Cheez-it Macaroni and Cheese
The best Cheez-It Macaroni and Cheese recipe that will blow your mind! It’s perfectly creamy, cheesy and unique because of the crunchy cheez-it topping baked right on top.
This Cheez-it Macaroni and Cheese is one of my favorite mac and cheese recipes and I saved the best for last here in my childhood food favorites week! I really hope you all enjoyed all of the recipes this week – I know I have enjoyed eating them! This one I’m sharing today is a double whammy childhood favorite: mac & cheese (which I was completely obsessed with as a child and had a friend remind me of said obsession this week)… and Cheez-Its! I literally ate them like it was my job growing up. Even when I moved out on my own, I had a consistent stash of them in my pantry. I like to tell my husband “they’re for something I’m gonna make” when really I have no intention of doing anything but binge-eating them straight out of the box. So, I combined my love of Cheez-its and Mac ‘n Cheese together in this Cheez-it Macaroni and Cheese recipe today.
Several summers ago, I went to this hole-in-the-wall restaurant for lunch with some friends here in Rochester. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw “Cheez-it Mac & Cheese” on the menu! I think that was the fastest decision I ever made at a restaurant when it came to what I was going to order. The mac & cheese was awesome (obviously that was not in question), and I thought that was just genius to incorporate my beloved cheese crackers into a macaroni and cheese dish. That restaurant has since closed down, and I made it my mission to recreate the cheesy goodness at home so I didn’t have to go without it the rest of my life. Like mac & cheese NEEDS more cheese added to the top….I know, but trust me – this Cheez-it Macaroni and Cheese is unbelievably good!
This mac & cheese is not overly creamy and has just the right amount of cheese and milk. It is baked to perfection while the crunch of the Cheez-Its adds a nice crisp topping and was a delicious alternative to using bread crumbs on top. You will never go back to bread crumbs! 🙂
(Here’s what I posted the last 4 days: Frosted Animal Sugar Cookies, Homemade SpaghettiOs, Oreo Peanut Butter Swirl White Chocolate Fudge, Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats.) Have a great weekend!
- 1 16 ounce box shells (or your pasta of choice)
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups Cheez-It crackers, crushed
- Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions (you will be baking it later).
- Drain pasta and set aside.
- Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute or until mixture is smooth.
- Increase heat to medium; gradually whisk in 2 cups milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
- Stir in cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Stir pasta and ground black pepper into cheese mixture; spoon into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish or a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Spread crushed Cheez-It crackers evenly on top.
- Bake uncovered at 375°F for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Enjoy!
This is dangerous! Even now, my love of Cheez Its knows no bounds. I’m going to have to try this when we have people over, because otherwise I can’t be trusted not to eat the whole thing!!
I definitely had more than my fair share! Lol
Hey! I love this idea not that we have these crackers here in Spain but I´m sure I can find a substitue 🙂 This recipe reminds me of my childhood, my aunt used to make a bean casserole with crushed up cheese & onion potato chips on top.. it was devine!! Have a great weekend! Xx
That casserole sounds amazing! You should make it and share the recipe with all of us. Just saying
Wow Ashley! This looks really good. We love cheez-its and mac and cheese. Great idea combining the two together.!
Thank you Cindy!! It’s definitely a “once on a while” meal.
My toddler is a mac and cheese connoisseur and would absolutely love this!
I think any Mac n cheese lover can get behind this!! Thanks for the comment!
Your comment on my blog said you recently posted Cheez-It Macaroni and Cheese . . . so needless to say, HERE I AM! 😀 This looks so yummy. My mom makes a hashed brown casserole for church lunches sometimes and I’m pretty sure she uses Cheez-Its on top.
A hash brown casserole with cheez-it’s!?! Sounds awesome!
WOW! This looks and sounds like comfort food at its finest! I also now have a major craving for Cheez-Its. I haven’t eaten them in years, but they are SO good!
This was the first time I have bought them in years! I fear I rekindled the love. Lol
Seriously where do you come up with this stuff?! I need you to come live at my house and cook for me and my husband. I’d get really fat but at least I’d be happy. You have the best food ideas everrrr. First animal cookie cookies and now cheez it mac and cheese?! ahhh
Ok you just made my day with that comment!!! Thanks girl!!
Who doesn’t adore macaroni and cheese, especially as delicious as this! 😀
I love the crunchy top! There’s not much better than Mac & Cheese on a cold day! I can just imagine biting into this creamy, crunchy version! Looks great!
What a fun idea for mac and cheese topping!
Those crackers sound much better than regular bread indeed! This sounds delish! xx
Interesting recipe! I never thought to use Cheez-its in mac ‘n cheese. Looks totally wonderful — thanks so much!
Perfection. Never thought of using this as the top crunch, but what a amazing idea…
aaaaand I’ll be making this asap!!!
Yum. I can taste it already. Cheddar cheese heaven!
My favorite cheez-it flavor was pepper jack. 😀
Whoa, this is insane! (in a good way) I love mac & cheese AND I love cheez-its, obviously this is a match made in heaven. Perfect game day food for sure!
Such a great idea! Mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods, but never thought of putting cheez-its on top. Love it!
It’s the best!! Thanks, Christin!
6’0 260 and all Man, but tried this and Now I appreciate Mama and Grandma for teaching me skills in the kitchen. Dad taught me football, but thank God for cooking skills and Mama and G Ma for taking the time with me. This is the shizzell!
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I never used breadcrumbs for my mac and cheese. I always preferred Ritz Crackers but the last few years I have been using Chicken N a Bisquit crackers because they were crunchier and more flavorful. I will now have to try it with Cheez -Its. I love the white cheddar ones!!
Thanks for commenting, Kim! Those crackers are a great idea, too!