Being a college student, I have eaten my fair share of mac and cheese. I have tried every boxed brand that my local grocery store stocks (seriously) and nothing comes close to the delicious cheesy goodness of homemade mac and cheese. As an avid cheese lover, I took it upon myself to taste a wide variety of cheeses and then pair those cheeses with some noodles to bring you this list of the 15 best cheeses for mac and cheese.

It is my personal experience that the more types of cheese you add, the better. Whether opting for a more classic take on the dish, or adding a creative twist, you can truly do no wrong when mixing noodles and cheese. Without further ado, I give you the best cheeses for mac and cheese. 

1. Parmesan

dairy product, cheese, milk, parmesan
Amy Le

Parmesan was the OG cheese of mac and cheese. The first ever recipe of mac and cheese or "de lasanis" was made from fermented dough and Parmesan cheese. 

2. Sharp Cheddar

gouda cheese, cheddar, milk, dairy product, dairy, cheese
Caroline Ingalls

Take a scroll through your Pinterest feed, and you'll discover that plain ol' sharp cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses for mac and cheese. It's practically a staple of American childhood. Cheddar melts easily, so it's perfect for that mouthwatering cheese pull. 

3. White Cheddar

Alia Nahra

Use white cheddar instead of sharp cheddar, use white cheddar with sharp cheddar, or use white cheddar with Gruyère. White cheddar goes great in every mac and cheese recipe. 

4. Smoked Gouda

gouda, gouda cheese, edam cheese, dairy, cheddar, dairy product, milk, cheese
Jason Cruz

What more can I say? Smoked gouda is good on noodles, it pairs well with apples, and makes your cheese board extra bougie. The "cold smoked" process gives it a subtle smokey flavor that doesn't compromise the fudge-y texture. Smoked gouda makes mac and cheese an adult meal. 

5. Fontina

Mac And Cheese, Macaroni and cheese, macaroni, cereal, corn, popcorn, cheese
Julia Gilman

The semi soft, creamy texture makes for a decadent mac and cheese. The buttery flavor complements other cheeses for a flavor explosion. 

6. Gruyère  

Gruyère cheese has the most amazing nutty flavor. It also has a smooth melt that is absolutely delicious when mixed with tomatoes.

7. Gorgonzola

cheddar, dairy, dairy product, milk, cheese
Amanda Shulman

I get that blue cheese has that stinky cheese stereotype, but hear me out. Blue cheese makes an excellent addition to every other cheese on this list. It adds the perfect amount of zing to  traditional mac and cheese. 

8. Parmigiano Reggiano

Instead of topping your mac and cheese with breadcrumbs, go for the Parmigiano Reggiano. Parmigiano Reggiano is better than your average Parmesan, because it's held to stricter guidelines. It must be made in a specific region of Italy which contributes to its unique flavor.  It's the cheesy crust you never knew you needed. 

9. Mozzarella 

Mozzarella is a no brainer! Whether you want to make your own or go with a store variety, this is a cheese you can just toss in because it goes with everything.

10. Chevré

Chevré is just a fancy way of saying goat cheese. It will soften, but not totally melt, so it definitely has to be paired with other cheeses if you're going for full on mac and cheese. If you're happy with pasta and cheese, mix in some kale and chicken sausage for a quick and delicious dinner

11. Pepper Jack

dairy, dairy product, milk, cheese
Caroline Ingalls

Kick up your flavor just a notch. Pepper Jack isn't overwhelmingly spicy, so it just adds enough kick to change up the traditional flavors. 

12. Racelette 

The Instagram star of 2017, racelette is beautiful in preparation and presentation. It bubbles and slides right off the wheel in a way that I can only describe as food porn. This will add the most mouthwatering texture to your mac, plus it's super fun to bake with.

13. Feta 

cottage cheese, sweet, dairy product, flour, cereal, milk, rice
Caroline Ingalls

Not a traditional candidate for mac and cheese, feta is the true underdog here. The tangy taste is fun addition to other staple cheeses. Just be careful not to add too much salt to your mac and cheese since feta is quite salty on its own.

14. Brie

dairy, dairy product, mashed potatoes, sauce, pasta, milk, cheese, tortellini, cream
Jayna Goldstein

The super creamy texture of Brie adds a great richness and creaminess to the dish. This easy mac and cheese recipe can be made in 10 minutes AND it's fancy enough to include four cheeses (including Brie, of course).

15. No Cheese at All

macaroni, cheese, sauce, pasta
Missy Miller

Cheese is something I truly cannot imagine my life without. So hear me out when I say that this vegan mac and cheese recipe will have you questioning if it's the real deal. 

If you're not hungry after reading this, you're not human. Go grab yourself a box of pasta, get bougie in the cheese aisle, and get creative in your kitchen!