Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by Kathryn Donangelo
This Easy homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe is made with 9 simple ingredients and is so cheesy, creamy and made in less than 30 minutes! Serve this as a side dish or enjoy this as a simple meal!
This Easy Mac and Cheese recipe is everything you want when you are craving comfort. Made with sharp cheddar cheese and American cheese and baked until all of the cheese is melted and bubbly. Both adults and kids will love this homemade macaroni and cheese and the classic Kraft blue box recipe won’t be missed!
Make this Macaroni and Cheese for any occasion. It goes great with any meal (like my Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies or Spinach Bacon Salad) and makes a great side dish especially during summer barbecues!
Some of my other popular Mac and Cheese recipe on my blog that you would love (especially if you’re a Mac and Cheese fan):
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE EASY MAC AND CHEESE
- Macaroni noodles: you cause any curly noodles, the elbow noodle are a classic.
- All-purpose flour: used to thicken the cheese sauce
- Salted butter
- Salt + pepper
- Milk + Heavy whipping cream: makes the cheese sauce rich and creamy.
- Sharp cheddar cheese + American cheese: make sure to shred the cheese yourself. You can use American cheese Kraft singles squares (I used about 4).
HOW TO MAKE QUICK MAC AND CHEESE FROM SCRATCH
- COOK MACARONI: Cook to al dente (usually about 6-8 minutes). Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
MAKE THE CHEESE SAUCE: In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and then whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add in the milk and half and half. Stir constantly for a few minutes just until barley thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and American cheese. Whisk together until the cheese is completely melted and smooth.
MIX: Add the cooked macaroni noodles and stir together until the macaroni is evenly coated. Add the coated macaroni to the prepared baking dish and cover with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 minute or until the cheese is completely melted.
I love how I can use whip up this recipe and have it on the table in less than 30 minutes. There is so much cheesy goodness packed into each bite. I love the combination of both sharp cheddar cheese and American cheese but you can certainly use your favorite cheese combos, keep reading to see other cheese options.
WHAT IS THE BEST CHEESE COMBINATION FOR MAC AND CHEESE?
A classic Mac and Cheese recipe is made with cheddar cheese. I love using sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese because it provides additional flavor. I also love using American cheese because it provides some flavor that you get from the classic Kraft blue box Mac and Cheese.
You can use any cheese combination you prefer, just make sure the cheese is good for melting. The flavor of the Mac and Cheese recipe will change depending on which cheese combination you use.
Some other cheese options you could use if you wanted to try different flavors are: brie cheese, goat cheese, gouda, white cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and fontina cheese.
- Make sure to shred your own cheese. This is a must! Pre-shredded cheese will NOT melt the same way as freshly grated or shredded cheese because store bought pre-shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent that prevents the cheese from sticking together when packaged. This will make your cheese sauce gritty and the cheese sauce won’t be smooth.
- Make sure to whisk your cheese sauce thoroughly and throughout each step. This will help prevent lumps and make the cheese sauce extra smooth and creamy.
- If you want to add more to your Mac and Cheese, some other ingredients you can add are bacon bits, jalapeños, bread crumbs (on top), more cheese (the sky is the limit) and cooked veggies such as peas, carrot, broccoli and onions.
THIS EASY MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE IS
- Made with only 9 ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make.
- Super creamy, cheesy and is everything you want in a classic and comforting mac and cheese dish.
- Perfect to serve with just about any meal and everyone will be sure to love this recipe.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS AND FREEZE
This Mac and Cheese recipe makes the best leftovers. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. To reheat, place in the microwave or warm in the oven for a few minutes.
This recipe freezes well and it’s always a good idea to have Mac and cheese on hand at any time. Prepare the Mac and cheese according to the recipe directions but do not bake in the oven. Make sure the Mac and cheese is cooled completely and place in a freezer-friendly dish and cover with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, bake frozen at 350 degrees F for 70-80 minutes, or bake thawed at 325 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. Make sure the Mac and cheese is warmed throughout.
LOOKING FOR OTHER EASY and CHEESY RECIPES? TRY THESE!
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Keto-Friendly)
- Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Zucchini, Squash and Corn Bake
- Brussels Sprouts Cheesy Casserole
- Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Casserole
- 30 Minute Cheese Enchiladas
- Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
- Cheese Pizza Roll Ups
- Cheesy Broccoli Bites
- Zucchini Cheese Bread (Keto-Friendly)
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Easy Macaroni and Cheese (30 Minute Recipe)
- 1 lb. uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups whole or low-fat milk
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese; shredded and divided
- 1/4 cup American cheese
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook the macaroni to al dente (usually about 6-8 minutes). Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and then whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add in the milk and heavy whipping cream. Stir constantly for a few minutes just until barley thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and American cheese. Whisk together until the cheese is completely melted and smooth. Add the cooked macaroni noodles and stir together until the macaroni is evenly coated.
- Add the coated macaroni to the prepared baking dish and cover with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 minute or until the cheese is completely melted.
- Read recipe post on how to store leftovers and other recipe tips.