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Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (Super Easy Recipe!)

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You are going to absolutely love this Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe. It is so easy to make and tastes infinitely better than anything you can buy in a box at the store. All you need are a few simple ingredients and just 20 minutes to make the most delicious, comforting mac and cheese ever. Learn how to make macaroni and cheese from scratch with this simple recipe that is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!

Overhead view of two bowls of Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese on a wooden background.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Mac n’ Cheese Recipe

Mac n’ cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It is picky eater-approved and is packed with amazing cheesy flavor. After trying this super-easy, super-creamy macaroni and cheese recipe, you will never go back to the boxed stuff again.

How to Make Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is actually super simple to make from scratch at home. To begin, cook your dry pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions. That step usually takes 8 to 10 minutes. Next, make your cheese sauce! Cheese sauce, also known as Mornay sauce, is the key to creamy mac n’ cheese.

To make the sauce, begin by whisking together equal amounts of butter and flour over medium heat to make a roux. That will help thicken the sauce. Whisk until it forms a paste that is golden brown in color and has a slightly toasted aroma. Next, whisk in the milk to form a white sauce (called béchamel) until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Stir in the grated cheddar cheese until the sauce is smooth and velvety. Tip: You can save a ton of money by grating a brick of cheese yourself, rather than buying pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese also contains additives that prevent the cheese from sticking together in the bag. So if you grate the cheese yourself, it will melt better too!

Finally, stir in your cooked pasta until it is completely coated in the cheese sauce. Your homemade macaroni and cheese is now ready to be served! Be sure to enjoy while it is nice and warm. 🙂

Close-up overhead view of a bowl of Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese on a wooden background.

Can Pasta Make You Gain Weight?

From a nutritional standpoint, no single food alone has the ability to make you gain weight. However, pasta dishes do have a high calorie content, as they contain an average of nearly 250 calories for per cup.

Therefore, if you frequently eat pasta, you will have to be more mindful of your serving sizes. You should also pay closer attention to the sauces and seasonings that come with them. For a recipe like this mac and cheese, portion control is key!

You shouldn’t have more than two servings per meal (half a cup of cooked pasta is equivalent to one serving of grains). You should also opt for whole grain pasta when you can and serve it with a side of steamed vegetables or salad, to increase your fiber intake and to feel more satiated. 

More Easy Pasta Recipes

Craving more easy-to-make, comforting pasta dishes? Here are some of my favorite pasta recipes:

If you make this Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡

Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (Super Easy Recipe!)

Overhead view of two bowls of Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese on a wooden background.
This Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe is so quick and easy to make on the stovetop. It is the best mac and cheese recipe ever!
Alia Kay
4.80 from 20 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 471 calories

Ingredients

  • 2 cups macaroni (elbow) pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded old cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan or pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Once butter has melted, whisk in the flour. Cook the mixture for about 2 minutes, whisking continuously, until it turns golden brown.
  • Gradually whisk the milk into the flour mixture. Cook while whisking for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cheese until combined and smooth.
  • Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (Super Easy Recipe!)
Amount per Serving
Calories
471
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
0.5
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
48
mg
16
%
Sodium
 
485
mg
21
%
Potassium
 
353
mg
10
%
Carbohydrates
 
52
g
17
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
25
g
50
%
Vitamin A
 
698
IU
14
%
Calcium
 
399
mg
40
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

  1. To make this recipe healthier and higher in fiber, use whole wheat or whole grain pasta.
  2. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
Keyword Best Mac and Cheese, Creamy Mac and Cheese, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

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22 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just doing the math over here, trying to figure out how to multiply this recipe enough times to make a couple TONS of this stuff. Pure gold. Literally.

  2. 5 stars
    Whoa, this sounds so easy! I barter mac and cheese for hand model services in my house, so I have a feeling this recipe would come in handy. (;

  3. 4 stars
    Is it supposed to be so thick? I have twice as much cheese sauce as pasta. I actually boiled an additional cup of noodles and it’s still way too much…

    1. Hi Maryanne, the sauce is supposed to be thick and creamy. It’s not the same consistency as mac n’ cheese from the box, it’s more restaurant-style. You’re welcome to adjust the ingredients to your liking though. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This macaroni and cheese recipe was excellent! My hubby turned up his nose when I said I was making Mac and Cheese – until he tried it. Nobody in my family will eat the box stuff now. They all loved your recipe, it was quick, easy, and delicious.

  5. 4 stars
    I actually like the baked style, crunchy on top. Do you recommend that I place it in the oven for about a half hour at 350?

    1. You betcha! Here is what I recommend doing for best results: Prepare the mac and cheese as indicated in the recipe, then pour it into a baking dish. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup panko crumbs, 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mac and cheese and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe! My fiancé has asked me so many times to make it. 😊 On another note, I have a Thanksgiving pot luck at work and I’m making this mac and cheese recipe, but I have to do it the night before (I’m putting in the fridge in a tin foil baking dish). So my question to you is, for reheating it, should I add milk to it stays creamy/moist? Or just leave it as is? I was also going to add the bread crumbs and butter that you recommended to a person in your comments!

    Let me know!

    TIA

    1. Hi Marcella, I’m so glad you enjoyed my mac and cheese recipe! Okay so if you’re going to be reheating it, just leave it as it is. You don’t need to add milk or anything else to it, it will still be creamy and moist, so don’t worry. Yeah definitely try using the breadcrumb topping that I recommended to Pamela above! And you’re very welcome, let me know what people think of it at your pot luck! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious! We ate half stovetop and baked the other half with the mixture recommended (but no breadcrumbs so crushed up Caesar-style croutons instead). This is now my go-to mac and cheese recipe.

    1. Hi Margaret, thanks for reaching out about this! I’ve actually never had that issue with my mac and cheese recipe before. Did you follow the recipe exactly? The only thing I can think of is that the milk mixture might not have been hot enough when you added the cheese. If the milk mixture is hot and bubbling, the shredded cheese should melt into it pretty quickly when you add it. I hope that helps! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Alia, I’m giving 5 stars…it sounds great! I’m gonna make it Easter Sunday.
    1. Q. When you say cups of pasta, is it dry or cooked cups?
    2. Q. How many servings is this recipe?
    3. Q. Lastly I’m looking to make enough for 10,
    Thanks so much! I appreciate so much if your able to get back. Soon if not I’ll wing it and let ya know.
    😃 Tom

    1. Hi Tom,

      Thanks for reaching out! I hope you get this response in time. Here are my answers for you:

      1) When I say cups of pasta in the recipe, I mean dry (uncooked) cups of pasta.
      2) The recipe, as it is written, makes 4 servings.
      3) If you want to make enough for 10 people, then you can just multiply each ingredient amount by 2.5. I’ve already done the math for you, so here are the ingredient quantities for 10 servings of macaroni and cheese:

      ⦁ 5 cups macaroni (elbow) pasta
      ⦁ 10 tablespoons butter
      ⦁ 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      ⦁ 5 cups low-fat milk
      ⦁ Salt and pepper, to taste
      ⦁ 5 cups shredded old cheddar cheese

      Keep in mind this will make a lot of mac and cheese, so I recommend using a large pot to make it. I hope that helps! Please let me know what you think of the recipe once you have made it! 😊

      Happy Easter,

      Alia