How To Make Macaroni And Cheese Sauce

Don't Miss

How To Make Mac And Cheese

Basic Cheese Sauce for Mac ‘n Cheese

If youve never made homemade mac and cheese before, it can seem a bit daunting. But dont worry, well break it down and take it step by step!

  • Boil the pasta, drain.
  • Make the cheese sauce by combining a fat , and starch , then whisking in the milk products.
  • Cook the sauce until its nice and thick.
  • Add in shredded cheeses, stir well.
  • Combine cheese sauce with cooked pasta.
  • Transfer half of the mac and cheese to a baking dish, sprinkle with more shredded cheese.
  • Top with the rest of the mac and cheese, top with more shredded cheese.
  • Bake and prepare to thoroughly enjoy!

Be Careful With The Roux

Though a roux is important for thickening up your cheese sauce, you want to make sure that you dont add too much of your flour and butter mixture because otherwise the sauce can get too thick, which negatively impacts the creaminess. Too much butter and flour will make your sauce more like glue than a creamy, rich sauce.

Can I Use Pre

Pre-shredded cheeses are mixed with either potato starch, powdered cellulose, and natamycin, or a combination of the three to prevent clumping. These agents have an impact on how the cheese melts. The best mac and cheese uses freshly shredded cheese as they melt better, but pre-shredded cheese can also be used in a pinch. The results may not be as velvety smooth, but itll still taste delicious.

Youll love this ultra creamy mac and cheese recipe! With the perfect ratio of milk to cheese to sauce, this macaroni and cheese is at the top of my favorites list! Jump to the Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it. Ive also shared lots of extra tips in the article below.

Read Also: Is Cheese On The Keto Diet

Mom’s Macaroni And Cheese Recipe: How To Make It

The wonderful homemade goodness of this creamy Velveeta mac and cheese makes it a staple side dish in my mother’s kitchen and in mine as well. It has tender noodles and a crowd-pleasing golden crumb topping. Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina

Provided by Taste of Home


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer or until thickened., Stir in cheese until melted. Drain macaroni add to cheese sauce and stir to coat. If desired, sprinkle with paprika.


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the cheeses, stirring until cheese is melted. Drain macaroni., Transfer macaroni to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni mix well. Melt the remaining butter add the bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden brown.




Mac And Cheese Sauce Versatility

Great Mac and Cheese fresh from Natashas Kitchen.

Love this sauce and want to mix things up? Here are some ideas on how to repurpose this sauce for something other than mac!

Use on any noodle all out of macaroni noodles? You can literally use 1 lb. of any noodle under the sun!

Nachos we love using this sauce on top of nachos. Think loaded nachos with all the fixings + this cheese sauce.

Burgers/Sandwiches how good would this easy mac and cheese sauce be on top of a burger or sandwich?! Im drooling.

Chili Mac and Cheese mix this cheese sauce with 1 lb. of noodles and a batch of homemade beef chili for some chili mac! Check out our sister sites Chili Mac and Cheese recipe!

Dip when I dip you dip we dip. Grab your favorite tortilla chip and dip away!

More of our Favorite

Also Check: How Much Lactose Is In Cheese

Can I Make Kraft Macaroni And Cheese Without Milk Or Butter

This is almost dairy-free, which is why many people want to make it without milk or butter.

However, you still have dairy in the cheese powder as whey, which is milk protein, milk fat, and cheese culture.

If you want to skip dairy altogether, you would have to use artificial cheese or a natural, vegan cheese substitute.

If you just want to make it without milk or butter, you can use more water.

The problem with that is it wont have a very creamy consistency.

If you thin it out even more, it may be less cheesy.

If you add more shreds, it will be too clumpy and stiff like a starchy ball.

Even if you arent vegan, but you love macaroni and cheese and cant consume milk, here is that variation.

Ask Eric: How To Make A Beautifully Smooth Cheese Sauce

Dear Eric: Please help! I am almost 80 years old and my cheese sauce always curdles when I make macaroni and cheese. It looks terrible and tastes blah. Jewel Townsend

Dear Jewel: I wish you had contacted me sooner, because thats a long time to be having your cheese sauce curdling. But I hope the following advice will ensure smooth sailing, or should I say smooth saucing, the next time you make it.

To review, cheese sauce is simply white sauce, also called béchamel, that has been flavoured with cheese.

To make the white sauce, you start by making roux, a mixture made by cooking in a saucepan a combination of flour and butter or other fat. You cook the roux a short while to get the raw flour taste out of it. For a white sauce, you do not let the roux darken, as you would for a brown sauce or gravy.

Warm milk is slowly incorporated into the roux, creating a smooth mixture. If you add the milk too quickly, use cold milk or simply dont whisk fast enough, you could get lumps in your sauce as bits of roux will cook and turn into small balls before theyve had a chance to be smoothly blended into the milk.

Once youve added the milk and gently simmered and thickened the white sauce, its time to add the cheese.

How and when you add the cheese is critical to making a smooth sauce.

