Simple Mac and Cheese – Super easy and creamy macaroni and cheese recipe. Making a delicious mac and cheese at home from scratch has never been easier! This is the perfect side dish recipe and also a fun kid friendly meal!
My simple and creamy macaroni and cheese recipe is my go-to when making mac and cheese! It’s a million times better than the boxed stuff and is so easy to make. This recipe is kid friendly and also super budget friendly.
We like to serve ours with homemade meatloaf, grilled burgers, pot roast, veggies and so much more. I will link a few of my favorite meals that pair perfectly with this mac and cheese for you below.
This recipe serves about four people. If you are cooking for a large crowd, simply double the recipe! Homemade mac and cheese also makes amazing leftovers. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to two days.
Ingredients that go into making my Simple Mac and Cheese recipe:
- Elbow Macaroni – You’ll need a half pound of uncooked macaroni.
- Cheddar Cheese – I prefer sharp cheddar cheese but you can use your favorite cheddar cheese.
- Parmesan Cheese – Fresh grated parmesan cheese is best, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Milk – I used whole milk, but you can also use low fat or nut milk.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted butter both work great.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is best in this recipe.
- Mustard – I used regular yellow mustard but you can also use dijon or spicy mustard.
- Seasonings: Salt + Pepper + Paprika + Garlic Powder + Onion Powder
Tools to have on hand for this recipe:
- Saucepans One for the sauce and one for boiling macaroni.
- Measuring Spoons and Cups – To properly measure all of your ingredients.
- Cooking Spoon – To stir your sauce and mac while it cooks.
- Cheese Grater – If you are shredding cheese off a block.
- Colander – To drain your macaroni after cooking.
How to make a simple macaroni and cheese at home from scratch:
Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add the butter and slowly melt over low heat. Add flour to the melted butter and stir until well incorporated and mixture thickens.
Turn burner up to medium heat and slowly add the milk, about a half cup at a time. Continue to stir the sauce until it begins to lightly simmer and thicken. Then, add seasonings and mustard.
Remove sauce from heat and add the cheddar and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
Pour macaroni into cheese sauce and stir to combine. Enjoy!
Main courses to serve with my delicious homemade mac and cheese:
Roast Chicken – Easy and versatile roast whole chicken stuffed with lemon, onion, garlic, parsley and butter.
BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs – Seasoned chicken thighs wrapped in thick cut bacon, basted in a sweet sauce and then grilled to crisp perfection.
Slow Cooker Tender Short Ribs – English cut short ribs seared in a cast iron skillet then cooked low and slow in a red wine sauce.
Homemade Hand Dipped Corn Dogs – Perfectly sweet and crunchy homemade corn dogs just like Disneyland!
Slow Cooked Tender London Broil – This London broil recipe is super easy and delicious. It is slightly sweet with tons of flavor that melts in your mouth.
A few more macaroni recipes I think you’ll love:
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad – Creamy and delicious Hawaiian macaroni salad is an excellent side dish to serve with your favorite grilling recipes!
Cheeseburger Macaroni – This is an absolutely delicious Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger “copycat” recipe. My take on the classic is even better and super easy to make! A kid friendly meal that is sure to satisfy the whole family!
Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese – This is the ultimate upgrade to your classic mac and cheese recipe made with spicy chipotle peppers and a buttery crunchy breadcrumb topping!
Creamy Macaroni Salad – Super creamy and delicious Classic American Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish for cookouts and picnics! Made with fresh peppers, onions, celery and pickle in a sweet creamy sauce.
Baked Macaroni & Cheese – The creamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese baked to a golden perfection! What could be better? This baked macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It goes great by itself or as a side dish!
Simple Mac and Cheese
- 1/2 lb. Elbow Macaroni
- 2 cups Cheddar Cheese grated
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese grated
- 1 3/4 cups Milk
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1/2 tsp Mustard
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
- Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add the butter and slowly melt over low heat. Add flour to the melted butter and stir until well incorporated and mixture thickens.
- Turn burner up to medium heat and slowly add the milk, about a half cup at a time. Continue to stir the sauce until it begins to lightly simmer and thicken. Then, add seasonings and mustard.
- Remove sauce from heat and add the cheddar and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
- Pour macaroni into cheese sauce and stir to combine. Enjoy!