Easy homemade mac and cheese recipe is a stovetop dinner recipe that makes the best macaroni and cheese! Easy comfort food that can be ready in under 30 minutes!
Homemade mac and cheese was a staple in my house when I was growing up, and now it’s one of my kids’ favorite dinners.
It’s cheesy, creamy, and just total comfort food. You’ll probably find that you have everything you need to make macaroni and cheese on-hand, and it’s an easy dinner that can be tossed together in less than 30 minutes.
How to make homemade mac and cheese
Step 1: Cook macaroni according to package directions.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; stir in flour, and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly to form a roux.
Step 3: Add dry mustard, salt, and pepper; whisk in to combine.
Step 4: Slowly whisk in milk, and whisk until well-combined. Cook, whisking regularly, until thickened. You don’t want mixture to boil.
Tip >> The milk mixture should coat the back of a spoon once it’s ready.
Step 5: Remove from heat, and stir in cheese a little at a time until fully melted and combined.
Step 6: Drain macaroni.
Step 7: Return macaroni to pot, and pour cheese sauce over the top. Toss to combine.
Tip >> If you’re going to not going to eat all of the macaroni and cheese immediately, you can reserve about 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce in a separate container. Heat the sauce and stir into the warmed macaroni when you’re ready to serve the leftovers.
The best choices for macaroni and cheese have shape and/or texture to help hold onto the cheese sauce. Pastas like elbow macaroni, shells, rotini, cavatappi, and gemelli are all good choices.
I recommend using block cheese, rather than pre-grated cheese in this recipe. The pre-grated cheese has anti-caking agents that can interfere with the cheese melting properly.
Sharp cheddar and white cheddar are both good choices. They both pack a lot of flavor and melt well. Another option is to combine different types of cheese in the cheese sauce. Some cheeses that melt well are fontina, gruyere, and parmesan.
Any leftover mac and cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The macaroni and cheese will keep for up to 4 days when properly stored in the fridge.
More easy pasta recipes!
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Homemade Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces dry elbow macaroni or large shells
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups milk1
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese2 in small cubes or grated
- Cook macaroni according to package directions.
- In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; stir in flour, and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly to form a roux.
- Add dry mustard, salt, and pepper; whisk in to combine.
- Slowly whisk in milk, and whisk until well-combined.
- Cook, whisking regularly, until thickened. You don’t want mixture to boil.
- Remove from heat, and stir in cheese a little at a time until fully melted and combined.
- Drain macaroni.
- Return macaroni to pot, and pour cheese sauce over the top. Toss to combine.
- I’ve used everything from skim to whole milk. The more fat in the milk, the creamier the sauce.
- I suggest using a good-quality block of cheese rather than a shredded cheese. Some shredded cheese have anti-caking agents that can prevent melting.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
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