Do not add the cheese to the sauce while is still sitting over the heat, as that can cause the cheese to overcook, start to separate and turn your sauce into an oily-surfaced, curdled-looking mess.

Also Check: What To Put On Ham And Cheese Sandwich

Add Liquid To Make A Sauce

After cooking roux, youll usually add a liquid ingredient to make a sauce .

To ensure lump-free thickening when making sauces, the liquid ingredient should be cold or room temperature, and slowly whisked into the hot roux. Do this by adding the liquid a little at a time, whisking until smooth between each addition, until the roux forms a thin paste, then whisking in the remaining liquid and bringing the mixture to a simmer. Cold or room temperature roux is simply whisked into a simmering soup or sauce until it dissolves. These methods ensure the roux is incorporated slowly and the mixture will not form lumps.

Roux begins to thicken soon after it is combined with a liquid, but it must be simmered for 10 to 20 minutes in order to reach its full flavor and thickening potential. This additional cooking time allows the flour to soften and absorb the liquid, resulting in a silky smooth soup or sauce. If the simmering time is too short, the flour in the roux will remain grainy.

Read Also: How To Get Red Sauce Out Of White Shirt

How Do You Reheat Mac And Cheese

How To Make The Best Baked Mac And Cheese

The quickest and easiest way to reheat mac and cheese is in the microwave! I like to microwave it in 45-second intervals until warm, stirring in between each interval. Once its warm, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk per 1 cup of mac and cheese to make it creamy again.

If you have a little more time , you can reheat mac and cheese in the oven. Here is how to do it:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Put as much mac and cheese as you will eat in an oven-safe dish. Cover the top with foil.
  • Bake until warm throughout, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Once its warm, give the mac and cheese a stir. If its a little dry, stir in a little milk until its creamy again.
  • Pro Tip: Only reheat as much as you want to eat, so youre not reheating it, and then refrigerating leftovers, and then later reheating it again.

    You May Like: What Kind Of Cheese Is Used On A Philly Cheesesteak

    Herbed Macaroni And Cheese

  • 1Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly coat a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Set the dish aside.
  • 2Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until done, about 5 to 7 minutes. Fill a large pot with about 4 quarts of water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then add the macaroni. Cook the macaroni for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just about done.
  • 3Drain the water and toss the macaroni with 2 tablespoons butter. Place a large strainer or colander into the sink, and dump the macaroni into it. Shake the strainer a little to get rid of excess water, then add 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir the macaroni to spread the butter evenly, then set it aside.
  • 4Cook the milk with the herbs over medium-low heat until it starts to steam, about 10 minutes. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and mustard. Cut a medium-sized onion in half, stick a clove into it, and add it into the milk as well. Cook the milk until it starts to steam, stirring occasionally.
  • Save the other half of the onion for another recipe.
  • 5Remove the milk from heat once it starts to steam and set it aside. This will allow the flavors to continue to mix and fuse while you prepare the roux..
  • 6Prepare the roux. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour into a pot. Cook it over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Dont let it change color or turn golden-brown.
  • 15
  • Also Check: Are Blue Diamond Almonds Keto

    Creamy Homemade Macaroni And Cheese

    May 8, 2017 By AliaThis post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

    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!

    Read Also: How To Air Fry Grilled Cheese

    How To Make Baked Mac And Cheese With Velveeta

    This homemade mac and cheese is an ideal side dish that you can prep ahead for special holidays like Thanksgiving or for large family suppers. Assemble it in advance and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days! You can also serve the mac and cheese as a main course for dinner. Throw in some shredded chicken or diced ham, add veggies like steamed broccoli or frozen peas, and youve got a delicious and satisfying meal in one pan. The simple, old-fashioned combination of pasta and cheese is always crowd-pleasing!

    What Makes It Extra Cheesy

    Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

    For this extra cheesy homemade mac and cheese, I did use slightly more roux and added about 30% more cheese than I generally do to my simple stovetop mac and cheese recipes. And Im not even sorry about it. The thicker sauce and extra cheese made this mac and cheese so lusciously creamy and cheesy that I couldnt stop sneaking forkfuls between photographs. AND the best part is that it even stays smooth and creamy when reheated in the microwave. Mac and cheese heaven!

    Read Also: Is Cheese Good On A Keto Diet

    How To Store And Freeze

    • Baked macaroni and cheese will keep in an airtight container for three to five days in the refrigerator.
    • It also freezes well, put the casserole in a freezer-safe container to use as a side dish for a family meal, or put in individual containers for lunches or snacks. Mac-n-cheese will last in the freezer for up to three months.

    Recommended Reading: Tomatoes Good For Gout

    Do You Boil Water Before Adding Macaroni

    You need the intense heat of boiling water to set the outside of the pasta, which prevents the pasta from sticking together. That is why the fast boil is so important the water temperature drops when you add the pasta, but if you have a fast boil, the water will still be hot enough for the pasta to cook properly.

