How Long Do You Boil Noodles For Mac And Cheese?

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted (just a pinch) water to a vigorous boil (about 10-15 minutes to reach this point)
  2. Empty box of elbow macaroni into boiling water, stirring throughout until cooked through but firm to the bite (approximately 8-10 minutes)
  3. Drain the water from the cooked macaroni and put macaroni aside.

Cooking up a batch of mac and cheese is always a delicious and comforting experience. The creamy cheese sauce ladled over cooked noodles can be a perfect accompaniment to any meal, or even a meal in itself. While most of us already have a go-to recipe for the cheese sauce, one question that often arises is ‘how long should the noodles be cooked for?’ When it comes to making mac and cheese, it is essential to ensure that the noodles are boiled to the right consistency before being mixed with the cheese sauce. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of properly cooked noodles and how to get it right every time. We will look at the various cooking methods, decipher the best cooking time and provide some tips on how to create the perfect mac and cheese each and every time. So, if you’re looking to perfect your mac and cheese recipe, this post is for you.

How to make Macaroni and Cheese

  • Boil pasta: In salted water until al-dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven: To 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Make the cheese sauce: Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pot. Add in flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Add in all of the seasonings. Cook on medium heat whisking continuously until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Make sure to keep the milk moving to avoid burning. Take off the heat and stir in 4 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese. Season with more salt to taste if desired.
  • Bake: Pour into the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese. Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve: Immediately and enjoy!
  • Store: Leftover baked macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: On the stovetop with a splash of milk or cream.
  • For some added spice add some pickled or fresh jalapeños to the baked macaroni and cheese.
  • Crumbled bacon would be amazing in this!
  • I’ve made this recipe with leftover diced ham and broccoli and it is delicious.
  • For a crispy topping try adding toasted panko breadcrumbs or crushed ritz crackers on top!
  • Can this be made in the slow cooker?

    I’ve made this recipe before for potlucks and events, following the instructions above, but skipping the baking step at the end. I put it in the slow cooker and set the temperature to warm. It resists drying out and holds up well for hours.

    Making Boiled Elbow Macaroni

  • Depending on the recipe, you may be able to stir dry elbow macaroni directly into soups or casseroles. The noodles will cook as the soup simmers or the casserole bakes. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Submit a Tip All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published

  • Large pot with lid
  • Spoon
  • Colander
  • FAQ

    How long does it take for mac and cheese noodles to boil?

    Boil some water on the stove top. Put the macaroni in the pot after opening the box and removing the powder packet. Bring to a boil once more, then simmer for the designated amount of time (usually 8 minutes). Occasionally (especially at first) stir the pasta to prevent it from sticking to the pan’s bottom.

    How long should you boil your noodles?

    Based on the type of pasta, here are the general cooking times:
    1. Angel hair pasta: 5 minutes.
    2. Farfalle (bowties): 10-12 minutes.
    3. Penne: 12-14 minutes.
    4. Rotini: 8-10 minutes.
    5. Spaghetti: 8-10 minutes.
    6. Macaroni: 8-10 minutes.
    7. Conchiglie (shells): 9-15 minutes, depending on size.
    8. Fettucine: 8-13 minutes.

    How do you know when mac and cheese noodles are done?

    As a general rule, we advise cooking pasta until it’s al dente. However, for mac and cheese, you want to cook it for a few minutes less, until it is just barely al dente. The pasta should still be slightly firm with some bite. Don’t worry, it will soften during the subsequent cooking stage.

    Do you boil the water before adding mac and cheese?

    Season your water with a bit of salt. It tastes better. Although salt water does indeed boil at a higher temperature, you are not using enough salt to make a difference in this situation. Before adding your pasta, bring your water to a full boil.

    Related Posts