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Creamy Cavatappi Pasta Recipe

This creamy and cheesy Cavatappi Pasta is a grown-up version of mac and cheese. Also called corkscrew pasta, cavatappi is delicious on its own or served as a side at your next family dinner. I used a homemade cheese sauce to take this recipe over the top!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Cavatappi, Cavatappi Noodles, Cavatappi Pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 535kcal
Author Izzy


For the Pasta

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup milk any kind
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more for adding to the water and cook the pasta)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  • optional chopped parsley for serving


  • Preheat oven to 325 °F. Grease a square baking dish and set aside.

Cook the Pasta

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling, sprinkle some salt, and then add dried cavatappi pasta. Cook until al dente (About 1 minute less than the package directs).
  • Drain the pasta and drizzle with olive oil to keep it from sticking. Set aside to cool while preparing cheese sauce.

Make the Cheese Sauce

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Gradually pour in the milk and heavy cream, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for a few minutes until you see bubbles on the surface. Then continue cooking for 2 more minutes until the mixture is barely thickened.
  • Remove from heat and add 1 cup shredded cheese. Stir until melted.

Assemble and Bake

  • Add the cooked cavatappi noodles and toss to coat.
  • Pour half of the mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheddar cheese over the top.
  • Add the remaining mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  • Sprinkle the optional chopped parsley, and serve hot with your favorite veggie or salad.


  • Use the high-quality block cheese and shred it by yourself. Avoid pre-shredded cheese as it won't melt properly.
  • When making the roux, make sure the milk is cold before adding to the butter and flour mixture. This will prevent the flour from clumping.


Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1167IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 427mg | Iron: 1mg