! I love playing around with cheese combinations. This is one of my favorites, but I am also quite fond of cheddar and smoked gouda.

    • A. Bove profile image

      A. Bove 

      7 years ago from New York

      Very similar to how I make Mac n cheese! The combo of cheddar and Monterey is delightful, is it not? Tasty goodness. Aaaand, now I'm hungry. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)