Homemade macaroni and cheese is smooth, extra creamy and full of flavor. It’s also super easy to make. You won’t go back to the box after you try this!
So, this is kind of a different recipe for me because I’m really not a huge fan of mac and cheese — really! The only kind of macaroni and cheese I had when I was growing up came straight out of the blue box, and we didn’t have it that often — usually when my dad was working late, and my mom would make something quick for dinner.
The Hubs, on the other hand, absolutely, positively adores mac and cheese. If he could have it every day for every meal, he would be a happy guy. He grew up with homemade mac and cheese, except that the cheese always came out of the yellow box and wasn’t really cheese.
My little guy loves the stuff too. The other kids are okay with it, but the little man loves it as much as his dad does. I used to buy organic boxed mac and cheese, but that really adds up, so, I decided it was time to start making my own.
It’s not hard, and the macaroni part is easy — just cook the pasta, and you’re good to go. And then, you make the roux, which is basically even amounts of flour and butter and is used to thicken sauces.
It’s French, but it’s not to be confused with rue, which is also French, but is the word for street. Just saying, since I had to explain this to someone who loves mac and cheese but who shall remain nameless.
When the roux starts to thicken, you add liquid — in this case, milk and cream. Then you add the cheese — in this case a blend of sharp cheddar and colby jack — and keep stirring until it’s melted.
Oh, you also add a little Dijon mustard for extra kick!
Then, you add the cooked pasta — in this case, elbow macaroni, which is perfect because it gets filled with all of that cheesy goodness.
I like to add a little extra cheese right before serving — grated Parmesan is perfect!
How to Make Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup colby jack cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound cooked elbow macaroni
In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat, and stir in the flour until thick and well combined
Stir in the milk and cream, and keep stirring until mixture begins to thicken
Stir in the salt, pepper and mustard
Increase heat to medium, and gradually add the cheese, stirring continuously until completely melted
Add the cooked pasta, and stir until completely coated
Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and additional cheese, if desired
This macaroni and cheese is creamy and saucy and not dry at all. It also heats up well for leftovers. Once you master basic mac and cheese, you can change it up however you want.
Like today, we had spicy beef mac, and the other day, I made Buffalo mac — yum!