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Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese

This Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese is so quick, easy, creamy and delicious, you can say bye-bye to the box and make your own homemade mac and cheese that's sure to be loved by kids and grown-ups alike!
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time22 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 620kcal
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • additional salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the elbow macaroni in boiling salted water as per the package instructions.
  • While the macaroni is cooking, melt the butter in a pot (I use a 3 to 4-quart pot) over medium-low heat.
  • When the butter has melted, add the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Don't let it get too brown. It should stay a nice light golden color.
  • Slowly add the milk while stirring constantly.
  • Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently; then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the cheese; stir until the cheese has melted completely.
  • Drain the cooked macaroni and add it to the cheese sauce; stir until the macaroni is evenly coated with the sauce.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed; serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • I don't recommend using pre-shredded cheese for this recipe because it usually has anti-clumping agents added to it, which can sometimes make your cheese sauce grainy and unpleasant. Freshly grated cheese will give you a velvety smooth sauce.
  • This mac and cheese is as its best when served immediately, but if you end up with leftovers, it does reheat well. I reheat mine in a pot on the stove over low heat, stirring often. After being in the refrigerator, it will be stiff at first, but it will smooth out as it warms up. If needed, add a splash or two of milk to bring back that super creamy consistency.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3 to 5 days.
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