Hearty Garlic and Herb Alfredo Bake

A few weeks ago my house turned into a video set and today you get to see why!  Click play below to take a little sneak peek into my life, my home, and my kitchen. (And watch for the part where my 2nd grader gets clothes-lined in the back yard.  #favoritescene.)

Kate and I have talked before about some of the funny misconceptions that exist when you’re a food writer and blogger.  One of the most common, is that we must cook everything from scratch and spend hours in the kitchen for all of our super fancy organic meals.  If you’ve read this post from this past Mother’s Day, you know how far off the mark that is!  While Kate and I have been working together over the past 5 years, we’ve actually never lived in the same state.  We had never even been to each other’s homes until very recently.  Kate made the long drive up to visit me in Idaho and when she rolled in with tired, hungry kiddos, guess what we made?  Here’s the Instagram picture for proof:


That’s right,  classic Mac & Cheese with a side of cheese puffs.  On plastic plates.  It was fast, easy, and the only thing that every single one of our kids happily agreed on.  I mean what I said in that video- I really rely on pantry staples to create quick weeknight meals and many of my family’s most favorite meals fall into that “semi-homemade” category.

Of all the great new varieties of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, this Creamy Garlic & Herb Alfredo is my favorite.  Just like the name suggests, it boasts a smooth and creamy sauce, dotted with Italian herbs and seasonings.  It makes a terrific quick meal on its own, and works wonders as a base for endless add-ins.  I’m going to show you how I cooked the recipe in that video!  If you’d like to make this recipe all from scratch, just boil your own noodles and try our Guiltless Alfredo recipe.

Garlic and Herb Mac and Cheese

I’m using a few things I almost always have on hand for this dish: some jarred sun-dried tomatoes (roasted red peppers would work well, too) marinated artichoke hearts for a punch of flavor, some cooked and shredded chicken breast (great use for leftovers!) and a little fresh spinach.

Pasta ingredients
All of those ingredients are pretty much ready to go, so really all you need to do is toss them in the pot of the prepared pasta.

Pasta Mix-ins

The creamy sauce coats everything in cheesy goodness.  You could place the whole batch in a baking dish if you prefer, but I like to plate up single-portions.  Besides looking adorable, it’s a great way to keep an eye on portion control.

Pasta in serving dishes

For an extra punch of both flavor and texture, I made a quick breadcrumb mixture for the topping.  This is a great way to use up that one last slice of bread that no one wants to eat; it’s even okay if it’s a little dried out!  Give it a quick pulse in a food processor along with some grated Parmesan cheese and a little drizzle of butter.


Top each baking dish,

Pasta pre-baked

and broil it in the oven until it’s golden brown and lightly toasted.

Hearty Italian Mac and Cheese Bake from Our Best Bites

You get a seriously flavor-packed bite.  The artichokes sort of blend in with the color of the pasta and then surprise you with tangy flavor.  The tomatoes add a little texture, and more of those Italian herbs, and the fresh spinach adds pops of color.  Shredded chicken creates a hearty meal that fills up happy tummies.

Spoonful of Creamy Garlic Herb Pasta Bake from Our Best Bites

I’m not exaggerating when I say this meal takes less than 20 minutes start-to-finish.  Pair it with a loaf of crusty bread from the grocery store bakery and a quick green salad and you seriously have a filling, home-cooked cooked meal that’s casual enough for a weeknight dinner, and sophisticated enough for company!

Garlic and Herb Alfredo Bake by Our Best Bites



Brought to you by Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Think I could make this with zucchini noodles and guiltless albedo sauce or would the zucchini turn into mush?

    1. You could do kind of a variation with all of the same flavors and ingredients. I would just avoid baking the whole thing. Just toss it all together at once and eat right away- it would be yummy!

  2. This was REALLY good!!! Couldn’t find the garlic and herb Alfredo variety kraft dinner though, I don’t know if it’s maybe not available in Canada?? Anyways I bought the cheesy Italian hamburger helper instead and found some garlic Alfredo sauce at Superstore. I mixed in just enough of the Alfredo sauce after cooking up the hamburger helper to make it nice and saucy and then followed the recipe from there. AMAZING!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

    1. I probably wouldn’t freeze this one, I think it would dry out since the sauce is fairly light.

  3. Made this for dinner tonight and it was a HUGE hit! Thanks for the quick dinner recipe! Also, your grey sweater in your family photo is adorable. Where did you find it? Thanks!

  4. I made this tonight with your “guiltless alfredo sauce” and some Trader Joe’s gluten free pasta. It turned out absolutely amazing. The whole family loved it. Thanks for a great, simple dinner recipe.

  5. I’m so happy that there are new versions of Mac and cheese. The orange kind my kids love, but now we can all love it equally. And thanks for showing us your kitchen that I am going to bring a sleeping bag and live in!

  6. So I am kind of obsessed with this flavor of mac and cheese. Bought some the other day and ate it by myself while my kid was napping shhh don’t tell. Such a comfort food! I definitely want to try this so I can actually feed some of this to my family… if I don’t eat it secretly already. lol!

  7. Cute video! Your house is beautiful and so are you! I enjoyed seeing a bit of your life. I can tell you’re a genuine and kind person. All the best to you!

  8. Made this tonight and my family loved it. I love all your recipes, but the ones that are this fast and easy are just so helpful to me as a busy medical student. Thank you for all your hard work!

  9. Great job on the video! You’re a natural. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Sounds like a simple one my family would like.

  10. This looks delish. I love sundried tomatoes in pasta, so this is right up my alley. I’m a fairly recent mom of 2, I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old, and I’m still getting back into the groove of trying to make my family a nice homemade dinner every night. I appreciate great, helpful semi-homemade meal ideas like this. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for keeping it real, Kate and Sara!

  11. I have to confess I can’t stand box mac n cheese but I might try this! And thanks for the bread crumbs tip, I always wondered how you could get your own bread crumbs! (embarrassing!!)

  12. Thank you for the reminder that every meal isn’t an OBB from scratch master piece :). I really needed that reminder today. I LOVE your blog and cookbooks and I want to make your stuff every day! But, I’m finding that just isn’t a realistic expectation for my life right now. So thank you for saying that :). Maybe it is okay to have mac ‘n cheese from a box or PB & J for dinner sometimes :).

  13. LOVE the video!!!! It’s nice to see the real faces behibd the blogs, and this was beautifully done. And the recipe looks yummy!

  14. I agree with Ellie (post #8). Totally a cheater recipe for the penne bake. Love that! With how busy I’ve been for the last few months, I feel like “cheater recipes” are what I do 80% of the time. Definitely adding this one to the rotation. And GREAT job on the video! You were a natural!

  15. Thanks for another great recipe! I, for one love these kinds of recipes to have in my binder for busy nights, which we have all the time! I would love it if I had nothing else to do but cook every single meal from scratch, but we are busy and this is real life :). You won’t hear any complaints here, because if having ads on the blog allows you guys to keep doing what you do, then bring them on! 🙂
    Thanks again ladies! You are awesome 🙂