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Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Easy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe here that your family and kids will go crazy over. From scratch but simple enough for the busiest moms to make too. 

Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This easy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe may become your go to meal! Creamy white or cheddar cheese mixed with tender elbow macaroni makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Try it yourself! (affiliate links present)

  • As you know we have shared our love for Instant Pot macaroni and cheese over and over again.
  • I’m not taking anything away from that, but if you need a stovetop option, this is the way to go.

When it comes to from scratch cooking, I am still all about simple. If you can’t find it in your local grocery store I won’t share it, and probably won’t make it myself either. I only post dinner recipes that turn out successfully and my kids love it too.

easy macaroni and cheese recipe

Here are the macaroni and cheese ingredients you’re going to need:

  1. Elbow macaroni
  2. Milk
    1. whole is best, I wouldn’t use fat free
  3. Salted butter
  4. Cheddar cheese
    1. or a mix of white and American shredded cheese, your choice
  5. Flour, salt and pepper

Now beyond those 5 ingredients are any seasonings you would want in this dish. We used salt, white pepper and onion powder. Garlic salt would be a good add in too.

Let me show you a few step by step photos so you can see how this homemade mac and cheese was made.

how to make roux

Let’s get going with the first step. Of course you’re going to need a pot. A pan won’t work because of the amount of liquid we’re going to use. It will overflow unless you have a hefty lip on the sides like you see here.

  • I would suggest boiling your noodles when you start the homemade cheese sauce so they’re ready all at the same time.
  • Just cook as you normally would but remove and drain when they are still a bit al dente.
    • Remember they will continue to cook inside the creamy sauce so you don’t want them to go too long and get mushy.

In this second pot melt your butter, then add the flour and whisk together so it becomes a thickening roux.

What is roux used for?

The primary reason is to thicken your sauces. This mixture of equal parts of fat and flour (pronounced “roo”) is typically made for thickening sauces and soups. Traditionally it’s made with butter, but you can use other types of fats such as lard, bacon fat, or vegetable oil too.

homemade cheese sauce

Then add 1 cup of milk at a time, whisking all the while so it continues to be smooth and creamy. Once that is combined well add any herbs and seasonings you want and continue to stir so it doesn’t burn.

Stir in your cheese(s) so they melt, then you’ll want to remove it from the heat and get ready for the final step.

  • This is when your al dente pasta comes into play. It should already be tender, drained and ready for it’s cheesiness.

Just pour your cooked macaroni into your cheese sauce and gently stir. For best results I would allow it to sit, all mixed together, for 5 minutes so noodles can soak up some of the sauce, get more tender, and allow the sauce to continue to thicken a bit more.

Macaroni and Cheese recipe

What can I add to mac and cheese to make it better?

  1. Pre cooked crumbled bacon
  2. Bread crumbs are fun to sprinkle on the top of each serving
  3. Grated Romano cheese can be added to the top of each bowl too
  4. Want a bit of heat? A few dashes of hot sauce will do the trick
  5. Ketchup is something kids tend to like on anything
  6. Stir in some chopped hot dogs or leftover ham bits

If you want to make more of a baked mac and cheese recipe just pour your prepared dish into a baking dish and layer on another layer of cheese.

  • Bake in your oven at 375 degrees until the top is golden brown, bubbly and amazingly gooey.
  • This is a great recipe when serving kids, or guests from out of town and it’s chilly outside.
mac and cheese

Pure comfort food if you ask me and still an easy mac and cheese dish that takes under an hour to make, even if you are continuing on to this additional step.

What is the best cheese to use in macaroni and cheese? You would probably get different answers depending on whom you asked but these are known to be the most popular:

  • Classic sharp cheddar is always a crowd pleaser and probably the most common
  • Gruyere is delicious and gives you that ultimate cheese pull you see in the magazines
  • If you’ve never tried grated smoked gouda, it’s probably one of my favorites
  • A mixture of white cheddar and Monterey Jack was used this time
  • Parmesan can be added in with another but doesn’t melt well

What two cheeses go well together? If you want to combine a few to give your pasta an untraditional flavor try; sharp cheddar, and a hard version like parmesan or gruyere. Or maybe a cheddar, soft brie, and a cup of gouda.

basic macaroni and cheese recipe

We hope that answers your question of how do you make mac n cheese from scratch and you try it this week. It’s super easy and I guarantee you’ll get thumbs up from everyone at the table.

Need other methods to see which is your favorite?? Try our Ninja Foodi macaroni and cheese recipe, or this crockpot pasta version.

Side dishes you might enjoy with this dish are:

How do you make leftover mac and cheese better?

Whether you make it this way, in your pressure cooker or air fryer mac and cheese these rules below stay the same.

air fryer macaroni and cheese
  1. Use a microwave safe bowl filled with your leftover cheesy noodles
  2. Add 1-2 tbsp of milk, enough so when you stir it together the pasta becomes damp again and cheese starts to get liquidy again
  3. Cover with a paper towel
  4. Heat it up in 30 second increments stirring in between times until it’s as warm as you’d like
    1. Key is to not overheat it or it will dry out once again
    2. Could add more shredded cheese to top for last 30 seconds for more gooeyness
  5. You could also make leftover macaroni balls if you wanted.

Below is a printable version of this recipe including nutritional information such as calories, saturated fat etc… BUT just enjoy it y’all.

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the typical mom

Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Easy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe here that your family and kids will go crazy over. From scratch but simple enough for the busiest moms to make too.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade, macaroni and cheese, stovetop
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 525kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles as normal until al dente. Can add salt
  • In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. When melted add flour and whisk to combine and form a roux.
  • Add the milk slowly one cup at a time, whisking each addition into the butter and flour until well combined.
  • To the sauce, add the onion powder, white pepper, and salt.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until thickened, stirring often to prevent the sauce from sticking and burning.
  • Add the cheeses and whisk into the sauce until completely melted. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat.
  • Add the cooked macaroni noodles and stir well. Serve the macaroni and cheese immediately.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 525 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 632mg27%
Potassium 287mg8%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 821IU16%
Calcium 348mg35%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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