Classic Homemade Mac and Cheese made with bite-size pasta, cheddar cheese, and a simple creamy sauce all baked to perfection in the oven.  This recipe includes tips, tricks, and photos for making PERFECT baked mac and cheese.

This mac and cheese recipe has many similarities to another of my favorites; One Pan Baked Ziti. They are both creamy, and dreamy, comfort food that gets baked to cheesy, bubbly perfection in the oven.

Mac and cheese in a white baking dish with a wooden spoon in it, ready to serve.

Mac and Cheese

I’m pretty sure that most adults love a great homemade macaroni and cheese recipe just as much as our kids do! My kids will enjoy a box of Kraft macaroni and day, but everyone gets especially excited when I make this homemade mac and cheese, and for good reason!

This recipe is incredibly easy, and your kids would probably love to help you make it! I let my littles help grate the cheese and measure the noodles.

For me, mac and cheese has to have a smooth and creamy cheese sauce, and I’ve had enough trial and error in this department to understand that there are a few simple things you can do to achieve that smooth sauce we all want in our macaroni!

How to AVOID grainy cheese sauce:

  • The type of cheddar makes a difference. High quality aged cheddar cheese will give you a stronger taste and smoother texture. More mild and inexpensive cheddar cheeses will have less flavor and almost a grittier taste.
  • Use fresh grated cheese. Pre-shredded store-bought cheese will not melt the same as freshly grated cheese, and grating the cheese helps it melt smoothly and evenly in the sauce.
  • Bring the cheese to room temperature. I like to grate the cheese very first, before moving forward with the recipe. That allows it to sit at room temperature while I prepare the white sauce.
  • Use low heat. In order for the cheese to melt properly and smoothly we want it to have gradual changes in temperature (like how we shredded it and allowed it to come to room temperature at the beginning of the recipe). When it’s time to add the cheese to the white sauce, remove the sauce from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It only needs to be warm enough to melt the cheese.
  • Don’t over-stir the sauce once the cheese has melted. Add the noodles and quickly assemble in pan and put into the oven.

AVOID pre-shredded Cheese!

I know they are sooo convenient, but not only do pre-shedded cheeses just not taste as great, they are also mixed with various types of powder which prevent them from melting as well as freshly shredded cheese.  So while it’s not life or death, I highly recommend getting out your block grater and shredding fresh cheese for your homemade mac and cheese!  You won’t regret it!

8 Simple Ingredients is ALL you Need:

  • Elbow macaroni: It’s my favorite for this recipe, but any other bite-sized pasta will work.
  • Butter: salted or unsalted will work–just adjust the amount of salt you add, depending on the butter.
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Milk
  • Half and half
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese: the higher quality aged-cheddar, the better!

Perfect Mac and Cheese in 5 Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees and lightly grease a square baking dish.
  2. Cook the macaroni. Slightly undercook your noodles (about 1 minute under al-dente). Drain and set aside.
  3. Make the roux.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Blend in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add milk and cheese.  Stir in milk and half and half, slowly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup shredded cheese to the sauce and stir just until melted. Add the cooked macaroni noodles and toss to coat them in the sauce.
  5. Pour into baking dish.  Pour half or the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese over the top. Pour remaining pasta over it and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Three process photos for making mac and cheese in a skillet including melting butter, adding flour, cream and milk to make a roux, and then adding shredded cheddar cheese.

To bake or not to bake:

You don’t have to bake the mac and cheese in this recipe. Everything gets fully cooked and is essentially ready to eat after the cheese and noodles are added. However, I love the extra gooeyness that comes when the cheese is baked and I think baking it adds a level of sophistication you just don’t get without.

Overhead view of a skillet with homemade macaroni and cheese in it, ready to eat.

What Type of Cheese?

This classic mac and cheese recipe is made with cheddar cheese.  I particularly love medium or sharp cheddar cheese but any type will do.  If you want a more luxurious mac and cheese or you’re really trying to impress a crowd, you could use a combination of different cheeses.  Just be sure to select a type of cheese that is good for melting, like white cheddar, smoked gouda, gruyere, brie, goat cheese, mozzarella, or fontina.

