A Spicy Perspective

Italian Mac & Cheese

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Italian Mac and Cheese – This homemade melty and oozy baked mac and cheese recipe is loaded with Italian goodies. It’s così delizioso!!

Italian Mac and Cheese

Simple Lasting Impressions

You can never have too many homemade baked mac and cheese recipes.

At least, I don’t think you can.

Mac and cheese is one of those dishes that makes any meal warm and inviting. Creamy mac and cheese makes a backyard picnic memorable and a weeknight meal an event.

Today’s Italian version is a baked mac and cheese recipe you can serve with an earthy glass of wine and a fresh green salad.

Simple rustic flavors that leave a lasting impression.

Salami and Pepperoni

One Dish Wonder

This one-dish wonder, Italian-style homemade baked mac and cheese, is a personal favorite. It includes classic Italian cheeses, fresh basil, olives, salami, and pepperoni all nestled together in one glorious gooey pasta.

I used Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Penne, because I love that the cheesy goodness collects in the penne tubes. I also love the hearty texture of whole wheat pasta and feel it holds its ground against all the prominent Italian flavors in this dish.

Baked Mac and cheese

Italian Mac and Cheese Ingredients

  • Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Pasta (I used Penne)
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Garlic Cloves 
  • Milk
  • Cream Cheese
  • Italian Cheeses (provolone, mozzarella, asiago…)
  • Pitted Olives
  • Salami 
  • Pepperoni 
  • Fresh Basil 
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Parsley 

Easy baked Recipe

How to Make this Easy Baked Mac and Cheese

  1. Preheat the oven and boil the pasta as instructed on the box. When you drain the pasta, keep it in the colander and set it to the side. 
  2. Put the same pot you made the pasta back on the stove. Melt the butter, add the flour, and cook the roux for about a minute. Then add in the garlic and whisk in the milk and part of the cream cheese. Once the sauce starts to simmer, whisk the mixture until it becomes thick and is smooth. 
  3. Add in all the shredded cheese and whisk it all together until smooth. 
  4. Add in the pasta, olives, sliced meat, and basil. Make sure to coat them all in the cheesy mixture. 
  5. Pour the macaroni into a baking dish. Then take the panko crumbs and parmesan cheese, and sprinkle it over the top of the pasta. Drizzle the top of the bread crumbs with olive oil to make sure that it will brown and get crispy. 
  6. Place in the oven. 
    1. For creamy mac and cheese bake for about 2 to 3 minutes under the broiler. Watch it carefully; you want the top to toast, not burn. 
    2. For traditionally firm mac and cheese, (or just a normal baked recipe) put it in a 400 degree F oven to bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. 
  7. When you pull it out of the oven, sprinkle with the parsley you chopped and serve warm! 

California Italian Cheese

Get The Full (Printable) Recipe Below For How To Make Italian Mac and Cheese.

Comfort Food

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does this recipe last? 

This recipe can last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days, if it is in an airtight container. 

It can be frozen and reheated in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. However, it tastes best fresh.

Do I have to bake this recipe? 

You technically do not have to bake this mac and cheese. If you want a creamy version without the crust on top, just make it on the stove and enjoy!

Comfort Recipe


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Italian Mac and Cheese
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5 from 6 votes
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Italian Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Homemade baked mac and cheese, Italian-style! This melty oozy baked mac and cheese recipe is loaded with Italian goodies.
Servings: 12


  • 1 pound Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Pasta I used Penne
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups California milk
  • 4 ounces California cream cheese
  • 6 cups grated California Italian cheeses provolone, mozzarella, asiago...
  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 4 ounces salami cut into thin strips
  • 4 ounces pepperoni cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup California shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Parsley for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the penne in a large pot of salted water, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside in a colander.
  • Using the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted whisk in the flour and cook the roux (butter-flour mixture) for 1 minute. Then add the garlic and whisk in the milk and 4 ounces cream cheese. Bring to a simmer and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.
  • Add the shredded cheese and whisk until smooth. Pour the cooked pasta, olives, sliced meat and basil. Stir to coat.
  • Pour the macaroni into a 10x10-inch baking dish and sprinkle the top with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. *For creamy baked mac and cheese, place the baked mac and cheese in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, watch carefully. You want the top to toast, but not burn. **For more a traditional "firm" baked mac and cheese recipe, bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden.
  • Once out of the oven, sprinkle the chopped parsley and serve warm.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 602kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 1274mg, Potassium: 262mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1010IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 620mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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57 comments on “Italian Mac & Cheese”

  1. this looks and tastes absolutely fantastic it is something perfect to eat with pesto salmon

  2. Loved this delicious and indulgent mac and cheese! My family devoured it and is already begging for more. SO simple but incredibly delicious! 

