Al dente pasta is cooked but slightly firm.Dagmara Ponikiewska/Shutterstock
Your mac and cheese shouldn’t be mushy, so make sure to leave room for the pasta to cook more.
Boil the pasta until it’s al dente, the point where it’s cooked but retains a slightly firm interior. Since the best mac and cheese is baked, the noodles will continue to soften in the oven and absorb the cheese sauce.
Look for cheeses that have a little extra flavor and melt exceptionally well, like a semi-firm block of mozzarella or cheddar. Avoid options with a high water content, like buffalo mozzarella or burrata, since they can make the sauce runny and clumpy.