Homemade Mac and Cheese

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    This homemade mac and cheese is creamy, rich and the ultimate comfort food! It’s made with simple ingredients in just 25 minutes from start to finish.

    My slow cooker mac and cheese has been a long time favorite, but I also loving making this stove top version when I want it done quicker. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and tastes just as delicious. I bet you already have most of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry.

    bowl full of mac and cheese

    Nothing screams comfort food like a bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese. When the craving hits, it can be tempting to just make a box of Kraft on the stove. And trust me, I’ve done that plenty of times too.

    But this homemade mac and cheese recipe is almost just as easy and tastes so much better! The noodles are tender and the cheese sauce is perfectly creamy and rich. It’s made with two different types of cheese, which boosts the flavor even more. It tastes like the gourmet kind that you order from a fancy restaurant!

    shredding cheese on cutting board

    How to make homemade mac and cheese

    1. NOODLES. Cook the elbow noodles in a pot of boiling water until tender. Then drain and set aside.
    2. ROUX. Let the butter melt in a large pot, then mix in the flour. Keep stirring the mixture over medium-low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
    3. SAUCE. Then whisk in the milk and mustard. Once the mixture is simmering, remove from heat and add in the cheese. Stir until the consistency is smooth and the cheese has melted completely. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked noodles and then serve while warm!

    whisking cheese sauce

    Cooking tips

    • Best cheese to use. I like to use a mix of sharp cheddar cheese and gruyere. You can substitute sharp cheddar for mild, or replace gruyere with jack, colby, fontina or mozzarella. Even using all cheddar tastes great.
    • Grate your own cheese. Instead of the pre-shredded bags, buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself. The bags have extra ingredients added in, which makes it harder for the cheese to melt. Grating your own gives it the perfect texture!
    • Salt the water. Add a Tablespoon of kosher salt to the water you cook the noodles in. This helps boost the flavor.
    • Hot sauce. If you like heat, mix in a dash of hot sauce right before serving.
    • Baked version. Finish the dish off in the oven by making baked macaroni and cheese. Once it’s ready, pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with extra cheese or breadcrumbs. Then bake until golden and bubbly.
    • Make it a meal. Mix in some cooked chicken and broccoli right before serving to make this dish a complete meal.

    spoonful of mac and cheese

    Favorite meals to serve with

    This homemade macaroni is the perfect addition to any of your favorite comfort meals. We love serving it with the following dishes:

    bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese

    More types of macaroni:

    spoonful of mac and cheese

    Homemade Mac and Cheese

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: homemade mac and cheese
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 270
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    This homemade macaroni is creamy, rich and the ultimate comfort food! It's made with simple ingredients in just 25 minutes from start to finish.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups elbow noodles (use 2 1/2 cups if using large elbow noodles)
    • 1/4 cup salted butter
    • 3-4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1-2 teaspoons yellow or dijon mustard
    • 2-3 cups medium or sharp cheddar cheese (shred from block)
    • 1 cup gruyere or jack cheese (shred from block)
    • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

    S&P, to taste

      Instructions

      • Cook your noodles in a large pot of water according to package. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the water. Drain once cooked.
      • In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat and then whisk in flour. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring consistently. 
      • Whisk in milk and mustard. Let come to a simmer and then remove from heat. Whisk in the cheeses and stir until smooth and melted. Add in salt and pepper, to taste. You could add a dash of hot sauce if desired as well.
      • Add in cooked noodles and stir to combine. Serve while warm.

      Notes

      Cheese:
      • You can also substitute the sharp cheddar cheese for a mild one.
      • I love using gruyere as it adds a wonderful flavor and smooth and creamy texture, however you can substitute it for jack, colby, fontina or mozzarella. You could even just use all cheddar if preferred. 

      Nutrition

      Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Calcium: 258mg | Iron: 1mg
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      baked macaroni and cheese
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