Simple Macaroni and Cheese
Quick, easy, and tasty macaroni and cheese dish. Fancy, designer mac and cheese often costs forty or fifty dollars to prepare when you have so many expensive cheeses, but they aren't always the best tasting. This simple recipe is cheap and tasty.
Looking for a homemade alternative to boxed mac and cheese that's just as quick and easy? This stove top mac and cheese uses staple ingredients and comes together in just 25 minutes. You'll want to bookmark this recipe for busy weeknights. The good news is, it's so simple that once you make it a couple times, you'll likely have it memorized.
How to Make Macaroni and Cheese on the stove top
Step 1: Boil Macaroni
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni until all well cooked, about 8 minutes.
Tip: For a thicker mac and cheese, double the amount of macaroni.
Step 2: Make a Roux
While the macaroni is cooking, go ahead and start on the roux. A roux is a thickening agent made of one part fat and one part flour that makes up the base of this creamy mac and cheese.
To make the roux, start by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until smooth. Slowly pour in milk and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbling. Be careful to not let the milk burn.
Step 3: Add Cheese and Macaroni
Finally, the most crucial step: Add cheese! Slowly stir in Cheddar cheese until smooth and melted. We recommend you grate your own cheese because shredded cheese won't incorporate into the mixture as well as block cheese.
Once the macaroni is finished cooking, drain and stir into cheese sauce until coated.
Can You Bake This Mac and Cheese?
This stove top mac and cheese is all about convenience, but if you find yourself with some extra time and a desire for bubbly, baked mac and cheese, you can bake this recipe.
To do so, complete the first three steps above, then top with any desired toppings such as bread crumbs, Parmesan, crushed crackers, etc. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for about 15 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbling.
How to Store Mac and Cheese
Refrigerate leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container for three to four 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. Allow the mac and cheese to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag, removing as much air as possible. Label with the date and freeze. When you're ready to serve, simply transfer the dish to the fridge to thaw overnight. Reheat as normal.