White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

This homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes is comfort food at its finest, featuring a silky cheese sauce and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes

This post was created in partnership with Village Farms. All opinions are our own.

Do you have a loved one far away who will be home for the holidays? With families reuniting this time of year, we’re all looking for those perfect dishes to warm tummies and hearts. It’s hard to argue that there’s a better comfort food than good old mac and cheese, right? Alex and I have created this sophisticated spin on mac and cheese using the sumptuous combination of roasted tomatoes and white cheddar cheese. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and you’ll even be able to sneak in a few veggies (well, fruits?) too.

Also: Try all our Best Mac and Cheese recipes!

Homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes

Why it’s the best white cheddar mac and cheese?

Food is the focal point when we gather together, especially during the holiday season! Many of our recipes here are designed to be high vibe healthy; others are comfort food made with real food ingredients. This white cheddar mac and cheese is a true gem. Several friends helped to taste test and gave it 5 stars! The sharpness of the white cheddar cheese brings a sophistication, and the contrast of the bright roasted tomatoes is an unexpected flair.

A nice feature to this white cheddar mac and cheese is that it doesn’t require baking time. Simply make the mac and cheese, top with roasted tomatoes, and serve! This recipe will be part of our entertaining menus for years to come. Alex and I could not get enough of that silky white cheddar sauce against the tangy tomatoes! It’s a keeper in our house.

How to make it a meal? Serve it with a green salad or steamed broccoli! Head to 10 Best Sides to Serve with Mac and Cheese for our favorite recipes.

Homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes

Finding the best cherry tomatoes

Usually Alex and I wouldn’t be roasting fresh tomatoes to go with a cozy comfort food dish like this white cheddar mac and cheese. However, Village Farms is a brand of greenhouse grown tomatoes that is gentler on the Earth and farmed without pesticides. Since these tomatoes are grown in greenhouses, they are available year around and truly taste garden fresh no matter what the season.

To add a spin to our white cheddar mac and cheese, we added Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes. The sweetness of the tomatoes is the perfect juxtaposition for the sharpness of the white cheddar cheese.

Homemade white cheddar mac and cheese recipe

How to roast cherry tomatoes

How to roast cherry tomatoes? For this white cheddar mac and cheese, we wanted to roast the tomatoes just enough so they hold their shape, but not so long that they dry out. To roast this variety of cherry tomatoes, do the following:

  • Coat them with olive oil, add a pinch of salt, and roast at 350F for about 40 minutes. That’s it!
  • Roasting with the cut side down chars them a bit more and brings in a sundried tomato vibe, but they do lose their shape more. Roasting the tomatoes with the cut side up helps them keep more of their shape and still brings in a lovely concentrated tomato flavor. You decide!
homemade mac and cheese with tomatoes

Making white cheddar mac and cheese on the stovetop

Outside of the cherry tomatoes, for this white cheddar mac and cheese you’ll need your favorite short pasta, unsalted butter, flour, milk, sharp white cheddar cheese, and a few seasonings. Note that you can use any milk that you’d like in this recipe. We prefer 2% milk since the added fat keeps this stovetop mac and cheese flavorful and silky, but any milk will do!

While the tomatoes roast, you’ll do the following:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
  2. While the pasta cooks, make the cheese sauce: heat butter over medium heat and stir in the flour. When the butter mixture starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low and add the milk in very slowly. Add the herbs and spices, and continue cooking until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  3. Remove from the heat and add that grated cheddar cheese and keep stirring until it becomes a thick sauce.
  4. Stir the pasta gently into the cheddar cheese sauce, then transfer to a large serving bowl. Top with the roasted tomatoes and enjoy!
how to make mac and cheese

How to reheat mac and cheese

This white cheddar mac and cheese is best enjoyed immediately, but leftovers taste great the next day too! To reheat mac and cheese, we recommend doing so in a sturdy saucepan with a splash of milk to prevent the pasta from drying out. Cover the saucepan with a lid as well to trap the moisture, because nothing is worse than chewy leftover mac and cheese.

Check out Village Farms:

Check out our white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes over on the Village Farms website:

Homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes

This white cheddar mac and cheese recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten free, use gluten free pasta and gluten free flour.

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Homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

This homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes is comfort food at its finest, featuring a silky cheese sauce and roasted cherry tomatoes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pints (about 3 cups) cherry tomatoes Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound short pasta (shells, macaroni, fusili, or penne)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Roast the tomatoes: Slice the tomatoes in half. In a small bowl, stir them together with the olive oil and 1 generous pinch kosher salt. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet face up and spread them evenly apart. (You can also place some of the tomatoes face down for a delicious sundried tomato effect; they loose their shape and blacken a bit more but are still delicious.) Roast the tomatoes for 40 minutes, then allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Boil the pasta: Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just al dente (cook until just tender but still a bit firm).
  4. Grate the white cheddar cheese.
  5. Make the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat; when it melts, stir in the flour. Heat the mixture for several minutes, stirring constantly. Immediately when the color starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low. Start to add the milk very slowly, whisking constantly until the mixture is completely smooth, then adding more milk. Add the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder, and continue cooking on low heat for 4 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, then add the grated cheddar cheese and keep stirring until it is melted and a smooth, thick sauce forms (if necessary, return the heat to low to finish melting the cheese).
  6. Finish the dish: Add the pasta to cheese sauce and stir to combine. Then pour the pasta into a serving dish. Top it with tomatoes and serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mac and Cheese, White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, White Cheddar, Homemade White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Tomatoes, Vegetarian

Looking for more comfort food recipes?

Outside of this homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes, here are a few more comfort food recipes:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Twist
    December 16, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    This looks delicious! What type of milk did you use?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 17, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Hi! You can use any type of milk: 2% or whole would be great, but you can use any type.

  • Reply
    Landon
    January 21, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Is the 12 oz of cheese volume or weight? I have about 1 1/2 cups (12 oz volume), but it only weighs about 6 oz.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 21, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      Hi! This recipe is for 12 ounces by weight.

  • Reply
    Kate Maxwell
    January 28, 2019 at 9:51 am

    I really loved how you explained in detail how to roast cherry tomatoes. This is completely different from the way I used to do it. And just to add too, that silky cheese sauce made everything perfect.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 28, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Thank you! There are lots of ways to roast tomatoes — this one turned about to be the perfect one for this mac and cheese :) let us know if you try!

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