9 Best Pasta For Mac And Cheese

Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is a famous dish all over the world and one of the best comfort food. But to get a perfect mac and cheese, you need to use the right ingredients.

Pasta is definitely the key ingredient that you can’t ignore because not every type of pasta will give you the right mac and cheese so, keep reading to find what should you use.

Best Pasta For Mac And Cheese

The following pasta types can be used successfully in a mac and cheese recipe. You can also go by your own preference and pick whatever pasta works for you.

1. Elbow or straight macaroni


The best pasta you can use for a mac and cheese recipe remains macaroni. You can use any type of macaroni but you will most likely enjoy the elbow ones and the straight ones.

Children tend to love the elbow macaroni better than straight ones simply because they are more fun to eat due to the way they are shaped.

These types of pasta offer you a great cylindrical shape that is perfect for holding creamy cheese. Plus, their size is ideal for each bite as well.

When you pick between the elbow and straight macaroni, it will be only a matter of which one you like more. Further, elbow macaroni is easier to eat with a spoon, so they are better for kids.

Also check: Milk Substitutes For Mac And Cheese

2. Cavatappi


Cavatappi is also similar to elbow macaroni and you can use them in mac and cheese any time you want. This pasta is bigger compared to elbow macaroni and also chewier but it is just as tasty.

You will most likely have to cook it a bit longer to get the consistency that you want. But the taste will be very similar to the taste offered by macaroni.

Keep in mind that cavatappi is a lot more filling than other types of pasta so you will not have to eat as much to get a full portion. Both adults and kids love this type of pasta so you can’t fail.

More: 10 Best Seasonings For Mac And Cheese

3. Shell pasta

Shell pasta

For those who prefer a lighter version of pasta in their mac and cheese, the shells or the Conchiglie pasta are great options. This pasta comes in many sizes so you can easily find just the size that is perfect for your preferences or your children’s preferences.

The bigger the size the more it will take to cook them though, so keep this aspect in mind. Conchiglie pasta has the ideal shape for holding the cheese sauce or cream that you use in your recipe. They go great with different consistencies as well.

Some people love their mac and cheese with a more watery sauce of cheese so not all pasta will work the same in this case. These shells will be ideal regardless of the type of sauce you prefer.

Also check: Butter Substitute For Mac And Cheese

4. Farfalle


Farfalle is also known as bow ties and they are some of the most popular types of pasta in Italy. However, not many people dare to use farfalle for mac and cheese and that is a shame because they can be perfect for such a dish.

Children, in particular, tend to be charmed by the butterfly shape of this pasta. Thus, you can’t fail with them. They have a flat surface that makes them ideal for holding seasoning and herbs as well as the tasty cheese cream or sauce.

However, they will not get entangled together as other types of pasts. Since they are flat, many people find them uncomfortable to eat as they can be slipped off the fork. However, if you eat them with a spoon you will not have such a problem.

5. Penne

boiling pasta

Penne is a type of pasta even more popular than the previous ones. This thick and filling pasta can also help you make delicious mac and cheese any time you want.

Plus, penne is easier to find in stores, and almost every grocery store has a version of this pasta. Penne would get in the category of straight pasta with a cylindrical shape.

Your cheese sauce or cream will likely get inside your penne rather than stay on them and if you eat them considering this aspect, they can be extremely easy to enjoy.

This penne is offering you a pleasant chewy texture that most people love to have in their mac and cheese dishes.

6. Fusilli


Another type of pasta that will go great in your mac and cheese recipe is fusilli.

Fusilli is a type of pasta with a spiral shape and makes a  great choice for getting all that cheese sauce on them. You can eat fusilli mac and cheese with both a fork and spoon.

You will also love to learn that this pasta can be cooked rather quick if you don’t get them in a thick version. Not to mention that fusilli pasta looks great on any plate or bowl so your kids will definitely be attracted to them.

7. Funky shapes pasta

Funky shapes pasta

You can also try a pack of funky shape pasta to use in your mac and cheese.

These are popular especially for kids since they come in different shapes. However, adults also love them because they hold the sauce much better than other types of pasta.

You will find shapes with pockets or ridges that let the cheese sauce cling to each pasta piece and make a perfect bite for you every time.

8. Rotini pasta

Rotini pasta

Rotini pasta is very similar to fusilli pasta but it comes in a smaller size. These kinds of pasta are also thinner and they can be cooked even faster.

However, keep in mind that rotini is a bit more difficult to find than fusilli. So, you might not find them as one of the handiest options.

If you do find them, you will love to use them in your mac and cheese recipe and you might be pleasantly impressed by the final result of your dish.

9. Tagliatelle


We left tagliatelle last on our list for a reason.

These flat and thin pasta are very tasty nevertheless and they can successfully be used in a mac and cheese recipe. However, they have a flat surface that makes it a bit harder for the sauce to stick to them.

Since tagliatelle is also long and slippery, you want to eat them with a fork to trap them better. In spite of the slippery shape, they can definitely make for a great pasta in your mac and cheese, if you can’t find anything else.

Can You Use Different Pasta For Mac And Cheese?

You can use straight macaroni, shell pasta, tagliatelle, rotini pasta, or some of the types of pasta mentioned throughout this article. Honestly, you can get away with any type of pasta as long as you cook it right and eat it with the right utensils.

What Is The Best Partner For Mac And Cheese?

Mac and cheese is a delicious and filling meal all by itself. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pair it with a tasty salad. This type of meal will go great with any salad of your choice.

Try a fresh salad like tomatoes and cucumbers that will combine perfectly with the cheesy taste of your mac and cheese. Pickles will go great with mac and cheese as well.

Let your imagination free while you enjoy this dish and you will find many impressive combinations!

Keep Calm And Eat Mac And Cheese!

Mac and cheese are not just tasty but also very versatile. You can count on it as comfort food or a fast recipe when you don’t have a lot of time to stay in the kitchen.

Give this dish a try with either one of the pasta recommended in this guide and see which type you prefer best!

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