How To Make Easy Homemade Mac And Cheese

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Easy Stovetop Mac And Cheese

How to Make Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

This Mac and Cheese is easy to make on the stovetop and its ready in just 15 minutes. Skip the box and make the good stuff!

This Mac and Cheese is easy to make on the stovetop and its ready in just 15 minutes. Skip the box and make the good stuff!

Its easy to make your own delicious mac and cheese at home in under 15 minutes. Boil your pasta in one pot and in another make a simple cheese sauce. The sauce starts with a traditional roux . Salt, white pepper, onion powder, and ground mustard are whisked in to add flavor. Milk is then poured in and as it comes to a simmer the roux slowly mixes in. The roux acts as a thickening agent and just as small bubbles appear for the simmer, your mixture should already be thickened. The heat is turned off, shredded cheese is stirred until melted, and then all that is left to do is stir in the drained al dente pasta from your other pot. Youll never use a boxed mix again!

Stovetop Mac And Cheese

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This truly is the BEST stovetop mac and cheese recipe! It only requires one pot , its ready to go in about 20 minutes from start to finish, and its perfectly creamy and cheesy and delicious.

This weekend, Barclay and I went to a food festival here in Barcelona that was fabulously, deliciously, entirely devoted to CHEESE.

And it was just about the best thing ever.

Literally everywhere you turned, ooey gooey cheesy dishes were being served. And youd better believe we took full advantage of them. From freshly-scraped raclette toasts, to the most amazing Korean-inspired mushroom grilled cheese sandwiches, to Spanish onion and smoked cheese soup, to vegan Mexican cheesy quesadillas, to the best ricotta Ive ever sampled, to the most dreamy Italian gyoza-ish dumplings filled with potato and cheese and served in a pecorino-sage saucethe day was all of our cheesiest dreams come true. And we left feeling so happy. And soooo full, ha.

That said, there was one dish notably missing at the festival. But, it just so happens that Ive been on a mission this month to nail down my all-time favorite recipe for it. So yesterday, we decided to round out our cheesy weekend by taste-testing a final version of this recipe. And ohhh guys, I think weve got it. Im humbly calling it

The Best Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe. Ever.

How To Make Macaroni And Cheese

Im not kidding when I say that this homemade macaroni and cheese is as quick to make as the boxed noodles!

Noodle Prep Boiling the macaroni is the part that takes the longest. Start by preparing the noodles according to the directions on the package.

Roux While the noodles are cooking, start prepping the creamy sauce. First, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, use a whisk to stir in the flour until it has a paste-like consistency. Let it cook for about 3 minutes, or until it turns golden brown.

Sauce Next, slowly pour in the milk while whisking everything so no lumps form. Once everything is mixed in, let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Stir it occasionally to keep it from burning.

Make It Cheesy Once the sauce has thickened, its time to add the cheese. Stir in 2 cups of cheddar cheese, along with the salt & pepper until everything has completely mixed together.

Compile & Serve Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and give it a good stir until fully combined. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top and then serve.

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The Best Mac And Cheese Recipe

Theres nothing like homemade mac and cheese, am I right? What makes the perfect mac and cheese in your opinion? Good ol Kraft right out of the box? Homemade thick and cheesy on the stovetop? Baked with a crispy topping and lots of ingredients inside?

I think its a bit different for everyone, but let me tell you about my perfect mac and cheese. I like a thick and creamy perfectly flavorful cheese sauce like my picture above shows. If that sounds good to you, then you will LOVE this recipe too

See my Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe too! Be sure to follow for daily recipe inspiration!

Homemade Mac And Cheese

BEST Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

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Homemade Mac and Cheese on the Stovetop. This irresistibly cheesy macaroni recipe comes together quick and easy. Not to mention the homemade cheese sauce is thick and creamy. Use your favorite cheese to make this a dish the whole family will love!

Smooth and creamy, this Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese comes together in less than 30 minutes on the stovetop. This is the perfect family dinner! It also doubles as a side dish and pairs wonderfully with BBQ meats, like this smoked pulled pork.

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What Cheese Is Best For Mac And Cheese

Sharp Cheddar is my first choice for flavor however you can certainly use your favorite cheeses. Mix it up and use a bit of gruyere, or even pepperjack for a little kick. If you have bits of cheese leftover, you can combine them all together in this easy homemade mac and cheese sauce.

Now, this recipe has a special ingredient that is a little bit unconventional but makes it extra yummy AND it is optional. The addition of cheddar soup makes the sauce a little bit extra velvety and just adds a little something.

