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How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better (Easy Hacks)

The best ways to have a tangy, cheesy, comforting box mac and cheese that focuses on the cheese recipe using the blue box mac and cheese. How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better (easy hacks) will have you enjoying this comfort food in minutes! 

How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better (Easy Hacks) in white bowl.

When you think about Kraft mac n cheese, do you think about the best cheeses, easy recipe and an out of this world cheese tastes like in a our Death by Mac and Cheese?

Maybe not but this mac and cheese isn’t just for the college student, recipe developers or kids, instead this box of mac n cheese gives you simple steps to turn that powder cheese into a more complete meal where the final product is a long way from a blue box at the grocery store.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Gives you the secret ingredients and extra possibilities to make your kraft mac & cheese even better! 
  • The end result is kraft macaroni with cheese powder that tastes like the delicious comfort food you love but better! You have everything you need at home already to make a bowl of creamy pasta! 

How To Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better

STEP 1. UNDERCOOK the noodles by 2 minutes.

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. 

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

saucepan of macaroni noodles in water on stovetop
STEP 1: Undercook the pasta by 2 minutes
cheeses in macaroni noodles
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. 
macaroni noodles mixed up
STEP 3. When  noodles are done, pour the sauce ingredients over and mix well.
close up of mac and cheese in black bowl with towel
STEP 4. Put in a nice dish and enjoy!

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.  We use a cheese sauce without flour to make sensational taste!

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
Small white bowl of Kraft mac and cheese.

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! 

More Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How Long Does This Mac and Cheese Last?

This mac n cheese will last for about 5 days if kept covered in the refrigerator.

Can I Freeze Mac and Cheese?

Yes, you can, but when you thaw it, the consistency may change some (become softer). Place in a freezer safe container and remove as much air as possible, freezer for up to 3 months.

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

  • First thing, cook the noodles over medium heat for 2 minutes less than what is stated on the box instructions. 
  • 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. 

Watch Me Make This Mac and Cheese

Can You Give Me a Hand

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overhead shot of bowl of mac and cheese with spoon

How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better (Easy Hacks)

Creamy, cheesy and comfort food delicious! Perfect kraft mac and cheese that tastes better than you ever remembered!
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better (easy hacks)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 421kcal


  • 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 whole 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. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • 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. If the mac and cheese is not as wet as you prefer, dribble some of the cooking liquid from the noodles into the pan and mix well. Do not add more than 2 Tbs at a time. 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 (Easy Hacks)
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
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!

This article originally appeared on Loaves and Dishes on January 8, 2020 and has been updated with new information to include more FAQ’s, updated recipe card with updated nutrition facts and new photos.


Some years ago, my mother was in the hospital and she saw many cherubs and angels and that gave me such a relief knowing that she was happy and peaceful.

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”.

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Monday 26th of February 2024

I appreciate the cooking tips, like adding milk to the pasta water and undercooking the pasta a little, but honestly, I do not understand the purpose of using boxed mac-and-cheese. Noodles can be purchased separately so the boxed brand’s macaroni is not a necessity. If I am going to make the effort to make a cheese sauce, what is the point of also using the ultra-salty, not-very-good-for-us powdered cheese that comes with the boxed brand? Why not just make more cheese sauce instead?

What is it I am missing?

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 27th of February 2024

Hi Mia, I see you have left a couple of comments on my website. While you may not enjoy or approve of boxed mac and cheese, it is a reality that some people do. This is a judgement free zone, and I'm not looking to judge or to change peoples eating habits. Instead I'm trying to help folks learn, one small step at a time, how to be self sufficient in the kitchen given their time and financial abilities. Why do people want boxed mac and cheese? I don't know, perhaps that is due to what they feel they can afford or what they are able to "cook" or even because it brings back happy childhood memories (that's what it is for me). Not everyone has the background to cook from scratch or the ability/know how to use other ingredients. This recipe is for those people. Obviously, you know how to cook and how to make a cheese sauce, so please feel free to do so. I have several recipes on this site that explain how to make a cheese sauce and there are more than a couple of macaroni and cheese recipes. This recipe, however, is for people who are making boxed mac and cheese with the powder packet and who just want to be able to make it a little more creamy and cheesy. I hope this helps answer your question.


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!


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