Mac and Cheese

10.24.2018

Mac and Cheese made from scratch is a million times better than a box. This macaroni and cheese is perfectly rich and creamy and it’s sure to be loved by people of all ages! This version is made on the stovetop and uses basic everyday ingredients.

Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Mac and cheese is just one of those staple recipes we all grew up eating. The version skips a powder and instead uses real shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and cream cheese for a rich and satisfying flavor.

It’s total comfort food and it pairs well with just about anything. It’s easy enough for weekday dinners but good enough to serve at holiday get togethers.

Here’s my go-to mac recipe.

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients Needed for Mac and Cheese

  • Elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Low-fat milk
  • Dry mustard
  • Garlic powder
  • Cream cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese ingredients elbows milk flour cream cheese cheddar mozzarella butter mustard garlic

How do You Make Macaroni and Cheese?

  • Cook pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, boil pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • Make roux: while pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan (4 quart) or medium pot melt butter over medium heat then add flour, cook 1 minute whisking constantly.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese making roux in saucepan with butter and flour

  • Make sauce: While whisking slowly pour in milk, add in mustard and garlic powder. Increase heat slightly, then bring mixture to a low boil whisking constantly.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese adding milk to mixture in saucepan

  • Melt in cream cheese: Reduce heat to low add in cream cheese and whisk until melted.
  • Melt in cheddar: Remove saucepan from heat add in the shredded cheeses half at a time, and whisk to melt.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese adding cheese to mixture in saucepan

  • Returning pan to warm heat as needed to melt fully.
  • Season sauce with salt to taste.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese mixing cheese mixture

  • Toss pasta with cheese sauce, thin with pasta water a splash at a time as needed. Serve immediately.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese. Tossing cooked pasta with cheese sauce in pot.

Tips for the Best Macaroni and Cheese

  • Use a blend of cheeses for a nice combination of flavor. Here we go with cheddar, mozzarella and cream cheese.
  • Don’t use pre-shredded cheese or sauce might end up grainy and gritty. Shred it yourself for a nice smooth sauce.
  • If you don’t have mustard powder substitute 1 tsp prepared mustard (regular or dijon).
  • Don’t rinse the pasta. It adds starches and helps thicken up the sauce and keeps the sauce clinging to the pasta.
  • Want a crunch topping? Try sautéing panko bread crumbs in a skillet in a little melted butter or olive oil until golden brown. Sprinkle over individual servings so it stays crisp.

Macaroni and cheese in a large pot

What Should I Serve with Mac and Cheese?

More Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love:

Remember to subscribe to the Cooking Classy newsletter to receive new recipe notifications delivered to your inbox!

Follow Cooking Classy on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter for all of the latest updates, recipes and content.

Print

Mac and Cheese

5 from 3 votes

A rich and creamy mac and cheese the people of all ages will love! Includes three kinds of cheese - cheddar, mozzarella and cream cheese. Made on the stovetop for a quick and easy side dish. Makes about 9 1-cup servings.

Servings: 9
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. dry elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/3 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, diced into small pieces
  • 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Reserved pasta water

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, boil pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan (4 quart) or medium pot melt butter over medium heat then add flour, cook 1 minute whisking constantly.

  3. While whisking slowly pour in milk, add in mustard and garlic powder. Increase heat slightly, then bring mixture to a low boil whisking constantly.

  4. Reduce heat to low add in cream cheese and whisk until melted.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat add in the shredded cheeses half at a time, and whisk to melt, while returning to warm heat as needed to melt fully.

  6. Season sauce with salt to taste.

  7. Toss pasta with cheese sauce, thin with pasta water a splash at a time as needed. Serve immediately.

  8. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Nutrition Facts
Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 427 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 346mg 14%
Potassium 235mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 4g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 14.1%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 34.2%
Iron 5.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Mac and Cheese
Calories: 427 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

9 comments

  • Joyce Edwards: Recipe says use imediately, can leftovers be refrigerated? March 22, 2019 at 4:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely I always save any little bit left and reheat in the micro :). March 22, 2019 at 8:52pm Reply

  • KayKru: Thank you! This is a tasty, easy recipe. We enjoyed it. I used what I had, so there was more mozzarella and less cheddar than called for, resulting in a less tangy, more gooey dish. Comfort food just the same. I think some chopped jalapenos would add a nice kick, plus a bread crumb topping and 10 min. in the oven would give that nice crunch on top to make this really perfect. March 20, 2019 at 2:56pm Reply

  • JennyV: I made this, and like most other Mac and cheese recipes w flour, mine came out a tad grainy. I def cooked the flour & butter mixture long enough – what else could have gone wrong?! February 10, 2019 at 6:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Are you slowly pouring the milk into the roux (butter/flour mixture)? If it’s added too quickly it can end up a bit grainy, or that can happen if it’s cooked too hot (let it just thicken and simmer not a full boil). You can also let it cool slightly before adding the cheese and that may help. February 12, 2019 at 10:46pm Reply

    • J.P. Mendoza: If you add too much cheese at once, it separates and doesn’t combine. Slowly add the cheese as you’re whisking. March 24, 2019 at 10:52am Reply

  • vivian: Delicious mac and cheese. Not too dry, not too soupy. Just right. Thanks for a great recipe! December 30, 2018 at 5:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Vivian! Thanks for leaving a review! December 30, 2018 at 10:49pm Reply

  • Jay Bhavani Caterers: Your Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is very yummy! this recipe is very easy and tasty i loved it. We are add this recipe in our menu. Thanks for sharing the recipe November 15, 2018 at 4:31am Reply

Add your comment:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright 2011-2019 Cooking Classy | Privacy Policy
Design by cre8d