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Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is creamy, cheesy and delicious! Plus, this easy recipe takes only 30 minutes to prepare.
We make a lot of macaroni and cheese at our house. It’s a dish that everyone loves – kids and grownups alike! It can be served as a main dish, side dish, or even an appetizer.
Lately, we’ve been experimenting with different cheeses and new seasonings for our mac and cheese recipes – and this Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is one of our new favorites.
How do you make Ranch Macaroni and Cheese?
Like most mac and cheese recipes, you’ll start by cooking up some of your favorite pasta. Today, we used gemelli – a tightly twisted corkscrew pasta that’s sturdy and holds up to a thick and creamy sauce.
While the pasta boiled, we created a roux. A roux is a mix of melted butter and flour that is cooked together into a thick paste. It is the basis for many cream sauces, and also used to thicken gravies and other sauces.
In a separate bowl, we whisked together ranch seasoning, freshly grated nutmeg, dry mustard powder, white pepper, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot sauce – then combined this mixture with whole milk.
You’ll heat the milk and ranch seasoning mixture in a large pot on the stove until steamy and bubbly, then stir in the roux, mixing until well combined.
Next, pour in the cooked and drained pasta, then add shredded sharp white cheddar and Fontina cheeses. The sharp white cheddar adds rich cheesy flavor, and the Fontina becomes extra melty.
What do I serve with Ranch Macaroni and Cheese?
This Ranch Mac and Cheese can be served as a hearty meatless meal with a tossed green salad and our favorite vinaigrette, or with some steamed broccoli. This delicious mac and cheese can also be a side dish to roasted chicken or steak tips.
Either way, you can garnish the cheesy pasta with a sprinkle of chopped parsley if you’d like – although that is entirely optional.
You may like these other Mac & Cheese recipes:
1 pound gemelli pasta or your favorite pasta
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1-ounce pouch dry ranch dressing and seasoning mix
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Few squirts hot sauce, we use Cholula (optional)
3 cups whole milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Place a pot of water on to boil and once boiling, salt the water and cook the gemelli to just under done, still a bit chewy. Drain and set aside.
While water comes to a boil, melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium low and once melted, add flour and cook for 3-4 minutes until the raw flour smell is gone and it starts to smell a bit nutty. Remove from heat and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, in a medium bowl, place ranch seasoning mix, nutmeg, mustard, pepper, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and whisk to combine.
Let sit five minutes then whisk in the milk and set aside.
After the pasta is cooked and the pot emptied, add milk mixture to the pot and over medium heat, cook the milk mixture until it just starts to steam and bubble then whisk in the butter/flour mixture.
Pour in the pasta and both types of shredded cheese, remove from heat and toss to combine.
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