If there is one recipe that all chefs must have in their repertoire, it is for homemade macaroni and cheese. Like, nothing elaborate or special, just simple, comforting, cheesy deliciousness! This classic macaroni and cheese is prepared with a simple but creamy roux-based cheese sauce that will satiate your cravings for cheesy pasta. It is incredibly delectable, but we also have a list of fun add-ins and other ways to personalize your mac and cheese. So, how to make mac and cheese from scratch?
Easy Homemade Mac And Cheese
This Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipe requires only 8 ingredients and 15 minutes on the cooktop (no baking required)! Replace packaged macaroni and cheese with this irresistibly creamy, silky, and cheesy homemade recipe.
- Servings: 8 servings.
- Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Cook time: 10 minutes
- Total time: 15 minutes
Here are some observations on the ingredients in this recipe for macaroni and cheese,
- 8 ounce dry elbow macaroni
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional but suggested)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup soured cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
Cook The Macaroni
Cook the macaroni with the instructions on the container. Add a substantial quantity of salt to the boiling water. It may seem insignificant, but it makes a significant difference in the overall flavor of this macaroni and cheese (or any pasta dish)!
Cooked macaroni should be drained but not rinsed.
Make Te Cheese Sauce
While preparing macaroni (or your preferred noodle), prepare the cheese sauce. It’s effortless, but we’ll review a few essential points to ensure your success!
Make A Roux
This sauce for handmade macaroni and cheese begins with a roux. What are rouxs? This mixture of fat (typically butter) and flour thickens sauces. Before adding the dry stuff (flour, salt, and garlic powder), melt the butter (do not let it caramelize).
Use a whisk to combine the ingredients until the mixture is homogenous thoroughly. Allow it to simmer for approximately 60 seconds (you will observe bubbling) before moving on!
Add Wet Ingredients.
After the roux has cooked for sixty seconds, add the milk and thoroughly incorporate the mixture. Again, whisk in the sour cream or Greek yogurt. At this point, the combination will be liquid-like. Cook the sauce over medium heat, whisking every 10 to 15 seconds, until it thickens.
DO NOT simmer this mixture! You may wind up with a mac and cheese sauce that is too thick if you do so. Once the sauce has thickened to the point where it adheres to a spatula, reduce the heat to low. Then, it is time for the following phase.
Add The Cheese & Whisk Until Smooth.
Whisk in the cheese until the sauce is smooth and the cheese is completely dissolved. It will require one to two minutes over moderate heat. At this juncture, it is essential to taste the cheese sauce and balance the salt and garlic to taste!
Combine The Cheese Sauce & Cooked Macaroni
Once the cheese sauce is silky smooth, please remove it from the heat and stir in the prepared pasta. Remember that the sauce will solidify as it cools down!
Serve this homemade macaroni and cheese for a quick brunch or supper. You can serve it with roasted broccoli. Children enjoy it with sliced hot dogs. I appreciate eating a small portion accompanied by a large salad. This homemade macaroni and cheese can also be served as a simple side dish at a barbecue or potluck!
Storage And Reheating
Refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the cooktop. After preserving the macaroni and cheese, you may need to pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to make it creamy again!
Here are some observations on the ingredients and possible substitutions for this easy mac and cheese recipe.
- Macaroni. This macaroni-and-cheese recipe is always delicious, regardless of the noodle variation used. You may also use gluten-free pasta, pasta made from whole wheat, chickpea pasta, etc.
- All-purpose Flour. Several flour substitutes work well, including maize starch, tapioca starch/flour, and gluten-free all-purpose flour.
- Milk. Any liquid dairy product can be used in this recipe. Remember that the higher the fat percentage, the creamier your homemade macaroni and cheese. It is acceptable to use 2% milk, whole milk, half-and-half, and cream.
- Sour Cream. I have substituted Greek yogurt for sour cream with excellent results.
- Cheese. For the finest flavor, I recommend a high-quality medium to sharp cheddar cheese.
- Garlic powder. This ingredient is optional, but I believe it enhances the flavor of this mac and cheese recipe without making it unpalatable to children. Adjust the quantity to your family’s preferences!
Tips For Cooking Mac And Cheese
- Boiling the pasta: cook it for less time than you typically would. I prefer to simmer my elbow pasta for four to five minutes. In the oven, the pasta will keep cooking, and you do not want it to become soggy.
- Use room-temperature liquids: Use room-temperature liquids if possible. In general, cold drinks take longer to thicken than heated ones. I typically set out the milk and half-and-half while the pasta water is coming to a boil.
- The cheeses: Choose your favorite cheeses! The cheddar and gruyere used in this recipe are our personal favorites, but you can get very inventive with the cheese selection. Mozzarella, gouda, smoked gouda, swiss, Monterey jack, Colby jack, and Colby are the cheeses available. There are numerous reader remarks below the recipe that discuss the cheeses used.
- Shred your own: It’s a pain to shred your cheese, but it’s SO tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in packages. However, these cheese packages contain a starchy substance that prevents the cheese from aggregating and melting correctly.
Variations Of Mac And Cheese
- Bacon: If you enjoy bacon, add some crispy bacon crumbles to the garnish or even inside the mac and cheese!
- Stovetop: If you would rather not bake this macaroni and cheese, you don’t have to! Check the packaging for the correct cooking time for the pasta, and you will only need about 3 to 3 1/2 cups of cheese in total. There is no need to assemble the pasta and cheese; add all the cheese to the sauce, followed by the pasta.
- Different Toppings: I adore the cheese layer on top because it gets nice and crispy, but we also enjoy mixing 1 cup of panko with 2 tablespoons of melted butter to use as a topping—one cup of crumbled Ritz crackers and 2 tablespoons of butter work wonderfully.
- Different Baking Times: The recipe requires a lower baking time and temperature, but I usually alter that based on the preferences of my family. I like to bake this macaroni and cheese at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty minutes, then broil it for two to three minutes to achieve a magnificent cheese “crust.”
Making macaroni and cheese from scratch is an enjoyable culinary endeavor. By combining al dente pasta with a velvety cheese sauce, this homemade classic exemplifies comfort and flavor. Mastering this technique transforms the dish into a luxurious, well-liked delicacy.
Thank you for reading…..