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Homemade Mac and Cheese

This easy homemade mac and cheese recipe is made on the stovetop with 8 ingredients and ready in 25 minutes! It’s so creamy and rich, you’ll never go back to boxed mac and cheese again.

White bowl with macaroni and cheese.
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Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese

My slow cooker mac and cheese has been a long time favorite, but I also loving making this homemade mac and cheese on the stove top when I want it done quicker. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and tastes just as delicious.

Nothing screams comfort food like a bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese. When the craving hits, it’s tempting to make a box of Kraft on the stove. 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. You could even take it up a notch and make baked macaroni and cheese.


All you need is 8 simple ingredients!

Shredding cheese on cutting board.
  • Elbow macaroni: Any bite-sized noodles work but elbows are a classic.
  • Butter: Salted butter or unsalted butter work just adjust added salt.
  • All-purpose flour: Helps thicken the sauce.
  • Milk: Whole milk will add rich flavor.
  • Mustard: Yellow mustard or Dijon both are okay to use.
  • Cheddar cheese: Freshly grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Gruyere: Or Monterey Jack. Two cheeses add the best flavor!
  • Seasoned salt: Adds a special touch!

How to Make Homemade Mac and Cheese

Whisking cheese sauce.
  • Noodles. Cook the elbow noodles in a pot of boiling water until tender. Then drain and set aside.
  • Roux. Start making the roux by melting the butter in a large pot, then mix in the flour. Keep stirring the mixture over medium-low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Combine. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked noodles and then serve while warm!

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, replace gruyere with jack, colby, fontina or mozzarella. Even using all cheddar tastes great.
  • Simple sauce variation. If you want something simple and creamy with Parmesan to toss with your mac and cheese, use this white sauce recipe.
  • 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 macaroni and cheese.

Need more comfort food ideas? Make my homemade pot pie, fried mac and cheese or this easy hamburger casserole!

More Macaroni Recipes

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spoonful of mac and cheese

Homemade Mac and Cheese

5 from 13 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 2 cups elbow noodles (use 2 1/2 cups if using large elbow noodles)
  • ¼ 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)
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt

S&P and hot sauce to taste


    • 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, and season 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.


    • 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. 


    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

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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