Macaroni and Cheese

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese in the easiest way possible! It’s cheesy, creamy, and simply the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe ever! Best of all, the recipe is flexible, meaning you can swap ingredients based on your taste, budget, and who you’re cooking for (like kids or adults). Following my easy tips, you’ll never buy the boxed macaroni and cheese again. 

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese in the easiest way possible! It's cheesy, creamy, and simply the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe ever!

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese

Perfect for a comforting dinner or as a holiday side dish, this stovetop mac and cheese recipe is a family favorite recipe, loved by everyone. It uses a combination of cheeses melted into a rich and creamy cheese sauce, for the ultimate in cheesy deliciousness!

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese in the easiest way possible! It's cheesy, creamy, and simply the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe ever!

Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients:

  • Whole Milk – Full fat whole milk works best to make an extra thick and creamy cheese sauce

  • Elbow Noodles – Can be substituted with whatever pasta you prefer or have on hand.

  • Butter – I use salted butter, but unsalted works just fine too.

  • Wondra Flour – It dissolves more quickly than all-purpose flour. It mixes very easily, which makes for a smooth, lump-free cream base.

  • Cheddar Cheese – For the smoothest melting cheese and most taste, it’s best to buy a block of cheddar and grate it yourself. However, pre-shredded cheese in a bag works too! It just doesn’t melt as well. Sharp cheddar cheese or mild cheddar cheese work.

  • Gruyere Cheese – This cheese elevates the taste of this homemade mac! If this cheese isn’t an option (it can be pricey) or if you’re feeding super picky eaters, you can swap Gruyere cheese with additional cheddar cheese or any cheese of choice:)

Macaroni and Cheese ingredients

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

If you’ve never made macaroni and cheese before, it can seem a bit overwhelming.  But don’t worry, with these ingredients, I’ll show you how simple it is!

Begin by spending a few minutes grating the cheeses. Bagged cheese is coated in additional ingredients that prevent it from melting nicely. Our favorites are cheddar and gruyere. You can be very creative with your cheese choices.  Mozzarella, Gouda, Swiss, Colby, whatever you know you like!

Shredded Cheddar and Shredded Gruyere

It starts with a traditional “roux” which is melted butter and flour that thickens the sauce. This is where using Wondra flour makes a big difference. It is totally fool-proof and will make any sauce (or gravy) lump free. In a large pot over medium to low heat, melt the butter and then add the flour, mixing or whisking until it is creamy.

Flour and melted butter

After the roux has cooked for 60 seconds, add the milk and whisk the mixture really well. Hint: Do not let this mixture boil! If you do you may end up with a mac and cheese sauce that is too thick. Be sure to stir in constantly and cook over medium to low heat.

Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Noodles in butter sauce

After the butter, flour, and milk are cooked, the liquid begins thickening. Now it’s time to add the noodles! Pour the noodles in and allow them to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until they are al dente or the texture you prefer. As they boil, stir occasionally. The cooked pasta will expand and thicken the sauce. There’s no need to drain the noodles!

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese in the easiest way possible! It's cheesy, creamy, and simply the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe ever!

Finally, sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked elbow macaroni! The cheese will melt very quickly (especially if you shred the cheese yourself). Remove the macaroni from the heat because it’s time to eat! This homemade mac and cheese recipe can be eaten all by itself for an easy lunch or dinner. The leftovers are wonderful!

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Toppings and Add-Ins:

  • Cooked & crumbled bacon

  • Extra cheese topping

  • Chicken and broccoli or veggies

  • Breadcrumbs

  • Minced garlic and diced onions

  • Cut up hot dogs

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese in the easiest way possible! It's cheesy, creamy, and simply the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe ever!

More Comfort Food Recipes by Smart School House to Try Next:

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese in the easiest way possible! It's cheesy, creamy, and simply the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe ever!

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese

It's cheesy, creamy, and simply the BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe ever!

Equipment

  • Large pot or skillet
  • Spatula
  • whisk (optional)

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 3 tablespoons Wondra quick-mixing flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • cups water
  • cups elbow noodles (uncooked)
  • cups cheddar, freshly grated.
  • ¾ cup gruyere, freshly grated. This can be substituted with more cheddar or cheese of choice
  • Salt and pepper (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot or large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the flour. Mix/whisk constantly until fully combined for about 1 minute (make sure it doesn't burn!).
  • Pour in 1 cup of milk and continue to stir
  • Once the sauce begins to thicken, pour in the remaining milk, continuing to stir.
  • Add in the water and macaroni noodles. Over medium heat, let the noodles cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Optional: add in salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle on the grated cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. This happens quickly! Remove from the heat and serve.

Notes

Storing Macaroni and Cheese
Any leftovers need to be refrigerated and covered tightly.  Mac and cheese can be stored this way for 3-4 days.
To reheat, stir in a little bit of milk or cream and microwave partially covered with plastic wrap.  Stir often as it reheats.

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