Creamy and easy cheese and rigatoni has earned a spot on our dinner rotation. As the mom of kids, I am constantly in search of a creamy and easy macaroni and cheese recipe that is better than boxed. No box-shaming here, but sometimes eating the same old boxed mac and cheese gets old. And, don’t get me started on the nutrition.
Several years ago, T had a dream of building a restaurant in the front yard of the house. He wanted to call it the Amazing Diner and only serve foods that people loved. He even kept a notebook, with ideas for menus and who would be doing which job in his diner. The diner has since fallen by the wayside, but occasionally T will come up with a delicious recipe that would be perfect for his menu… and this is it!
What is in this amazing recipe?
This recipe is so simple, because I am not all about the crazy cooking in the hot summer. Most of these items I had on hand, which made it a quick go-to after a long day outside.
- Rigatoni (normally, I am a generic pasta person… but, in this case, go for the name brand stuff)
- Cream cheese
- Milk (low-fat, if you like)
- Shredded cheddar cheese (because, why not?)
- Salt and pepper
- and Velveeta cheese
How to Make Creamy Cheese and Rigatoni
First, boil your water as per the rigatoni package instructions. We like our pasta al dente, but you do you. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and leave in the strainer. Into the hot pot, you are going to make a sauce of the cream cheese, Velveeta cheese and shredded cheese until it is completely melted. Add back the pasta stir to coat it in the cheese goodness, adding milk if needed to thin the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and call the family to the table!
- Pasta shapes. Any type of pasta shape will work! Even spaghetti! You might have to adjust the milk to create a thinner or thicker sauce, but it is all good!
- Mix-ins. The sky is the limit here! Think of the possibilities… bacon and tomatoes, ground beef and onions, sausage and peppers… Yum!
- Change up the cheese. Not a fan of cheddar? Want a little kick or extra oomph to your cheese and rigatoni? That’s ok! Replace the cheddar with mozzarella, pepper jack, gouda, or whatever you want.
More Favorite Pasta Recipes
If you love this Cheese and Rigatoni, try one of these other pasta recipes:
- Creamy Pepperoni Pasta
- Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Sauce
- Gnocchi with Bacon Cream Sauce
- Smoked Sausage Penne Alfredo with Cherry Peppers
- Weeknight Beef and Noodles
Easy and Creamy Rigatoni and Cheese
- 1 box rigatoni
- 1 block cream cheese, light softened
- 1 cup milk, 1% divided
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese, low-fat shredded
- 16 oz Velveeta cheese block, light reduced fat cubed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil pasta according to package and preferences
- Drain pasta. Turn burner down to medium-low.
- In empty pasta pot on burner, combine cream cheese, shredded cheese and Velveeta. Stir continuously until melted.
- Return pasta to pot; stir to combine sauce and pasta, until evenly coated.
- Add milk, if needed, to thin sauce to desired consistency.
- Add any mix ins, if using; stir to incorporate.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve.