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How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better

Tangy, Cheesy, Hot and Comforting is EVERYTHING that warm bowl of goodness should be but sometimes we need a little more KAPOW in the dish. Today I’ll show you how to make your Kraft Mac and Cheese Better and DELICIOUS with almost ZERO effort at all! 


overhead shot of bowl of mac and cheese with spoon


Why This Recipe Works

  • Plays up a  terrific balance of cheese, spice, creaminess  and tang.
  • Teaches you to cook the noodles to perfection for the right spring back in your mouth.
  • You have everything you need at home already! 
  • Try this Death by Mac and Cheese recipe if you are feeling daring!

How To Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better

STEP 1. UNDERCOOK the noodles by 2 minutes.

saucepan of macaroni noodles in water on stovetop

STEP 2. While noodles are cooking, prepare your extra ingredients and heat them over medium low heat on another burner OR heat in the microwave. 

cheeses in macaroni noodles

STEP 3. When  noodles are done, pour the sauce ingredients over and mix well. ENJOY! 

macaroni noodles mixed up

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). 

What Can I Add to a Box  of Kraft Mac and Cheese to Make It Better?

Typically, boxed mac and cheese is over cooked and limp with little in the way of flavor. Today we are going to change the texture of the mac and cheese by making it more springy in your mouth and improving the cheesiness, creaminess, tanginess and spice. 

How Do I Make Kraft Mac and Cheese? 

Normally, you would do the following: 

  1. Boil the noodles. 
  2. Add butter, milk and flavoring packet
  3. Stir with a spoon and then serve. 

How Do I Make my Macaroni and Cheese Better? 

We are going to make a cheesy, buttery, tangy sauce that you will stir into the noodles that will drastically improve the flavor of your dish. 

Can You Use Water Instead of Milk in Macaroni and Cheese? 

That really depends. The answer is “yes”, you CAN, however the question should be “SHOULD I”, in which the answer is no. If you are hungry and have nothing else, then of course, use water. You’ll want to add MORE butter if you are doing this AND A slice or two of American Sandwich Cheese as well. 

However, if you have cream, milk,  evaporated milk in the can, dehydrated milk or any other likely substitute then you should use that instead. 

What Can I Add to My Mac and Cheese To Give It Flavor? 

There are SO MANY things you can add to your mac and cheese! Here’s a short list….

  • Hot Dogs
  • Hot Sauce
  • More CHEESE! 
  • Pepperonis
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Chili
  • Steak!
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • Grilled Cheese cut into squares
  • Kielbasa
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Fried Egg

How Long is Left Over Mac and Cheese Good For? 

Your cooked macaroni and cheese is good for about 5 days. Do not leave it sitting out for longer than 2 hours.

How Do I Save My Macaroni and Cheese for Later? 

You’ll want to put it in a container with a lid that seals or cover it very well with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator. 

How Do I Reheat My Mac and Cheese? 

Put it in a saucepan on top of the stove, reheat over medium low heat. Add a little bit of milk to thin it. 


Put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat in one minute intervals until heated through. 

Can I Make Mac and Cheese Ahead? 

Yes! Absolutely! Go ahead and cook it per the recipe below and then put it in the refrigerator. Reheat by adding a few tablespoons of milk and heat over medium low heat on the stovetop. Stir frequently until heated through. 

Can I Make My Mac and Cheese MORE Cheesy? 

Sure you can! Just add more cheese! Can you over do cheese? I don’t think so! Well, ok, I guess there is a limit to the cheese/mac ratio, but you would be a decent amount in before that happened! 

Tips and Tricks for How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better

  • Cook the noodles for 2 minutes less than what is stated on the box. 
  • Add milk to the cooking water (see recipe). 
  • Add more butter than the recipe calls for. 
  • You’ll want to melt some extra cheese with the butter before adding the cheese packet. 
  • Adding some parmesan cheese will add even more flavor. 
  • If you like garlic, then you can’t go wrong by adding a little garlic powder. 
  • A tiny dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce is the ticket. 
  • Here’s what the USDA has to say about mac and cheese, in case you wanted to know,. 

close up of mac and cheese in black bowl with towel

If You Enjoyed This Pasta Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy…

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overhead shot of bowl of mac and cheese with spoon

How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better

Creamy, cheesy and comfort food delicious! Perfect kraft mac and cheese that tastes better than you ever remembered!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked macaroni and cheese, mac and cheese, box mac and cheese, kraft mac and cheese better
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 421kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker


  • 1 box Kraft Mac and Cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 0.5 oz American Cheese we prefer Velveeta
  • 4 tbs butter use real butter if you can
  • 1/4 cup milk whole is best for this
  • 1 seasoning packet for mac and cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder make sure it is powder and not garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese as a garnish sprinkled over the top.