    Also Check: Does Cheese Make You Fat

    Find Tons Of Other Dreamy Cheesy Meals In Ree’s Bestselling Cookbooks

    And stir together until its all melted. Go ahead and turn off the heat.

    Now its time for seasoning! Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt If youre sensitive to salt, start really low and work your way upand remember that the cheese imparts quite a bit of salt to the mix.

    BUTand this is importantbe careful not to UNDERSALT the mac & cheese. It really needs ample salt to put the flavor over the top.

    *I also use paprika, cayenne pepper, even ground thyme every now and then. Play with different ground spices and see what you like best.

    And finally, add plenty of black pepper, of the Black Dust variety. Honestly, I love freshly ground pepperbut not in homemade Mac & Cheese. For me, it has to be the powdery stuff.

    Now THATs what Im talkin about.

    And guess what? You can just steam some fresh broccoli and spoon some of this over the top. Kids from all over the land will show up at your doorstep.

    Did you know a single serving of broccoli is positively loaded with Vitamin C?

    Now just dump in the drained, not-fully-cooked macaroni!

    And stir the mixture together.

    I use a little less than the full amount of cooked macaroni, because I love it extra creamy and coated. Just add it according to how you like it.

    Now, you can either dish it up as it is right now, which makes for an ultra-creamy love fest

    OR you can pour the macaroni into a buttered baking dish. This is a 2-quart dish, but a 9 x 13 pan would work just fine.

    Kinda like this.

    Hello, lover.

    Tips For Making Stovetop Mac And Cheese

    Easy Cheese Sauce Recipe
    • I chose to use cavatappi noodles, as I love the shape and thickness of them. But feel free to use whatever type of noodle you have on hand.
    • I prefer using a blend of shredded cheddar and mozzarella in my creamy stovetop mac and cheese, but youre welcome to use any cheese you have on hand.
    • To add more flavor to this mac n cheese, I like to add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and a dash of paprika or ground nutmeg.
    • Looking for a more distinct cheesy taste? Use ¼ cup of shredded Parmesan or cheddar jack cheese, ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella, and 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar.
    • Note that you can use any milk youd like in this homemade mac and cheese recipe. If you use a non-dairy milk, double check that its unsweetened and unflavored first.

    This creamy stovetop mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food meal, friends! So perfect for a cold winter night when you want something quick, easy, and delicious!

    Recommended Reading: How Long Do You Microwave Mac And Cheese

    Easy Macaroni And Cheese

  • 1Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare your baking dish. Lightly coat a 2-quart casserole dish with some butter. Set the dish aside.
  • 2Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package until it is just cooked. Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water and bring it to a boil. Add some salt and macaroni, and cook it for about 5 to 7 minutes. The macaroni will continue cooking in the oven.Advertisement
  • 3Drain the macaroni and set it aside. Place a large strainer or colander in the sink and pour the macaroni into it. Shake the strainer a little to get rid of any excess water.
  • 4Prepare the roux in a large saucepan. Melt the butter in the saucepan and stir in the flour, salt, and pepper using a whisk. Cook the roux over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the flour turns a light brown and bubbles start to form.XResearch source
  • The saucepan has to be large enough to hold the milk, cheese, and macaroni. You will be mixing everything in this.
  • 5Whisk in the milk a little bit at a time. Pour in 1 cup of milk and stir it with a whisk to combine. Pour in the remaining milk and continue stirring.XResearch source Be sure to break up any lumps or clumps of flour.XResearch source
  • 6Cook the milk mixture, covered, for about 6 minutes.XResearch source You are ready for the next step when the milk mixture starts to bubble and thicken.
  • How To Make Macaroni And Cheese

    This recipe has 3 main parts:

  • Pasta
  • Lets start with the pasta!


    I like to use elbow macaroni for this recipe, because its traditional and I love the way the little hole in the middle fills up with creamy cheese sauce. YUM!

    But you can use whatever type of pasta you like. Just be sure to boil it in lots of well-salted water , and undercook it slightly. Drain the noodles one minute before the directions on the box say. This will help your final product to be extra-creamy and delish!

    Toss the macaroni in a little bit of butter while its still hot, to keep it from sticking together while you prepare the other components.


    • Gruyere
    • Mozzarella

    To me, these 3 cheeses, along with the spices in the cream sauce, combine for the perfect balance. But you can feel free to sub in any of your favorites!

    I also think these would be great choices:

    • Fontina
    • American Cheese

    Just to name a few!

    Whatever you decide to use, do yourself a favor and grate it yourself. Dont buy the pre-shredded stuff! It contains additives that prevent it from melting smoothly. Its so much creamier when you take a few extra minutes to shred your own cheese. I run mine through the food processor and its done in seconds.


    Once your noodles are boiled and your cheese is shredded, its time to start the sauce.

    Once the flour and butter are combined, whisk in a little of the milk.

    Now you have whats called a bechamel sauce .

    Also Check: What To Put In Cottage Cheese

    Popular Articles

    More Recipes Like This