Discover the Secret to Luby’s Famous Macaroni and Cheese

This is the ultimate macaroni and cheese recipe that will delight your taste buds like never before. Inspired by the iconic Luby’s Cafeteria macaroni cheese, this recipe is a comfort food favorite among Texans and a must-try for all mac and cheese lovers.

As a barista, I know the importance of starting your day with a good cup of coffee. But as an avid foodie, I also know the importance of indulging in a delicious meal that will leave you satisfied and happy. This recipe is just that – it will fill you up with cheesy goodness and make your taste buds dance with joy.

What makes this recipe stand out is the combination of simple ingredients that come together to create a rich and creamy dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds. And the best part? It’s easy to make!

Whether you’re looking to recreate Luby’s Cafeteria style at home or just craving a hearty bowl of mac and cheese, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Luby's Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese
Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese

If you’re a fan of creamy, comforting macaroni and cheese, then you’ll absolutely fall in love with Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Oh, it’s rich, cheesy and fulfilling!

One reason why you’ll adore this recipe is that it features simple ingredients that come together to create a spectacular restaurant-style dish. With just elbow macaroni, American cheese, butter, flour, nonfat dry milk, and salt, you can whip up a plate of luby macaroni cheese that rivals those served in Texas cafeterias.

Another reason why this recipe is worth trying is its versatility. If you’re in the mood for baked macaroni, simply add some bread crumbs and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. You could also try adding jalapenos to the Luby’s Jalapeno Mac version or experiment with other substitutes listed in Section (5) Substitutions and Variations of this recipe article. The possibilities are endless!

But sometimes it’s not just about the flavor; it’s also about the history behind the recipe itself. For folks living far from Texas who grew up enjoying Luby’s classic cafeteria-style offerings, replicating their pillar dishes might be no less than a ‘memory in a bowl.’ That said, if you want to relive old good times among family members or new acquaintances who hold a special place in your heart – embrace Luby’s cuisine heritage with your version of its iconic mac & cheese.

Overall, if you’re looking for an easy yet crowd-pleasing pasta dish that screams Texan comfort food, go ahead and give this Luby Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese recipe a chance.

Ingredient List

Here’s what you’ll need to make Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese recipe:

  • 16 ounces dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups American cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 2 cups boiling water

Note that this recipe yields enough to serve about four people, so adjust accordingly if you’re serving more or less. All these ingredients can be found easily in your nearest grocery store. You can also substitute the American cheese with another type of cheese, however, this might alter the taste of the Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

The Recipe How-To

Now for the fun part: putting everything together into Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese! Make sure you have all the ingredients on hand so you won’t need to run to the grocery store halfway through.


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry milk
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups grated American cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente.
  3. While macaroni is cooking, start making the cheese sauce. In a large bowl, mix together dry milk, flour, and salt.
  4. Gradually add boiling water, beating constantly with a whisk or fork until the sauce is smooth.
  5. Add cheese and continue beating until cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  6. Drain macaroni and set aside.
  7. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for about two minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  9. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about three minutes.
  10. Add sauce to the macaroni and stir until well-coated.
  11. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

Now that your creamy, cheesy Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese is ready, serve it hot with your favorite sides or as a main dish on its own. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out Luby’s jalapeno mac recipe or try adding some different cheeses for a unique twist.


Substitutions and Variations

You can try different variations of Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese recipe to add your own twist to this traditional dish. Here are some substitutions and variations you can make:

1. Cheeses: While American cheese adds a classic flavor to the recipe, you can mix in different types of cheese like cheddar, Gouda, or even spicy pepper jack for a twist. You can also opt for a vegan or dairy-free cheese if you have dietary restrictions.

2. Pasta: While elbow macaroni is the traditional pasta used in this recipe, you can swap it with any pasta shape like penne, rigatoni or fusilli.

3. Jalapeños: You can add diced jalapenos to the recipe to give it a bit of heat and tangy flavor similar to Luby’s jalapeno mac.

4. Seasonings: Add different seasonings to give your mac and cheese recipe a unique flavor profile beyond salt and pepper. A sprinkle of paprika, garlic powder, or onion powder can do wonders!

5. Make it Texas Style: If you want to make it more like the Luby’s Cafeteria macaroni cheese recipe, add a bit of dry mustard and cayenne pepper to the milk-flour-butter mixture.

Whatever variation you choose, make sure you follow the base recipe for cooking times and measurements. Get creative with your substitutions and see what interesting combos you can come up with!

