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+ servings

Homemade Mac and Cheese

rate this recipe:
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves 6
Everyone's favorite comfort food! This Pesto Havarti Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is adapted from the Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook by Maria Lichty.


  • 3 cups (12 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, at room temp (I used almond milk)
  • 1 cup shredded Havarti cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • generous scoops of Pesto

optional mix-ins:

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • pinches of red pepper flakes


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheese and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed through. Season to taste. Stir in the peas, if using, and serve with generous dollops of pesto, fresh basil, and pinches of red pepper flakes.


And a fun variation is to turn the mac and cheese into a crunchy-topped baked casserole: Just pour the finished mac and cheese into a baking dish, sprinkle panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top, and broil for 3 minutes, until the bread crumbs are golden brown.