Leftover Mac & Cheese Recipe Your Family Will Eat Up

This leftover mac & cheese recipe is super simple and a great way to use up the expensive cheese you buy for entertaining your guests.

We always serve a few nice cheese wedges and crackers when we entertain. Often we set out an antipasto tray for everyone to enjoy with a drink before dinner. There are always a few pieces left before dinner, so I wrap them up and put them in the fridge for another day.

Then my sister once shared the idea of making pasta with the bits and and pieces that are leftover, and I just had to try it.

Leftover Mac & Cheese Recipe

A quick way to use up cheese by making this leftover mac & cheese recipe.

Not that we have trouble finishing cheese in my house since everyone loves it.

However, if we don’t, it seems like such a shame to waste them, especially because they are usually pricey premium varieties.

Simple ingredients to make leftover mac & cheese.

For this particular batch we had leftover manchego, habanero cheddar and jarlsberg cheese. The habanero cheddar was the perfect amount of heat, and added a great flavor to the dish.

You may not like spicy food. That’s why this is a great idea. Since you will probably be serving cheeses that you like, using them in this recipe should automatically work well with your taste.

Cheese sauce for leftover mac & cheese recipe

All you have to do is make a roux with equal parts of butter and flour. Add in milk and the cheeses to create the sauce.

Leftover mac & cheese stirred in saucepan.

Finish by adding cooked pasta. I used traditional elbow macaroni, but any pasta will work. Though I did not do it this time, I thought it might be nice to add some bread crumbs or additional shredded cheese on top, and popping it in the oven for a few minutes until it turns golden brown for added taste and presentation.

Everyone loved it, though we thought it might be better with more sauce.

Next time I’ll cut back on the amount of pasta, or make sure I have enough leftover cheese to make plenty of sauce.

Here’s the recipe:


Leftover Mac & Cheese Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 -12


  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheeses
  • 1 box elbow macaroni cooked and drained well. Use only 1/2 for a saucier version. 1 lb
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Make a roux with the butter and flour, stirring constantly to make sure it does not burn.
  2. Add milk and stir.
  3. Add cheeses, salt & pepper, and stir well.
  4. Once the cheese has melted add in the cooked pasta.
  5. Stir well and transfer to a baking dish.
  6. Serve or keep warm in the oven
  7. Add a few bread crumbs or additional grated cheese on top and bake in the oven until browned.


About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. This sounds so good – it’s cold here the next few days and what a perfect comfort food. Little Secret, I LOVE mac and cheese, especially homemade that doesn’t have that crunchy topping. So you nailed this one!! YUMMO!!! Winter is all about that comfort food..

  2. What a great idea. I’ll have to try this!

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