Freezing and Storing:

This recipe freezes well.  Just like with my other freezer friendly meals, I love to prepare two and freeze one for another day.  You’ll want to freeze this dish prior to baking it in the oven!  Make sure to let the mac and cheese cool completely then pour it into a freezer friendly dish, cover it well and freeze if for up to 3 months.

A square white baking dish with mac and cheese and shredded cheese topping, ready to go in the oven.To reheat:

  • From frozen: Bake from frozen at 350 degrees F for 70-80 minutes or until warm throughout.
  • From thawed: Cover the mac and cheese with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake it at 325ºF for 20 minutes.

Additional Add-in & Toppings:

If you want to take this classic Mac and cheese to the next level check out my Gourmet Mac and Cheese, or consider adding some of the following:

  • Extra cheese topping – Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on top before baking.
  • Breadcrumbs– combine about 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons of melted butter in a bowl. Sprinkle over top of the macaroni and cheese just before baking.
  • Bacon Bits – Cook about 4-5 slices of bacon.  cut the cooked bacon into small bits and stir into the mac and cheese before pouring it into your baking dish.

A white bowl with homemade mac and cheese in it and a spoon.

 

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Recipe

Mac and cheese in a white baking dish with a spoon ready to serve.
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1/2 lb uncooked elbow macaroni , about 1 ½ cups
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk , any kind
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese*

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease an 8' square (or similar size) baking dish.
  • Cook the macaroni to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Blend in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and half and half, stirring constantly, and cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes until the mixture has thickened like the consistency of gravy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup shredded cheese, stirring just until melted.
  • Combine: Add the cooked macaroni noodles and toss to coat. Pour half or the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese over the top. Add remaining pasta and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted on top.

Notes

Tips for getting a smooth cheese sauce:
  • High quality aged cheddar cheese will give you a stronger taste and smoother texture. More mild and inexpensive cheddar cheeses will have less flavor and almost a grittier taste.
  • Use fresh grated cheese. Pre-shredded store-bought cheese will not melt the same as freshly grated cheese, and grating the cheese helps it melt smoothly and evenly in the sauce.
  • Bring the cheese to room temperature. I like to grate the cheese very first, before moving forward with the recipe. That allows it to sit at room temperature while I prepare the white sauce.
  • Use low heat. In order for the cheese to melt properly and smoothly we want it to have gradual changes in temperature (like how we shredded it and allowed it to come to room temperature at the beginning of the recipe). When it’s time to add the cheese to the white sauce, remove the sauce from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It only needs to be warm enough to melt the cheese.
  • Don’t over-stir the sauce once the cheese has melted. Add the noodles and quickly assemble in pan and put into the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 559kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 24gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 693mgPotassium: 300mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1023IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 540mgIron: 1mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

I originally shared this recipe in July 2014. Updated August 2019. 

 

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I have a collection of Mac and Cheese recipes and this is one I’ll come back to. It did seem like too little mac for too much sauce but it baked up nicely and tasted great. Next time, I’ll cook the noodles for a minute or two more; mine were not quite al dente and absorbed liquid from the sauce. I also added a blush of cayenne in the sauce and some panko on top. Overall, a winner. Thank you, Lauren!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the BEST Mac n cheese I have ever made. The only slight change I made was a shake of garlic powder in the roux. I shredded extra old cheddar and marble cheeses. It did need about a tsp of salt for my liking. Finished it with the panko crumb topping and baked it in the oven. Everyone loved it. I’m throwing out all of my other Mac n cheese recipes! Thanks!!

  3. 5 stars
    I tried some recipes before and definitely it was the best. Thank you for share! My wife said that these Mac and cheese are better than you can normally eat in restaurants. Was nice to make a nice meal at home. 5 stars!

  4. 4 stars
    Absolutely delicious recipe. Used a mix of sharp and extra sharp cheddar.

    Did not have milk, substituted with 1.75 cups heavy cream and the rest water.

