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Maccheroni al Ferretto: Mac and Cheese Style (VIDEO)

Updated: Jan 31

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest.

bowl of mac and cheese

This healthy mac and cheese for kids is perfect to pack in a lunch bag or to whip up and enjoy at home. I promise - the whole family will love it, too!

Every American family needs a recipe of mac and cheese, that you can make in a pinch and kids won’t turn away! You found it!

baby with a little fork eating pasta

This better-for-you version of mac and cheese stovetop, is made with a clean ingredients only (yes, real cheese in here!), nourishing good quality butter, & your favorite noodle shape. I chose the Maccheroni al Ferretto.

It's probably what 90% of Americans had for lunch during their childhood at least 3 times a week. Am I right? The few generations grew up eating mac and cheese almost daily. Its easy, its cheap, it's convenient.

box of mac and cheese kraft

Who needs a homemade a mac and cheese if Kraft provides us for just 99 cents?

Right? Sounds logical in a perfect world, but in reality is not.

Let me tell you why.

In 2016, Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, a food investigator, fought with Kraft for few years, and was able to get a Massive Petition and finally Kraft removed all artificial food dye from every kind of their mac & cheese.

"Millions of families across the United States and Canada will finally get the same safer versions that have been available in Europe for years. The double standard is finally ending for one iconic product and hopefully several more. A million boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese are sold everyday – that’s a lot of artificial food dye finally being eliminated from the North American food supply. We have a lot more work to do in this area but we are making some serious progress".

Thanks to New York Times, too, they published this back in 2013:

Warning #1: This Product May Cause Adverse Effects On Activity And Attention In Children (This warning label is required because The US version of Kraft Mac & Cheese has artificial food dyes yellow #5 and yellow #6 which are proven to be linked to hyperactivity in children.)

Warning #2: GMO Declaration: Made from genetically modified wheat. (May contain GMO) (This warning label is required because the US version of Kraft Mac & Cheese contains GMOs.)

I believe removing artificial colors from children’s diets can produce remarkable results. Thanks to Varni, I can be ok if someone cooks and feeds my child with mac and cheese from a box.

WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT Maccheroni al Ferretto: MAC & CEESE STYLE?

This classic stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe is made with a simple, but creamy, roux-based cheese sauce that will satisfy all of your cheesy pasta cravings.

For this cheesy homemade mac and cheese, I used slightly more roux and added more GOOD QUAILITY cheese than you generally do find online for stovetop mac and cheese recipes. The thicker sauce and extra cheese made this mac and cheese so lusciously creamy and cheesy.


This classic stovetop mac and cheese recipe starts with a roux. Just like a classic Bechamel sauce, one of the 5 mother sauces that doesn't cook for too long to develop more instance flavor. All I did is to cook just a bit to create a perfect base for the creamiest sauce, which is a cooked mixture of flour and fat (in this case, butter) then added cold whole milk. To turn Bechamel sauce into cheese sauce I added traditional cheddar cheese, the roux thickens the sauce and helps the cheese melt smoothly into the sauce instead of clumping up as it melts.

While there are ways to make a cheese sauce without a roux, taking this extra step definitely creates the creamiest, dreamiest cheese sauce for your mac and cheese.

cheesy sauce


Just a very few pretty staple ingredients:

Cheese - good quality cheese is must. What I really mean is not the color of your cheddar but the quality. I used English style extra sharp cheddar as this cheese is so punching and same time a perfectly melting cheese.

Pasta - macaroni elbow shape is a classic choice, but I used Italian Maccheroni al Ferretto; it's what I had on hand that day. Its a great shape of twisting tubes that are able to grab as much of the sauce as possible. Made with only one ingredient: semolina flour, no folic acids, riboflavin, or other synthetic vitamins added that many people are allergic to it.

Milk - whole organic milk if possible, in a perfect world raw from your local creamery if you are lucky to have one. To avoid clumps in your sauce always use cold milk:  there a rule:  hot roux + cold milk = no clumps in a sauce.

Butter - always recommend a real good quality butter, grass-fed if possible.

Spices - Every time when I make a roux, I like to add just a pinch of freshly grounded nutmeg, salt, and white or black pepper.


mac and cheese on a fork
mac and cheese in a pot

Let's do it...

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Author: Inna of 

Servings: 4 as a meal or 6-8 as a side dish


1 lb. pasta of your choice (I used Maccheroni al Ferretto in the video)

1lb. plus 1/4 of lb. of good sharp cheddar cheese (I used white, extra sharp in the video)

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour all - purpose unbleached

4-5 cups whole milk

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt, freshly ground white or black pepper to taste


  • In a heavy button saucepan or Dutch oven on a medium heat add butter, let it melt.

  • Add flour and mix all together, add spices and mustard. Mix all together with a wooden spoon. Cook for a few minutes, mix with spoon once a while.

  • Add your cheese and cold milk, whisk and gently simmer until everything melts and becomes smooth, glossy and the most beautiful creamy goodness.

  • Boil pasta according the instructions, one minute shorter is a good way to insure your pasta will be not overly cooked.

  • Add drained pasta to the sauce and ENJOY!.

mac and cheese


You can make this sauce ahead of time. In fact I make sometimes a big batch, portion and freeze it. Helps to make your next mac and cheese in a pinch.


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