This easy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is ready in no time! This recipe is creamy, delicious, and takes only minutes to make!
If you love macaroni, you should also try our Baked Macaroni & Cheese and Chili Macaroni recipes.
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
If my kids had to choose a favorite food, it would definitely be macaroni and cheese! They would eat it for dinner every night if I let them. My oldest was an incredibly picky eater until very recently, and I swear there was a whole year of her life when she would only eat mac and cheese. No vegetables, no meat, just noodles and cheese. It was during that time period that I whipped up this easy stove top macaroni and cheese recipe. It doesn’t take any more time than making it from the box, but it tastes way better!
Another bonus – it’s made from simple ingredients that I feel good about. (I like that I know exactly what’s in it!) This macaroni and cheese recipe has been a staple at our house for years! It works wonderfully as a side dish, or an easy meal with a green salad on the side. My husband and I love it with shredded barbecue chicken or pulled pork on top, and my girls will eat it happily any time I make it. It’s a lifesaver on those busy nights when I don’t have much time to cook!
How To Make Macaroni and Cheese
I’m not kidding when I say that this homemade macaroni and cheese is as quick to make as the boxed noodles!
Noodle Prep – Boiling the macaroni is the part that takes the longest. Start by preparing the noodles according to the directions on the package.
Roux – While the noodles are cooking, start prepping the creamy sauce. First, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, use a whisk to stir in the flour until it has a paste-like consistency. Let it cook for about 3 minutes, or until it turns golden brown.
Sauce – Next, slowly pour in the milk while whisking everything so no lumps form. Once everything is mixed in, let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Stir it occasionally to keep it from burning.
Make It Cheesy – Once the sauce has thickened, it’s time to add the cheese. Stir in 2 cups of cheddar cheese, along with the salt & pepper until everything has completely mixed together.
Compile & Serve – Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and give it a good stir until fully combined. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top and then serve.
Variation – My family loves it with sharp cheddar, but you can experiment with other cheeses, or use a combination of cheeses. We’ve tried it with Colby jack, Parmesan, gruyere, mozzarella, provolone, and gorgonzola, and it’s always delicious!
Don’t Boil Over – Use a spill stopper while cooking the noodles to keep it from boiling over. This has saved me so many times while I’m prepping the rest of the recipe.
More Recipes For Pasta Dinners
- Easy Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe
- Baked Cheese Tortellini
- Fun Build Your Own Pasta Bar
- The Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- Easy Homemade Meat Sauce Recipe
This creamy macaroni and cheese is best on the day it’s made (although my kids will happily eat reheated leftovers). It’s so delicious when it’s hot and melty! Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought of this easy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe.
Easy Homemade Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste.
- Let cook 2-3 minutes until golden. Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, whisking so there are no lumps. Let cook for a few minutes, until thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and 2 cups of cheddar cheese, and whisk until smooth. Add the cooked pasta and stir until combined. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top. Serve hot.
Do you have any ideas for substituting the milk? I only have condensed milk..
I’ve never tried substituting milk in this recipe, so I’m not sure how it would taste. You can try using soy or almond milk but condensed milk won’t work.
Our youngest is our pickiest eater but he loves this easy pasta dinner!
Oh good, I’m so glad he loved it!
My family loves mac and cheese! Such a great recipe.
Thanks Julie, so glad your family loved it!
Yes please! Homemade mac and cheese is the greatest!
So easy, my family loves this! Great for busy weeknights!
I couldn’t agree more! This is an easy dinner for those chaotic nights!