    Anyone complaining about the roux not thickening properly is probably impatient. Used exactly 1/4 c butter and 3Tbsp flour. Let cook 2 mins. SLOWLY added in dairy, stirring vigorously with a whisk each time. The first pour, the mixture will look separated. Continue slowly adding dairy and whisking vigorously and it will blend very smoothly.

    I let the mixture come up to a gentle boil. This process does take about 5 minutes. Stirred frequently to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan.

    Turned off burner, pulled pot and off the burner, and added half the cheese. Stirred with whisk. Added other half then gently stirred again.

    Put pot back on same burner (but not turned on!) and let it sit for a minute or two to melt the cheese, then whisked vigorously to ensure even melting.

    There was way too much sauce for the 1/2 pound of pasta. Would use full box/entire pound next time, but flavor and texture were phenomenal.

    Will be making again!!!!

  5. So tired of using store brands. Looking forward to preparing these homemade recipes for my family.

      1. Yes, but store the sauce and noodles seperatly, then mix just before baking (otherwise the noodles will soak up the sauce and it wont be very creamy).

  6. 5 stars
    AMAZING!!! This was a hit at 2 different family dinners. I doubled the recipe & needed about 7 Tbsp flour. Other than that I followed exactly as written. It was so delicious! I had a few people ask me for the recipe. This is going to be my family’s go to Mac N Cheese recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I used a variety of cheese leftover from the holidays and I added a clove of garlic, some nutmeg and paprika to the béchamel sauce. Will definitely make it again. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    I had to come here to refute some of the bad reviews. Made this last night as written – the only thing I changed was adding an extra tbs of flour – and it was delicious. I had to stir the roux for exactly the 5-6 minutes the recipe dictates. As the recipe states, you have to make sure to stir the flour/butter mixture for 2 minutes before SLOWLY adding the milk and half and half. I went very slow with both, stirring for a minute or two in between adding the liquid. Worked perfectly. Will definitely make again!

    1. Thank for refuting because I tried it and it was delicious! Didn’t have half and half so I only used non fat milk, coffee mate (ran out of milk) and some extra butter for the fat. I also didn’t bake it and used some extra flour. It was delicious.

  9. 5 stars
    It tasted superb, my daughter and i made this for Christmas dinner, everyone is raving about it. Thank you for this recipe.

  10. It’s easier to melt the butter first then add milk and warm to prevent the flour from clumping instead of slowly adding the milk, cooling the seasoning, butter, and flour, which can cause clumping. With the butter at a warm temperature, it helps prevent clumping due to chilling the butter with adding cold milk.

    1. Dude, jay… Have you ever made a roux before? The method described is the exact method to make your bechamel, one of the 7 mother sauces.

      Please don’t spread misinformation because you’re inexperienced.

      Recipe is awesome!

  11. Terrific simple recipe! Added bacon and it was even better.
    *****Just a heads up though – if you choose to double or triple the recipe the amount of pasta stays at 1.25 cups of macaroni so make sure you increase accordingly. The webpage converts the increases for all other ingredients.

  12. Love this recipe. Easy to make especially if pressed for time. Taste great much like other more detailed mac n cheese recipes.
    Thanks!

  13. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe, thank you for sharing it! I didnt have half and half so I used whipping cream instead.

    The thickness was just right, I used 3 yr aged Vermont Cheddar (Boar’s Head) and it was FULL of cheddar goodness!

    We didnt bake it (we were hungry😆). Soooo good!

  14. Great taste. Added 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and turned out great. I didn’t use all the sauce as there was a lot for the amount of pasta so add the sauce slowly as you might have extra.

  15. 2 stars
    Like many of the other folks who tried this recipe, I ended up with a very runny cheese sauce. The bechamel portion of this recipe needs to be fixed with a higher flour to milk ratio before you add the cheese. Probably needs 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of flour for this to have a proper thick gravy consistency. I had to bake the mac n cheese for an additional 20-25 minutes to get the sauce to thicken up just a little.

