A very quick and easy fix to a tasty side-dish. Fancy, designer mac and cheese often costs forty or fifty dollars to prepare when you have so many exotic and expensive cheeses, but they aren't always the best tasting. This recipe is cheap and tasty.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
20 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.

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  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour milk into butter-flour mixture while continuously stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Add Cheddar cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.

  • Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until coated.

Tips

You can never have enough cheese, and I usually add an extra half cup without ruining the recipe. Keep a careful eye on the milk when boiling, as milk boils fast and burns easily. Burnt milk will show up in the recipes flavor if overcooked.

Nutrition Facts

630 calories; protein 26.5g; carbohydrates 55g; fat 33.6g; cholesterol 99.6mg; sodium 777mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (620)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2017
Made it almost exactly like the recipe stated, super easy on the first try. All I added was a dash of paprika and a little extra salt. One note, the amount of milk you add will heavily depend on where you live, altitude, and humidity. I live in a dry, high altitude location so even though I halved the recipe, I used over a cup of milk to get the right consistency. The people that complain of a thin sauce either live at very low altitude or their roue wasn't cooked enough when they started adding the milk and cheese. Also, grainy mac and cheese is the result of adding the cheese too quickly. To ensure a smooth texture, add it slowly and melt completely before adding more, which the recipe didn't explain. If it's too thick, add more milk, and if you think it tastes like flour, you didn't cook the flour and butter for long enough, leaving it mostly raw. To remedy that you can carefully cook it for longer or start over. Read More
(466)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/05/2014
This recipe lacked flavor, make sure you add in extra salt, seasoning, or top with bread crumbs. I've made many homemade macaroni and cheese dishes but the sauce was very runny this time. Not a bad recipe, as Christina said, it is easy to customize! Read More
(33)
807 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 518
  • 4 star values: 184
  • 3 star values: 50
  • 2 star values: 25
  • 1 star values: 30
Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2017
Made it almost exactly like the recipe stated, super easy on the first try. All I added was a dash of paprika and a little extra salt. One note, the amount of milk you add will heavily depend on where you live, altitude, and humidity. I live in a dry, high altitude location so even though I halved the recipe, I used over a cup of milk to get the right consistency. The people that complain of a thin sauce either live at very low altitude or their roue wasn't cooked enough when they started adding the milk and cheese. Also, grainy mac and cheese is the result of adding the cheese too quickly. To ensure a smooth texture, add it slowly and melt completely before adding more, which the recipe didn't explain. If it's too thick, add more milk, and if you think it tastes like flour, you didn't cook the flour and butter for long enough, leaving it mostly raw. To remedy that you can carefully cook it for longer or start over. Read More
(466)
Rating: 5 stars
10/25/2014
For a simple macaroni and cheese recipe as the title suggests, this recipe was fabulous! I'm throwing out my box macaroni! My son loved this recipe as well. In the future, I may add some spice or what not but this is an amazing base mac & cheese recipe. Read More
(109)
Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2014
I was starving and discovered that I had just enough milk, cheddar cheese, butter, and elbow macaroni at home. So, I thought I should be able to make a quick mac and cheese. I found this recipe and was delighted that it was so easy and I thought the result was great. It hit the spot! Read More
(67)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/31/2015
I changed the recipe a little bit to fit what the kids would like and it came out wonderfully! 16oz noodles, 1/3 C. Butter, 1/3 C. Flour , 1/2 ts. Salt, 1/2 ts. Pepper, 3 C. Milk, and 3 1/2 C. Cheese! Came out beautifully! Read More
(50)
Rating: 5 stars
10/14/2014
I think this is an awesome staple recipe. It can be tweaked for individual preferences. I added onion powder, parmesan cheese and a little bit of cayenne pepper. Read More
(49)
Rating: 4 stars
01/01/2015
My kids have started asking for this over pizza for family movie night! And our 7 year old friend from Australia mentioned that the food at Tucanos Brazilian Barbeque and my Mac and Cheese are the best food she's had in America. I use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Monterrey Jack Cheese (to avoid annatto food coloring in cheddar), and 1/2 cup or so Philadelphia Cream Cheese. And we use whatever shape pasta we have on hand. Other than that I follow the recipe as written. Read More
(43)
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Rating: 3 stars
08/04/2014
This recipe lacked flavor, make sure you add in extra salt, seasoning, or top with bread crumbs. I've made many homemade macaroni and cheese dishes but the sauce was very runny this time. Not a bad recipe, as Christina said, it is easy to customize! Read More
(33)
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2014
I followed this recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly creamy and tasty! I didn't have excessive cheese sauce like some reviewers but I made sure that I brought my flour butter and milk mixture to a good boil so maybe that made a difference?? Read More
(32)
Rating: 4 stars
10/08/2014
I changed this recipe a little--used 12oz can of evaporated milk and a cheddar cheese-pepperjack cheese mixture. I then placed it in a 9x9" greased cake pan, added a smattering of Italian bread crumbs and baked for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Read More
(32)
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