Ranch macaroni and cheese is a dish you’ll love. It’s made with two different cheeses, making this recipe ultra-creamy and ultra-cheesy. Then, to top it off, you add ranch seasoning, which takes the flavor to a new level. This family recipe always receives excellent reviews!

Ranch Macaroni and Cheese - The Southern Lady Cooks


This easy side dish comes together so quickly. It’s the perfect side dish for any weeknight meal, potluck, or holiday. It’s creamy, full of cheese and cream, and requires minimal preparation. If you love macaroni and cheese, then you might want to try our buttermilk macaroni and cheese, cheesy macaroni and cheese, and our stove-top macaroni and cheese


Elbow macaroni (uncooked)-being that this is a macaroni recipe, we use elbow macaroni. Of course, you can use pasta shells or rotini.

Ricotta Cheese-this cheese makes it creamy and adds a fantastic texture to this dish. I recommend “whole milk” ricotta, not low-fat. 

Sour Cream-This also adds to the creaminess. You can use low-fat, but I recommend using full-fat for the best flavor. 


Shredded cheddar cheese-I use sharp cheddar

Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning-1 packet

Smoked Paprika and Pepper-this adds a hint of smokiness flavor


You could use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Not a fan of cheddar? You can use a different flavor of cheese; just make sure that it is a high-melting cheese. Gouda, Colby and mozzarella melt well.


  • two-quart casserole dish
  • large mixing bowl
  • box grater
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons


See the printable recipe card below for the full ingredient list and instructions.

Making this ranch macaroni and cheese is so simple! You’ll have it in the oven in just four easy steps!

  1. Prepare the elbow macaroni pasta according to the directions on the box for al dente pasta and drain.
  2. Next, mix your ricotta, sour cream, beaten egg, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in macaroni, ranch packet, and shredded cheese.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased 2-quart casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika, and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. 


Shred your own cheese. Prepackaged shredded cheese doesn’t melt the same as when you grate your own. It contains an anti-caking agent that causes the cheese not to melt properly. If you use it, your macaroni and cheese will come out grainy and not creamy.  I use a box grater to grate my cheese.

I recommend setting your cheeses and sour cream out of the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes before you start cooking. They will melt better if they aren’t super cold.


This recipe is very versatile! Feel free to add in what your family enjoys.

Ranch Macaroni and Cheese - The Southern Lady Cooks


This dish would go great with our Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Hamburger Steak and Gravy or Cornmeal Baked Chicken.


Do I measure the pasta cooked or uncooked?

You measure it out uncooked. This recipe starts with 2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni.

If I grate my own cheese, how much do I buy to get 3 cups of shredded cheddar?

Use as close to a 12-ounce block of cheese and just shred it. Different brands of cheeses come in different sizes. It doesn’t have to be exact.

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Store any leftovers in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. They will keep for 3-4 days. You can reheat it by placing it in the microwave covered with plastic wrap. You could also put it in an oven-safe pan, cover and reheat it at 350 for 15 minutes or until heated through. 


This is enough macaroni and cheese for 6-8 servings. This recipe could easily be doubled and placed in two casserole dishes. 

Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Judy Yeager
This ranch macaroni and cheese is one your family will love! Creamy and delicious!
4.60 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, southern
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups of ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¾ teaspoon of pepper
  • 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet 1 ounce of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cook macaroni according to the directions on the box for al dente pasta. Drain.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the ricotta, sour cream, beaten egg and pepper.
  • Next, stir in your cooked macaroni, ranch packed, and shredded cheese.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle smoked paprika on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Keyword Ranch Macaroni and Cheese
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