I think its much better than Mac and cheese with Velveeta! The addition of the cheddar cheese soup to this recipe is something you definitely should try! .

Cheese Tip: Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses dont melt the same way as they have additives to keep them from clumping/sticking.

Making Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is not difficult but below are a few simple tips to make sure it turns out absolutely perfectly every single time!

Can I Make This Macaroni And Cheese Ahead And Bake It When Im Ready

Yes you sure can. Just let it cool down, put some plastic wrap right against the surface of the mac and cheese and stick it in the fridge. If you have a few minutes to bring it out and let it warm slightly before you bake it, do that. But if you cant, just bake it till the center is hot and the edges are bubbling.

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Why I Love Mac And Cheese On The Stove

Gone are the days where I make boxed mac and cheese. I have nothing against making food from a box but I am glad my kids have realized there is a mac and cheese world “outside of the box”. My daughter has always been a homemade lover but it took my son a bit of time to come around.

While we all love baked and fancy mac and cheese, it can take more time than I have most week nights. So I solved my problem and created this homemade mac and cheese recipe that cooks right on my stovetop. It is creamy enough where it doesn’t have to be baked and there are minimal ingredients involved. It is a perfect 5 ingredient recipe!

To see details of how it’s made, check out my Mac and Cheese Webstory!

Ingredients In Easy Mac And Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | How to Make Mac and Cheese

PASTA Elbow macaroni is our choice for mac and cheese, but any short pasta will do. Shells are great too, since the cups hold the sauce . For best results, dont rinse the macaroni, the starches on the pasta help the sauce stick.

SAUCE This recipe starts with a simple roux but dont worry, its super quick. The sauce is ready by the time the pasta is cooked.

CHEESE Choose sharp cheddar for a great flavor and be sure to grate your own cheese from a block. Pre-shredded cheeses dont work well.

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Creamy Baked Mac And Cheese

The Chunky Chef09/30/2019

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This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by both children and adults. It uses a combination of cheeses, layered in the dish as well as melted into a rich and creamy cheese sauce, for the ultimate in cheesy deliciousness! Perfect for a comforting dinner or as a holiday side dish!

Looking for other comfort food dishes? Check out my Homemade Sloppy Joes, Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Crockpot Meatloaf, and Homestyle No-Boil Mashed Potatoes!


Baked mac and cheese. Its nearly the universal comfort food, and there are SO many variations! In fact, I almost didnt post this recipe, as there are SOOOO many mac and cheese recipes available, and most people already have their favorite way of making it.

Of course, theres no right way or wrong way, so Im here sharing the way I like to make my mac and cheese .

Tip And Alternative Options

  • TIP: If it is your first time making macaroni and cheese though, keep in mind that you can always add more seasoning to foods but you cannot take it away.

I want to mention a couple of alternative options with ingredients that can be commonly found in a macaroni and cheese recipe, depending on whos making it, of course.

A lot of folks like to add some sour cream. I never have but it can add richness and creaminess to the dish, same as adding a bit of cream cheese.

Some older recipes call for dry mustard powder. Personally, I dont care for the dry mustard in this recipe, but if that is what youre used to then by all means add some in.

Other seasonings may also be used if you prefer to add the flavors that you enjoy in a macaroni recipe, such as onion powder or garlic powder.

Bread crumbs are also a popular option for mac and cheese that deliver a crunchy topping.

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Variations Of Mac And Cheese

  • Bacon if you love bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping, or even inside the mac and cheese as well!
  • Stovetop if youd prefer not to bake this mac and cheese, you dont have to! Make sure you boil your pasta until al dente , and youll only need about 3 3 1/2 cups of cheese total. No need to layer the pasta and cheese, just add all the cheese to the sauce, then combine with the pasta.
  • Different Toppings Im a huge fan of the cheese layer on top, since it gets nice and crispy, but we also love tossing 1 cup of panko with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and using that as a topping. 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp of butter work amazingly well too!
  • Different Baking Times the recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but most of the time I find myself adjusting that based on my familys tastes. I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to get that glorious cheesy crust.

How Can I Dress Up My Macaroni And Cheese

Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

This baked macaroni and cheese may be the most versatile dish ever. Add in some red pepper for kick, any cheeses you like , add veggies like broccoli and chopped chicken and its a one-dish meal even. Or BACON. Hello. Yeah. Make some garlic bread crumbs for the top if you want some crunch and throw those on. Its really endless.

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Tips To Follow When Making Creamy Mac And Cheese

This easy mac and cheese is creamy and loaded with cheese, it is very essential not to overcook the pasta. when boiling the pasta make sure to undercook it as it will be cooked again in the oven, if you overcook the pasta, what happens is that it will turn into a stodgy mess and the texture will be way off.

