If there is one food that is loved above all others in my home it’s EASY MAC AND CHEESE. Okay, maybe it’s just mac and cheese, but as the one making it, I’m going to add the easy part. Macaroni and cheese is without a doubt, the end all be all of food around here. And this easy macaroni and cheese recipe is one of our absolute favorites.
Really, what’s not to love when you are dealing with pasta, cheese, butter? It’s pretty hard to go wrong. This easy mac and cheese recipe is creamy, rich and delicious, however it’s also simple to make.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not above macaroni out of a box (the first thing I learned to cook). Also not above making mac and cheese out of the freezer (Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt, I’m looking at you my friend).
That said, this easy mac and cheese blows them away, and truly doesn’t take much effort.
Easy Macaroni And Cheese
Did I mention this is NOT diet macaroni and cheese? I mean that is stating the obvious really.
This easy macaroni and cheese recipe is 100% comfort food. In my opinion mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food!
Easy Mac And Cheese Recipe
Let’s get cooking, shall we?
This easy macaroni and cheese recipe is very simple and straight forward to make.
While you can buy your cheese pre-grated, I find that it never melts quite as well as when you grate your own cheese off the block.
I use a box grater (I love the OXO one) or my KitchenAid Slicer Shredder attachment to grate my cheese. You can use one kind of cheese, but I like to use a mix of a few kinds, usually Colby Jack and cheddar.
In theory you could make this easy macaroni and cheese in one pot, by draining your macaroni and setting it aside in your strainer while you make the cheese sauce.
However I prefer to use two pans and make my sauce while my pasta is cooking, so that’s ready to go the minute you drain your pasta.
The cheese sauce is quick and easy to make, you just want to make sure to whisk, whisk and whisk some more to get it to melt and blend together nicely.
How To Make Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients You Need
(At a glance, printable recipe below)
- Elbow macaroni
- Cream Cheese (block, not tub)
- Cheese (cheddar or Colby Jack work well)
- Salt and Pepper
- Start by boiling your water and cooking macaroni according to package directions.
- In a separate pan melt butter and cream cheese and mix well. Add flour, salt and pepper and whisk together until smooth.
- Add milk to mixture, bring to a low boil, then add your cheese and cook until melted, creamy add combined.
- Combine cheese sauce and cooked pasta.
Easy Macaroni And Cheese
- 1 (8 ouncbox elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 oz cream cheese cut in cubes
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheese such as cheddar or colby jack
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional: you can add a splash of hot sauce or a tsp of mustard powder if desired
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in boiling water, stirring occasionally, and cooking according to package directions. I prefer to cook mine al dente and not overcook.
- Meanwhile in a separate pan, melt butter in a medium to large sauce pan over medium heat; stir in cream cheese until well combined. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour milk into pan while stirring until mixture is smooth and starting to gently boil, about 3-5 minutes. Add cheese to mixture and stir until cheese is melted and well combined.
- Pour cheese sauce over drained macaroni and stir gently until cheese sauce is well combined with pasta. Serve immediately.
- Feel free to change up the types of cheeses you use in this recipe. Even the same variety of cheese, from different brands, can bring a different taste to your dish.
- Using a block of cheese that you grate yourself works better than buying pre-grated or shredded cheese. Typically the pre-grated cheese does not melt as smoothly as freshly grated cheese does.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
If you are looking for an easy Mac and cheese recipe where you literally just throw it all in one put, without making a roux, I make this easy recipe recipe often. When it comes to quick and easy, it can’t be beat.
You aren’t going to get quite as creamy of a cheese sauce, but when I’m pressed for time and need a quick side or even main course, I often use this recipe. Truth be told I often don’t even really measure the ingredients, I sort of just eyeball them after making it so many times. It’s a great recipe that really doesn’t take any more time than making your mac and cheese from a box.
I hope your family loves this recipe as much as mine does. Don’t forget to pin to save it!
If you love cheesy recipes like we do, here are some others you might want to try!
I love this Cheesy Chicken & Sausage Pasta from Big Bear’s Wife.
This One Pot Cheesy Sausage Penne Recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet is a fantastic weeknight dinner.
Spend With Pennies has a delicious 20 Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
Barefeet In The Kitchen shares this yummy Crispy Cheese And Bacon Potatoes recipe.
Crunchy Creamy Sweet has an amazing Garlic Cheese Bomb recipe.
Originally published March 2017
Butter and cream cheese “combining”? Yeah ok. Combines like water and oil. Garbage recipe. Never make this.
Christi Johnstone says
Actually it would be much more like oil and oil, but I digress. They combine beautifully if they are both softened. I guess you’ve never eaten cream cheese frosting? You should try it, it’s delicious! Have the day you deserve!
This is my go to when making mac & cheese. I don’t make anything else. It’s very creamy and cheese and holds the texture when having leftovers; cheese and oil don’t separate at all. I’ve even used different types of cheeses to change up the flavor. Fantastic recipe!!
Christi Johnstone says
So glad you like it! Mac and Cheese is my daughter’s lifelong favorite (she’s college age now) so mac and cheese is important in our house! 🙂