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Level 7: Easy to Chew Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

This Level 7: Easy to Chew Classic Baked Mac & Cheese is sure to be a crowd pleaser! This mac is certain to please everyone at the party!

classic baked mac & cheese

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A childhood favorite, reborn

My mom has been making this mac & cheese recipe since I was a kid. I always used to beg her to make it, but for some reason we didn’t have it often. As I got older, I started making it for myself. I played around with the recipe quite a bit. I’ve changed a couple of things along the way, and I’ve also made some additions! My favorite addition is the ground mustard. I love the subtle flavor change that it gives. If you like the flavor, you can definitely add more! 

You could make some substitutions yourself. If you don’t have plain greek yogurt, you could use cottage cheese. If you have medium cheddar cheese and not sharp, that would work. You could even add some muenster, pepper jack, or really any kind of cheese that you have in your fridge! Dijon mustard could be substituted for the ground mustard instead. This recipe can be flexible – make it yours! 


Learning to make a cheese sauce from scratch can seem daunting, especially if you’re accustomed to eating mac & cheese from the box. Just be patient with yourself! If you add the milk to the roux and it ends up being too thick, just add some extra. At the end, you want something that has the consistency of a nacho cheese sauce. You should be able to pour it easily into the pan to cover the noodles.


This recipe fits under the IDDSI Level 7: Easy to Chew. The cheese sauce baked into the noodles makes a soft finished product. 

Level 7: Easy to Chew

Level 7: Easy to Chew is appropriate for individuals who can manage chewing and processing foods of any size without tiring across the meal. Because this level allows pieces of any size, individuals who are at a higher choking risk are typically not appropriate for this level. At Level 7, most everyday foods are allowed, but must be soft and tender. This includes mixed consistency foods, such as cereal and milk or soup with chunks or noodles, but cannot include hard, tough, chewy, fibrous, or crumbly bits.

Foods at this level must still be mashable under pressure. Although bite size is not predetermined, choose a sample size that is 15mm square for adults or 8mm square for children when testing the sample. The pressure from a fork or spoon must be able to mash the pieces easily; this is called the Fork Pressure or Spoon Pressure Test. In these tests, the utensil must be able to easily cut through or break apart the food using only the side of the utensil. When mashing the sample to test, only use as much pressure as causes your thumbnail or fingernail to blanche white. After mashing, the food must not return to its original shape. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Fork Pressure and Spoon Pressure Test before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.

Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.

A great party dish

One last thing, this recipe is definitely best eaten on the day you cook it. It loses quality when reheated. Share this with others, it would be an absolute hit at any gathering! Maybe just take it to a socially distant gathering. 

Let us know what you think! This is one of my favorite recipes, and I’m so happy to finally share it with the world!

We want to hear from you!

If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, please comment below!

If you loved this recipe, check out our other Level 7: Easy to Chew recipes, or learn more about us!

classic baked mac & cheese
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Level 7: Easy to Chew Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

This Level 7: Easy to Chew Classic Baked Mac & Cheese is sure to be a crowd pleaser! This mac is certain to please everyone at the party!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy to chew
Servings: 8


  • 16 ounce package fusili noodles
  • 4 tablespoon salted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 6 ounce velveeta cheese
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain. Place in a greased 9x13 pan.
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the flour, and salt until smooth. Cook until color has slightly darkened, ~3 minutes.
  • Gradually add in milk and whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Add in ground mustard.
  • Stir in velveeta and sharp cheddar cheese until melted. Remove from heat.
  • Mix in cottage cheese and sour cream. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly.
  • Pour over the pasta. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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