Serving and Pairing

When it comes to serving Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese, the possibilities are endless. This dish pairs well with nearly any main course you can think of: fried chicken, grilled steak, or roasted vegetables. It also makes a hit as the main attraction if you’re in the mood for a simple, comforting meal.

But don’t stop there – elevate your mac and cheese game even further with some creative toppings. Try adding a sprinkle of crispy bacon, a handful of fresh herbs like parsley or chives, or even a drizzle of hot sauce for extra kick. If you’re feeling adventurous, top it with diced jalapeños for that signature Texas heat.

To complete the Texas cafeteria experience at home, serve this mac and cheese alongside Luby’s jalapeño mac (another fan favorite). Wash it all down with a tall glass of sweet tea or a refreshing lemonade.

No matter how you choose to serve it, Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese is sure to become a staple in your recipe book. Its creamy texture and familiar taste will keep you coming back for seconds – and maybe even thirds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Once prepared, Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese can be easily stored and reheated for later enjoyment. Here are some tips to make sure your macaroni and cheese stays delicious:


You can prepare the macaroni and cheese up to two days in advance. Once finished, transfer the dish to an airtight container or cover tightly with aluminum foil then place it in the refrigerator.


Leftover macaroni and cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. Transfer to an airtight container before storing.


To reheat, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the macaroni and cheese in an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil – this will prevent the top from drying out. Bake until heated through, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes if your dish is at room temperature.

If you prefer to use a microwave, transfer small portions of macaroni and cheese to a microwave-safe bowl, then heat it for 30 seconds at a time until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Avoid reheating Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese on high heat or for too long as this can cause it to dry out or overcook. Once reheated, garnish with additional cheese or herbs and enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to making a delicious macaroni and cheese dish like Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, there are some tips you should keep in mind to ensure perfect results every time.

Firstly, make sure you cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions. Overcooked or undercooked pasta can ruin the whole dish, so keep an eye on the cooking time and test for doneness before draining.

Secondly, gradually adding the dry milk flour mixture to the butter mixture while constantly beating is crucial for a smooth and creamy consistency. If you add too much too quickly, you risk ending up with lumps in your sauce.

Thirdly, using American cheese in this recipe is important. Other cheeses may not melt as well or give you the same creamy texture that is a hallmark of Luby’s Cafeteria style macaroni and cheese.

Fourthly, use salt sparingly. American cheese naturally contains salt, so be careful not to overdo it when seasoning your sauce.

Finally, reheating this dish can be tricky as it can dry out easily. To reheat, add a splash of milk or cream to bring back its creaminess and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

By following these simple tips, you can achieve delicious and satisfying Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese every single time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is a must-try for all pasta lovers out there! With its simple yet flavorful ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can now recreate the beloved Luby’s-style mac and cheese within the comfort of your own kitchen. Not only is it delicious, but it is also an affordable and hearty dish that any family can enjoy.

So why not give this recipe a try and add it to your weekly meal plan? Serve it as a side dish or make it the main course with some added proteins such as bacon or grilled chicken. Plus, with its versatile substitution and variation options, you can truly make this recipe your own.

Remember to follow the tips and recommendations for perfect results and to store the leftovers properly for future enjoyment. Don’t be intimidated by the Texas cafeteria-style macaroni and cheese – with practice, you’ll master this recipe in no time.

Share your success stories with us on Twitter or explore Luby’s frozen dinners or restaurant menu for added inspiration. Trust me; your taste buds won’t regret trying this delicious baked macaroni and cheese recipe!

Luby’s Cafeteria Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This is a classic favorite of all of the Luby’s Cafeteria customers. From the Luby’s 50th Anniversary Recipe Collection Cookbook. The taste of this M&C might be a little bland, but you can always kick it up.

  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni (8 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups American cheese, shredded (12 oz.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  3. In a large bowl, mix dry milk, flour, and butter.
  4. Gradually add boiling water, beating constantly.
  5. Add 1 1/2 of the cheese and continue beating until smooth and creamy.
  6. Stir in macaroni, 1 cup of the remaining cheese, and salt.
  7. Transfer to lightly greased 2-qt baking dish.
  8. Cover with foil.
  9. Bake 25 minutes.
  10. Remove foil.
  11. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
  12. Continue baking 1 minute or until cheese melts.
Side Dish
< 60 Mins, Beginner Cook, Cheese, Easy, Inexpensive, Kosher, Lunch, Oven, Potluck, Southwestern

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