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This Mac and Cheese is easy to make on the stovetop and it’s ready in just 15 minutes. Skip the box and make the good stuff! 

Bird's eye view of mac and cheese in a ceramic pot with a metal spoon in it.

It’s easy to make your own delicious mac and cheese at home in under 15 minutes. Boil your pasta in one pot and in another make a simple cheese sauce. The sauce starts with a traditional roux (flour whisked into butter and cooked). Salt, white pepper, onion powder, and ground mustard are whisked in to add flavor. Milk is then poured in and as it comes to a simmer the roux slowly mixes in. The roux acts as a thickening agent and just as small bubbles appear for the simmer, your mixture should already be thickened. The heat is turned off, shredded cheese is stirred until melted, and then all that is left to do is stir in the drained al dente pasta from your other pot. You’ll never use a boxed mix again!

Can I use pre-shredded cheese to make mac and cheese?

Pre- shredded cheeses are mixed with either potato starch, powdered cellulose, and natamycin or a combination of the three to prevent clumping. These agents have an impact on how the cheese melts. The best mac and cheese uses freshly shredded cheese as they melt better, but pre-shredded cheese can also be used as a time saver. The results may not be as velvety smooth, but it’ll still taste delicious.

Can I use other kinds of cheese to make mac and cheese?

Classic mac and cheese is made with a good sharp cheddar cheese, but you can also switch things up and use another kind of cheese, or a combination of cheeses. You want to be sure that whatever cheese you use is a good melting cheese. Gouda, brie, provolone, goat cheese, mozzarella, guyere, taleggio, raclette, fontina, and asiago cheese are all commonly found cheeses that are good for melting.

If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in these other macaroni and cheese recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Bird's eye view of mac and cheese in a ceramic pot with a metal spoon in it.
This Mac and Cheese is easy to make on the stovetop and it's ready in just 15 minutes. Skip the box and make the good stuff! 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
  • 1 pound elbow noodles
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 cups milk whole, 2%, or 1%
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fill a large saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Stir in the macaroni; cook until al dente. Drain well. 
  • Meanwhile in another large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, and mustard powder and cook 1-2 minutes. 
  • Pour in milk and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Turn off the heat and whisk in cheese until melted.
  • Pour cooked pasta into the cheese sauce and stir well to combine. Serve hot. 


Calories: 697kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 823mg | Potassium: 404mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1080IU | Calcium: 456mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Mac and Cheese
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February 18, 2020 6:46 pm

5 stars
It was amazing! First time I made Mac n cheese from scratch (I’m 57). It was so easy n so creamy. Only issues were my fault. Used provolone and American cause I was trying to use it up. Still delicious but very mild. Might add a little more mustard powder next time but that’s my taste. Or might be because it was too mild due to the cheese. Actually leaving review as I’m eating it! So good!

February 4, 2020 5:17 pm

We just finished eating this macaroni & cheese and I couldn’t wait to give it a review. NAILED IT! Your spices are spot on. The only thing I changed was that I added only 1/4 cup flour because we don’t like our mac & cheese very thick. Everyone raved about the taste and the texture, it was soooo creamy – and my crew is very picky about their mac & cheese! I have tried so many different recipes trying to please everyone and THIS IS IT! Even after the macaroni & cheese cooled (not much leftovers though, let me tell… Read more »

March 29, 2020 12:14 pm
Reply to  Erin

Tried this evening. Flavour is nice. The sauce is far too thick for our liking but I’ll just cut down on the flour. Need to remember to halve recipes as there’s only two of us now. Pasta isn’t easy to find in the current crisis. Might put in a tray and top with some buttery breadcrumbs for a crunchy top.

March 2, 2020 4:14 pm

5 stars
Have to say you are my go to girl for recipes.Love them all and especially the video❤️
Thank you very much,Mary

December 1, 2019 2:33 pm

5 stars
So good! Easy to follow directions. I used a Mexican blend of cheese because that’s what I had on hand. I did have to add a couple if splashes of milk, it thickened up a little too much. Also I added a pinch if cayenne. But, this was by far the best recipe.

Ann Surface
May 16, 2020 4:31 am

5 stars
I love your videos
And the person how made a comment about your grey hair should be ashamed of themselves. You are beautiful
And. Love your cooking because you use everyday items

October 13, 2019 2:16 pm

5 stars
This is sooooooooooooooo good! And very easy! My son and husband love it. I have made several different mac and cheese recipes, but this one is super easy, creamy, and quick! I followed the recipe except adding about 2 ounces more cheese because I wanted to use everything I had left. My son just asked if this was simple to make…I said it was super easy…and he is super happy because I’m now going to be making it all the time!

September 19, 2020 11:55 am

5 stars
This is the same recipe I’ve been using for years and years! Only difference is I do it all in 1 pot! I cook the macaroni and drain it and while it’s draining make cheese sauce in same pot then add macaroni to it and VOILA! done and delicious.

Deb Porter
February 4, 2020 6:12 pm

I used this recipe to make Mac and Cheese from scratch for the first time in my life (I’m 67!), and it was quick, easy, and fun to make! I took the suggestion to buy a block of cheese and grate it myself (to avoid addition of anti-caking additives), and my cheese sauce was smooth, creamy, and beautiful. I also chose to use whole milk for my sauce for extra richness. Based on another review, I backed the Onion Powder down to 1 tsp, but next time will put the 1 1/2 tsp in, as stated in the recipe. I… Read more »

December 25, 2020 4:32 pm

5 stars
I just made this for Christmas Eve because I didn’t have the oven available to use. We loved it. And I can confirm it re- heats better than any Mac n cheese I have made in the past.

December 23, 2020 1:45 pm

5 stars
Easy, fast and delicious. Leftovers can easily be warmed in a microwave and just as delicious. My boys love this! Thank you!

Melissa H
November 29, 2020 5:20 pm

4 stars
This recipe is super easy and has great flavor and a creamy texture. I used sharp cheddar and shredded it from a chunk. I made half a recipe and it was plenty. Definitely my go to recipe. A little goes a long way😊. Definitely recommend a sharp cheese for this:

November 9, 2020 12:05 pm

5 stars
Quick and easy to put together – so tasty and out of this world good! The dry mustard makes the cheese taste cheesier – it enhances it in the best of ways. I heat up the leftovers in an oiled casserole dish and sprinkle with a mix of panko, parmesan and a wee bit of olive oil. So good on day two – a different type of mac and cheese. I love the creaminess of the first day and the breadcrumbs of day 2. Cannot beat this recipe!

Dianne Smyth
September 6, 2020 3:37 pm

5 stars
Just made this
Hubby and I loved it
You are my favorite chef 👨‍🍳
Thank you for your hard work

September 19, 2019 4:09 pm

5 stars
Great recipe! I only had mild cheddar on hand, but it worked fine for my taste (although I do prefer sharp cheddar). I added rotisserie chicken, scallions, and hot sauce. Also approved by my blue-box obsessed boyfriend.

I’ll definitely make this again 🙂

Thank you!

January 9, 2021 4:55 pm

5 stars
This Mac n cheese is fantastic. I used white sharp cheddar and Muenster because that’s what I had. Made it as described and it’s definitely a keeper, so simple and flavorful.

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