  3. My kids went crazy over this mac n cheese. Thank you!

  4. Looks delicious! I love Mac and cheese so much.

  5. Pingback: Italian Baked Mac and Cheese | Food Ramblings

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  7. You’re right; one can never have too many homemade, baked mac and cheese recipes! What a beautiful and delicious dish. It looks amazing. The shredded cheese and breadcrumbs seem to create the most wonderful crust.

  8. Oh yes! This looks incredible, my husband will seriously love this twist on the plain old mac&cheese

  9. Do you use 4oz of cream cheese? Or 8? In the ingredients list it says 4, however in the directions it says to add 8oz cream cheese

  10. What a gorgeous take on macaroni and cheese. Love this version.

  11. I love mac and cheese dearly. It’s one of my true loves in my life. So I’m always looking for new ways to extra love it, thank you! :)

  12. That ain’t your mama’s mac n cheese! Looks amazing!

  13. I suspect this would be excellent leftovers…even for breakfast. Like right now. Dang I’m hungry.

  14. Homemade mac and cheese is always a zillion times better than any box brand. Pinned!

  15. What day did you say you were bringing this over, I want to make sure I have the wine chilled!!

  16. I haven’t done mac and cheese in a while… but this one looks so freakin good! Just need to invite some dinner guests over to help me eat it!

  17. I love mac and cheese and trying new variations. This looks awesome!

  18. Pingback: Italian-Style Mac and Cheese Recipe | Things To Do Yourself - DIY

  19. What a delicious twist on mac and cheese! I want this for dinner Sommer!

  20. dying for a serving of this right this very minute!

  21. Looks great! This sounds “molto perfetto” to me!

  22. This has to be made soon, I love it!

  23. Comfort food, mmmm. Love my Mac n cheese!!! Great flavors and whole wheat pasta is a bonus!

  24. LOVE Italian mac and cheese! Your version is a little different than ours, so I obviously need to try it right-away!

  25. My husband just asked me to make him homemade Mac & Cheese for him this week! This scrumptious recipe is perfect timing!!! I love that you used penne, too!

  26. I could eat mac and cheese every day, literally! Love this Italian twist, looks fantastic!

  27. Pure comfort, love the bread crumb topping!

  28. Seriously, mac & cheese is my guilty pleasure! I love it and usually eat it all by myself. I can’t wait to try this variation with all the Italian goodness! Pinning!

  29. Just the color itself is beautiful. I am not big on mac and cheese but this one I can’t wait to try. Thanks for the beautiful recipe.

  30. Love a simple baked pasta dinner!

  31. I am smitten with this flavor combo! Pass me a fork!

  32. So comforting and easy, esp for a weeknight meal!

  33. What a fun idea for macaroni and cheese! I love the combination of cheeses and fresh herbs, yummy!

  34. There can never be enough mac and cheese recipes. I love the italian twist on it.

  35. This looks absolutely delicious… i can’t wait to try it!!!

  36. this looks amazing! I am putting it on the roster for back to school meals!

  37. I am drooling everywhere just thinking about a big bowl of this served with a glass of wine and a green salad. SO YUM.

  38. Couuuuunt. Meeeee. Innnnn.

  39. Total comfort food…LOVE!

  40. I wish I could have this for lunch today, Sommer! Looks absolutely delicious!

  41. Wow, this mac and cheese looks bonkers delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Saved!

  42. This looks fantastic! Pinning to my mac and cheese board. ;) Love that you used whole wheat pasta.

  43. I agree, you can never have too many mac and cheese recipes. This is a fun one!

  44. Now this is the kind of mac ‘n cheese I could happily dig into! Great recipe, Sommer.

  45. I want this for lunch! And dinner!

  46. mmm i love mac and cheese!! this is the perfect weeknight dinner!

  47. I am so looking forward to making this recipe… I love your variations!

  48. Yep. I could probably eat that entire casserole. Yum!

  49. I could seriously live off of mac n cheese! So perfect.

  50. Sommer, looks so, so amazing!

  51. I agree, you can never have to many mac and cheese recipes! I am making a new one today, but this is next on my list since Italian is my favorite! Love this, Sommer!

  52. Mmmmmm…I’m loving this version with all the Italian goodies. And a panko crust always sends mac and cheese over the top. Yum!!

  53. This has GOT to be the most beautiful mac and cheese ever!! I agree — never too many mac and cheese recipes. Not possible.