You are going to love this Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe, because it is so easy to make and tastes infinitely better than anything you can buy at the store. All you need are a few simple ingredients and just 20 minutes to make the best macaroni and cheese ever.
Mac n’ cheese is the ultimate comfort food. 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
Begin by cooking your dry pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions, which usually takes 8 – 10 minutes. Next, make your cheese sauce! Cheese sauce, also known as Mornay sauce, is the key to creamy, crowd-pleasing mac n’ cheese.
To make the sauce, begin by whisking together equal amounts of butter and flour over medium heat to make a roux, which helps 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. Finally, stir in your cooked pasta until it is completely coated in the sauce.
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 Quick Pasta Recipes to Try
Craving more pasta dishes? Here are some other recipes for you:
For this Macaroni and Cheese recipe, I recommend:
Here is a tool I suggest using, to make sure this recipe turns out perfect:
Box grater – 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!
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
- 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 sharp cheddar cheese
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted, whisk in flour and 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 thickened and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in cheese until smooth. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- To make this recipe healthier and higher in fiber, use whole wheat or whole grain pasta.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
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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.
Hi Karly!! Oh my goodness you’re so sweet! I love it when you comment on my posts!! Thanks so much! 🙂
Awesome mac and cheese recipe. Super good.
Thank you JJ! 🙂
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
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 (;
Hi Heather! Haha, that’s awesome! Yes, you should definitely use this recipe next time! 🙂
Is it supposed to be so thick? I have twice as much cheese sauce as pasta. I actually boiled an additional 1cup of noodles and it’s still way too much…
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. 🙂
Donna Bush says
This was excellent! Hubby turned up his nose when I said I was making Mac & Cheese — until he tried it. Nobody in my family will eat the box stuff. They all loved it. Quick, easy, and delicious.
Hi Donna! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
Pamela Fender says
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?
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. 🙂
Marcella Aragon says
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&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 te heating 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!
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! 🙂
Joyce Wiswell says
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.
Thank you so much, Joyce! I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. 🙂