recipe and macaroni and cheese

Simple Macaroni and Cheese

25 mins
Vadim Rachok
28.02.2024
04.03.2024
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Nut Free Dish

If you are looking for a homemade alternative to boxed macaroni and cheese that is both quick and easy, this stovetop mac and cheese recipe is perfect for you. It uses common ingredients and takes only 25 minutes to make. This macaroni and cheese recipe is excellent for busy weeknights, and you’ll want to save it for future reference. The good news is that the recipe is easy to memorize after you make it a few times.

Get ready to elevate your mac and cheese game with this easy and delicious stovetop recipe! Perfect for busy weeknights or anytime you're craving comfort food, this creamy dish is sure to satisfy. With just a few simple ingredients and quick steps, you can whip up a batch of homemade mac and cheese that's way better than anything from a box. Plus, once you've mastered this recipe, you'll never look back!

The Best Macaroni and Cheese

The best macaroni and cheese has a rich, creamy texture perfectly balanced with cheesiness. Cheese sauce coats every strand of tender pasta, making each bite velvety smooth. The flavor is indulgent and comforting. Layers of melty, creamy cheese add flavor and richness.
Homemade macaroni and cheese is better than store-bought. It allows for customization and quality control. You can choose the cheese of your choice and set the spices to your liking. What’s more, making it at home ensures that you’re using fresh, high-quality ingredients, resulting in a dish that’s not only delicious but also made with love and care.

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese on the Stovetop

Step 1: Boil Macaroni

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook elbow macaroni for about 8 minutes, until al dente.

For a thicker mac and cheese, you can double the amount of macaroni used in the recipe.

Step 2: Make a Roux

As the macaroni is cooking, start making the roux, which is a thickening agent made of one part fat and one part flour. This roux is the base of the creamy mac and cheese.

To prepare the roux, begin by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until the mixture is smooth. Gradually pour in the milk and stir continuously until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Be careful not to let the milk burn.

macaroni and cheese dish

Step 3: Add Cheese and Macaroni

For the perfect cheese sauce, slowly stir in grated Cheddar until it’s smooth and melted. It’s important to grate your own cheese because pre-shredded cheese won’t blend as well.

After the macaroni has finished cooking, drain the water and stir it into the cheese sauce until it is fully coated.

Can You Bake This Macaroni and Cheese?

This recipe for stovetop mac and cheese is designed for convenience, but it can also be baked for a bubbly, baked version if you have extra time.

In order to finish the recipe, follow the first three steps mentioned above and add any toppings of your choice such as bread crumbs, Parmesan, crushed crackers, etc. Then, bake the dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for approximately 15 minutes, or until it turns golden-brown and starts bubbling.

cheese and macaroni

What Kind of Cheese to Use?

This classic macaroni and cheese recipe is made with cheddar cheese. You can get medium or sharp cheddar, any type will do. You can also use a combination of cheeses if you want a more luxurious macaroni and cheese or if you’re really trying to impress a crowd. Just be sure to choose a type of cheese that melts well, such as white cheddar, smoked Gouda, Gruyere, Brie, goat cheese, mozzarella, or fontina.

What is a Roux?

A roux, which is a cooked mixture of flour and fat (in this case, butter), begins this classic stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe. The roux thickens the sauce and helps to ensure that the cheese melts smoothly into the sauce, rather than clumping together as it melts. There are ways to make a cheese sauce without the roux. However, taking this extra step will definitely create the creamiest, most delicious cheese sauce for your macaroni and cheese.

How to Store Macaroni and Cheese

Leftover mac and cheese should be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat, stir in a splash of milk or cream and reheat in the microwave or on the stove, stirring periodically.

You can freeze mac and cheese for up to six months. First, allow the mac and cheese to cool down completely. Then, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag, trying to remove as much air as possible. Label the bag with the date, and put it in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve the mac and cheese, just transfer the dish to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Then, reheat it as normal.

cheese and macaroni recipe

Macaroni and Cheese Add-Ins

This recipe is a great starting point and can be customized in countless ways.

  1.  Added onion powder, Parmesan cheese, and a small amount of cayenne pepper.”
  2.  It is recommended to use a mix of different cheeses for a more flavorful taste. For example, I like to combine white cheddar with a four-cheese Mexican blend.
  3.  Enjoy adding diced ham and peas or diced chicken and broccoli to my meals.
  4. Added yellow mustard and then topped it with crushed Ritz crackers.

Macaroni and Cheese FAQs

Why is my macaroni and cheese grainy?

This is most likely because you used pre-shredded cheese. Cheese that you buy already shredded contains additives that prevent it from sticking together. These additives prevent the cheese from melting smoothly.

However, if the cheese is exposed to too much heat, this can also cause it to curdle and separate from the cheese. Don’t turn up the heat to make it melt faster!

How do you keep macaroni and cheese creamy?

Use a good kind of cheese (especially American cheese in this recipe), and make macaroni and cheese entirely on your stove/oven for a creamy finish.

Serve immediately after making for the creamiest results. You can save leftovers. However, the pasta absorbs much of the cheese sauce as it sits, making the dish much less creamy.

Simple Macaroni and Cheese
Author:Vadim Rachok
Category:Lunch, Dinner
This recipe is for a quick, easy, and delicious macaroni and cheese dish. Often, fancy and designer mac and cheese dishes can cost up to forty or fifty dollars due to the expensive cheeses used, but they don't always taste the best. This simple recipe, on the other hand, is both affordable and tasty.
recipe and macaroni and cheese
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
Ingredients you will need
1 (8 ounce) box elbow macaroni
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Let’s start !
1

1 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, for 8 minutes.

2

2 Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over medium heat and add butter to it, allowing it to melt slowly.

3

3 Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until smooth, about 5 minutes.

4

4 Pour milk slowly while stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture is smooth and bubbling, about 5 minutes, being careful not to let the milk burn.

5

5 Add the Cheddar cheese to the mixture and stir until completely melted, which should take 2-4 minutes.

6

6 After cooking the macaroni, drain and mix it into the cheese sauce until it is fully coated.

7

7 Make sure to serve the dish while it’s hot, and savor every bite!

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Calories: 630
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g43%
Saturated Fat 21g105%
Cholesterol 100mg33%
Sodium 777mg34%
Total Carbohydrate 55g20%
Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Total Sugars 8g 
Protein 27g 
Vitamin C 0mg2%
Calcium 568mg44%
Iron 3mg15%
Potassium 380mg8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Watch How To Make It

For extra flavor and creaminess, try using a combination of cheeses in your mac and cheese. Experiment with different varieties like sharp cheddar, Gruyère, or Monterey Jack to create a rich and complex flavor profile. And don't forget to grate your own cheese for the best melting and blending results. Trust me, the extra effort is worth it for a truly irresistible mac and cheese experience!

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
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