  • Cook the macaroni noodles from the box for 2 minutes less than stated on the box. As the water starts coming to a boil add 1/2 cup of milk to the cooking water. Drain in a colander when finished cooking.
  • In a separate sauce pan (while the noodles are cooking) over medium low heat, heat the butter, cheese and milk together until the cheese melts. Stir frequently.
  • Once the noodles are drained, put them back into the cooking saucepan. Add the seasoning packet from the box, the garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and the melted cheese mixture. Mix gently until completely combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.


  • Cook the noodles for 2 minutes less than what is stated on the box. 
  • Add milk to the cooking water (see recipe). 
  • Add more butter than the recipe calls for extra creaminess. 
  • You'll want to melt some extra cheese with the butter before adding the cheese packet. 
  • Adding some parmesan cheese will add even more flavor. 
  • If you like garlic, then you can't go wrong by adding a little garlic powder. 
  • A tiny dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce is the ticket. 
  • Margarine for butter
  • It's fine to use dairy substitutes for the milk and cheese, but it won't taste the same and I can't be responsible for your results. 
  • If you don't have cayenne then substitute 1 tsp hot sauce, any brand. Of course, if you tolerate spicy heat well, more is better in my mind. 


Nutrition Facts
How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better
Amount Per Serving
Calories 421 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 52mg17%
Sodium 764mg32%
Potassium 215mg6%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 711IU14%
Calcium 222mg22%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!


Back a couple of years ago at Christmas time, my mom was in the hospital in the intensive care unit. I didn’t think she would make it. 

It was so comforting to me that she was seeing angels. Specifically, she saw adorably cute baby angels who did fun little tricks and kept her entertained and out of pain.

You might believe that was the medication she was on or her weary mind after such an ordeal. I believe that it was Our Lord, comforting his children with something they find enjoyable. For my mom that was cute, well behaved baby angels.

What a blessing.

Luke 2: 13-14

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests”.


Recipe Rating


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

You put milk as an ingredient twice. 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup. Which one is it?

Wendi Spraker

Monday 24th of October 2022

Hi Michelle, the milk is divided into two sections because of the way it is added to the recipe. The total milk needed for the recipe is 3/4 Cup. The first half cup you add to the cooking water for the pasta. Then, when you are making the sauce, you add the quarter cup to the ingredients for the sauce. I divided it like that because people wrote to me and said that they didn't read the recipe carefully and dumped the whole 3/4 cup into the cooking water for the noodles and then didn't have any for the sauce. That's one reason I recommend to read the whole recipe first before trying to make it. Then read it again and imagine yourself making each step (even on simple recipes like this). We add the milk to the cooking water for the noodles because it gives some flavor and creaminess to the noodles. Hope you enjoy the recipe!


Friday 4th of March 2022

Really great, used different cheese (Marble) still came out tasty . Really creamy . Been doing Mac N Cheese wrong this whole time. The Noodles were nice and al dente at 5-6 minutes . It really made it a totally different experience not cooking it like it says on the box. Not overcooked & really creamy without using 2 packs of cheese like i usually did before, the milk really makes a huge difference. Even cold it doesn't get all weird in texture / taste after being out for 30 mins or so.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 7th of March 2022

Great Thanks!


Saturday 19th of June 2021

Also, I used 1/2 cup cream as it was all I had, mexican hot sauce 1 tsp, and tasty cheddar (I'm a Canadian in Sydney so that's a common cheese you get here, basically just white cheddar back home) and much more than 0.5oz... maybe around 60 haha (but that was only about 3 slices? Maybe I measured wrong?), and I didn't do milk in the cooking water because I couldn't bring myself to dumping it down the drain, sorry! It was FABULOUS.

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 19th of June 2021



Saturday 19th of June 2021

This was just what I needed! I've never had such a delicious bowl of KD! Thank you!! I am going to save this forever! My two year old will never know what hit her! Though hers will have to be a GF version of boxes Mac n cheese. So excited haha.

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 19th of June 2021

I'm so glad you are enjoying it!

Charlie Jelke

Thursday 27th of May 2021

I highly recommend replacing the milk with heavy whipping cream as well. I do this when I have extra from other recipes. It's much creamier.


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