Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is so much better than the what you get in a box!

This easy homemade macaroni and cheese will quickly become a family favorite! It is made with simple, inexpensive cheese (nothing fancy) and is easy to make!

Bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese

What Pasta is Best?

I love my easy homemade macaroni and cheese to have bigger pasta so the sauce has more surface to stick to.
My favorite paste to use Barilla’s Cellentani pasta. (not getting paid) They area bit thicker, with a long and twisty shape that the sauce clings too! I cook it, then drain it and set it aside.

You can use any type of pasta. If you want to use classic macaroni noodles that is great!

Note: (Cavatappi pasta is basically the same thing as Cellentani).

Box of cellentani pasta

The Cheese for Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

For the cheese you will use shredded cheddar cheese and American cheese.

For the shredded cheddar cheese, you can use mild, medium, sharp, whatever you like best! You can use orange or white cheddar cheese and orange or white American cheese. It will all taste the same, the color will just be whichever you choose.

This recipe uses American cheese. No shredding/grating and no fancy cheese from the cheese and deli counter! I use the Kraft Deli American Cheese Slices you get in the dairy/cheese/meat section at your grocery store!

Note about the American Cheese: These deli slices are not the plastic wrapped slices. They are creamier and a step up from the Kraft cheese slices you are thinking of. These Kraft Deli slices are delicious and make the macaroni and cheese creamy and perfect.

I have tried the American cheese from the deli/cheese counter and have tried these Kraft Deli slices and I prefer the Kraft Deli slices! They are both good and will make a great macaroni and cheese, so if the slices freak you out, get your cheese from the Cheese People at the counter! (I am not getting paid from Kraft)

Shredded cheese and American cheee slices for homemade macaroni

Making Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Use a large saucepan or large pot. You will make the sauce then add the cooked pasta in to the sauce, so make sure it is large enough.

In a large pot or sauce pan/you will make a roux, which starts with melting butter and adding flour.

Butter and flour in a skillet to make a roux/base for a sauce

After the butter is melted and mixed with the flour, add the milk, whisking it until it is smooth. Let is heat slowly, whisking it occasionally.

Milk poured into butter and flour to make a creamy base for cheese sauce for homemade macaroni and cheese
Creamy base for cheese sauce for homemade macaroni and cheese

Once the roux thickens, add both kinds of cheese.

Season it with salt and pepper and some garlic salt and a pinch of ground mustard. Simple and easy flavor but the perfect compliment to the cheese!

You can adjust the seasonings to taste. I always season it after adding the cheese, because the cheese itself will add flavor to the sauce. So season a little as you go, mixing and tasting, then adding more as needed. You can also add more cheese (either kind) to your liking.

Shredded cheddar cheese added to the creamy base for homemade macaroni and cheese
Whisk whisking the cheese sauce for homemade macaroni and cheese

If you find your macaroni is too thick (just add a little milk until it reaches the consistency you like! It will thicken upon standing as it cools.

Hand eating a bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese

This macaroni can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. When reheated, you may need to add more milk to thin it out… and maybe even a bit more cheese!

The Easiest and Most Delicious Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is easy to make and your kids (and all adults) will LOVE it! It is cheesy, creamy and so dang good!

Bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese

If you love this homemade macaroni and cheese try my Grilled Mac N’ Cheese Sandwich! Click HERE for the recipe!

For an easy pasta dish, try my Easy Homemade Alfredo, my easy Slow Cooker Two-Sauce Pasta, Slow Cooker Lasagna, or my Slow Cooker Penne Pasta!

If you liked this recipe please take the time to leave a comment and a star rating below! Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!



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The Best Macaroni and Cheese

The Easiest and Most Delicious Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This Macaroni and Cheese is the most delicious and the best macaroni you will ever try!  It is fast to make and is rich, creamy and cheesy!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta, I like to use Barilla Cellentani, cooked and drained
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups 2% or whole milk * I use 2 %
  • 1 to 2 tsp salt, seasoned to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch onion powder
  • pinch of pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese *to taste *I prefer mild or medium
  • 6 to 7 oz. American Cheese slices *about 6 or 7 slices of the deli slices

Instructions

  • Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.  Drain and set aside after cooking.
  • In a large skillet or sauce pan (big enough to add the pasta too), over meduim heat, melt your butter, add the flour and whisk together, letting it bubble and cook for a few minutes.
  • Slowly add your milk, whisking it so it is smooth and mixed well.    Let this simmer on medium heat until it has thickened, whisking occasionally. It usually takes mine a good 15 minutes to thicken, sometimes longer.
  • Add your cheeses, let them melt and stir them in, making sure they are melted and mixed fully.  Add more cheese if needed to taste.
  • Season your sauce with the salt, garlic salt and pepper. I always start out with a little of each, adding them a little at a time.  Taste as you go so you don't over-season. 
  • After the sauce is seasoned to your liking, add your pasta (make sure there isn't alot of excess water on it).  Mix well – you will probably need a large spoon at this point to stir it all together.  You can adjust cheese and seasonings again if needed.
  • If your macaroni is too thick, thin it out with a little more milk.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
  • This macaroni and cheese can be stored in your fridge for up to a week.  You may need to add some more milk if it is too thick when reheating…and you can always add more cheese too! 

Notes

  1.  You can use any type of pasta that you like. I like to use Barilla’s Cellentani pasta. They area bit thicker, with a long and twisty shape that the sauce clings too! 
  2. You need to use a milk with a higher fat content, so 2% or whole works best to get the thick and creamy sauce.
  3. For the shredded cheddar cheese you can choose if you like mild, or medium, or even sharp cheddar cheese. I prefer a mild or medium cheddar for this macaroni.
  4. For the American Cheese, I have tried the American cheese from the deli/cheese counter and have tried Kraft Deli slices and I prefer the Kraft Deli slices! They are both good and will make a great macaroni and cheese.  Don’t freak out if you are adding slices to the sauce, it all melts the same!  Add as little or as much cheese as you prefer.  Add a little at a time until it reaches your perfect level of cheesiness.  You can always add more after seasoning too!
  5. I add the cheese to my sauce first, then season it after the cheese melts.  You need the cheese in the sauce so you season it right.  The cheese tends to add some flavor and salt to the sauce, so I add the cheese first, then season according to taste.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.

Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1078mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 882IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 586mg | Iron: 1mg

2 Comments

  1. Does anyone know if this can be frozen then baked to reheat?

    • Beth, The Butcher's Wife

      Hi Janet! I have never tried freezing it and then reheating it… If you try it I would undercook the noodles just a little bit… The cheese may separate a little bit when it’s heated but I could be totally wrong! If you try it let me know how it turns out!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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