Italian Mac & Cheese
Italian Mac and Cheese – This homemade melty and oozy baked mac and cheese recipe is loaded with Italian goodies. It’s così delizioso!!
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.
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.
Italian Mac and Cheese Ingredients
- Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Pasta (I used Penne)
- Garlic Cloves
- Cream Cheese
- Italian Cheeses (provolone, mozzarella, asiago…)
- Pitted Olives
- Fresh Basil
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Olive Oil
How to Make this Easy Baked Mac and Cheese
- 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.
- 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.
- Add in all the shredded cheese and whisk it all together until smooth.
- Add in the pasta, olives, sliced meat, and basil. Make sure to coat them all in the cheesy mixture.
- 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.
- Place in the oven.
- 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.
- 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.
- When you pull it out of the oven, sprinkle with the parsley you chopped and serve warm!
Get The Full (Printable) Recipe Below For How To Make Italian Mac and Cheese.
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!
MORE HOMEMADE BAKED MAC AND CHEESE RECIPES
- Crab and Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Potato Skins Mac and Cheese
- Sweet Corn and Bacon Mac and Cheese – Iowa Girl Eats
- Caprese Mac and Cheese – Classy Cooking
- Spinach Mac and Cheese – Recipe Girl
Share This Recipe With Friends!
Italian Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 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.
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