White Pepper Vs Black Pepper:

White pepper and black pepper are both the fruit of the pepper plant. They are processed differently which causes the change in color, and end up tasting slightly different. White pepper is hotter than black pepper, but black pepper has a more complex flavor. White pepper tends to have more floral and earthy notes to it.

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Make Awesome Baked Macaroni And Cheese With These Recipes + Tipsyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link

They used tomatoes a lot, so a variety of the baked macaroni we know today combines these essential ingredients: pasta, meat, tomato sauce, cream sauce, and cheese. This cheesy ultimate comfort food that has the power to turn a frown into a smile is the iconic baked macaroni and cheese.

Can You Freeze Mac And Cheese


Yes, I have frozen it with success! I make it up to the point of baking, cover well, and freeze right in the pan. Then I bring it out and let it thaw at room temp for an hour or so, and then into the oven. Just like making it ahead and refrigerating it, the result isnt quite as saucy. But still delish.

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Cheddar Is The Best Cheese For Mac And Cheese And Heres Why:

The key to achieving a creamy mac and cheese from scratch is using a great melting cheese to anchor the mac and cheese sauce. And the best melting cheese for mac and cheese isin our humble opinioncheddar! Its got that classic milky sharpness and straw-colored hue that we expect our mac and cheese to have, and theres just nothing else quite like it. Once you master this stovetop mac and cheese recipe, though, you could certainly play around with other cheeses.

We wanted to share a truly simple mac and cheese recipeone thats almost as easy as that little blue boxbut you can look at it as a great jumping off point for experimentation. If you want to get fancy, try subbing some shredded Gruyére or raclette for half of the cheddar.

How To Make Mac & Cheese In 15 Minutes

While mac and cheese can be made in the Crockpot or baked in the oven, this is an easy mac and cheese ready in minutes.

  • Melt butter in a saucepan & whisk in flour per the recipe below .
  • Whisk in liquid a bit at a time until smooth. Add seasonings and cook until thickened.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cheese until smooth. Stir in the cooked elbow macaroni.
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    Macaroni And Cheese Variations

    This recipe is easy to adapt to other variations. Here are some of our favorites:

    Baked Mac and Cheese: Once the pasta and cheese sauce are combined, add it to a baking dish and bake with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. We shared this Baked Macaroni and Cheese a while back.

    Garlic Mac and Cheese: Fresh garlic and roasted garlic are excellent in this recipe. Add either to the butter just before adding the flour. For fresh, Id use 2 to 3 cloves. For roasted garlic, you can increase to 6 cloves or more. See our recipe for making roasted garlic.

    Use a Variety of Cheeses: Cheddar isnt the only cheese to use. Try easy melting Gruyere, Fontina or Monterey Jack. For more flavor, a bit of parmesan or pecorino cheese is lovely, and for a more adult dish, try blue cheese!

    Spiced Macaroni and Cheese: Mustard , nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper are classic additions to the cheese sauce. Smoked paprika is also delicious.

    Broccoli Mac and Cheese: A kid favorite! Stir roasted broccoli or steamed broccoli into the pot before serving. Heres how we make roasted broccoli.

    Lighter Mac and Cheese: Swapping half of the cheese sauce for pureed cauliflower cuts calories and still tastes incredible.

    Homemade Macaroni And Cheese

    Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

    If my kids had to choose a favorite food, it would definitely be macaroni and cheese! They would eat it for dinner every night if I let them. My oldest was an incredibly picky eater until very recently, and I swear there was a whole year of her life when she would only eat mac and cheese. No vegetables, no meat, just noodles and cheese. It was during that time period that I whipped up this easy stove top macaroni and cheese recipe. It doesnt take any more time than making it from the box, but it tastes way better!

    Another bonus its made from simple ingredients that I feel good about. This macaroni and cheese recipe has been a staple at our house for years! It works wonderfully as a side dish, or an easy meal with a green salad on the side. My husband and I love it with shredded barbecue chicken or pulled pork on top, and my girls will eat it happily any time I make it. Its a lifesaver on those busy nights when I dont have much time to cook!

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    Best Cheese For Mac And Cheese

    A combination of Gruyere and mozzarella cheese. Gruyerefor the most superior flavour with the best melting qualities for creamy sauces such as this theres no contention in my view. And mozzarella for stretch nothing does the cheese pull like a good mozzarella!

    But honestly, any cheese that melts well works is excellent with Mac and Cheese, such as cheddar, tasty, Colby, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Emmental.

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