    1. I thought the sauce was too liquidy at first but it thickened up at closer to med heat, constantly stirring, but also stopping a few times to see the liquid simmer. I used 8 oz of aged cheddar and by the time the elbows came in, the consistency became very much what we like… slightly runny but coating the mac and filling the spoon.

  16. 3 stars
    As was said in a majority of the comments, this recipe takes significantly longer than 15 minutes to cook. Prep aside, I’m at almost thirty minutes just trying to reduce the “white sauce” to a “gravely like” consistency even with a bumped up range temp. If you aren’t handy in the kitchen, I would not recommend this recipe at all.

    1. For what normaly might seem overwhelming-this recipie was ridiculously easy.
      The key is following the recipient, which is easy to follow.
      I’ve made mistakes myself.

      If you do just as the recipie instructs, (heat butter add milk SLOW WHILE STIRRING, etc. Add flour and whisk till smooth….
      This made my white sauce a smooth liquid indeed.
      I even put cream cheese dollops to account for having only one kind of cheese. Colby!
      Result was DELICIOUS.
      Good luck as it is at times trial and error. (I’ve been there!)

  17. 1 star
    Not sure what I am going to so with all these wasted ingredients now. The sauce never thickened and now I have a ton of cheese cream.

    1. I suggest not altering recipe at first until you become better at understanding original one first.
      Cooking at times is not easy but trust me here this one is simple compared to others.

    1. Yes, you absolutely can! Assemble the mac and cheese in your baking dish as per the recipe instructions. Before baking, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate it.
      On the day you plan to serve it, take the dish out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking to allow it to come closer to room temperature. You might need to add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time since it’ll be starting from a colder temperature.

  18. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe. I’ve been looking for a simple recipe and now I found it.
    I didn’t use half/half but only 2%. Still plenty thick.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. I made this, but I think I did something wrong. I couldn’t get the sauce to , thicken. I kept stirring forever and still wouldn’t thicken

      1. Mee too, the sauce did not thicken, but I went ahead and baked it and it turned out well whereas the second batch where I used less milk (and therefore I had a thicker gravy) was not quite as gooyey as the first and my guest liked the first batch with more sauce.

  19. Was absolutely delicious. I had made a whole pound of pasta – so added as much as the pan of cheese sauce could handle. Don’t skip the baking dish with crumbs on top (plus parmesan) because it was fantastic. We needed additional salt and pepper to perfect- but will make again!

  20. 5 stars
    Never but mac and cheese again.
    This doesn’t even have to be baked in the oven. Such a wonderfully splendid recipe.

  21. 3 stars
    I would make this again absolutely but even as a cheese lover (I really love cheese) I found the macaroni to sauce ratio too low. I would increase the amount of noodles in the recipe or reduce the amount of cheese.

  22. 3 stars
    Cook time and ratios were accurate for me. Everyone ate it but over all not a favorite. Tasted bland, probably won’t make again unless I add different cheese’s to doctor it up a bit and add more flavor.

  23. I made this for lunch after the soccer game. It was quick, easy and so delicious. I added cubed ham to make it more main dish.

  24. I think the problem is that the number of cups or macaroni don’t add up for more than 1x the recipe . For example , to double the recipe, it should say 3 cups , and triple the recipe , it should say 4.5 cups 🙂 this would explain why some people are saying too much sauce or liquid for the amount of pasta

  25. I made this recipe exactly like your instructions. I am hoping that my 3 and 6 year old grandchildren will like it. They are so limited on what they eat. My rice pilaf that they call “butter rice” and French fries. I would like a third option to go with their protein and veggies

  26. This came out very well. Next time, I will mix 2/3 of the shredded cheese into the roux as directed. Add the macaroni -and mix. THEN mix the remaining shredded cheese into the macaroni mixture (instead of layering). Bake 15-20 mins as directed.

  27. 5 stars
    Simple and delicious!!! I didn’t change anything about the recipe and it was perfect. I will indeed make this again.

  28. 3 stars
    This recipe is way off, and I am mystified by the 4.86/5.00 rating after reading all the negative reviews posted here. I should have read the reviews before making this recipe. Here are my observations…

    – Prep and cook times took 3-4 times longer than the recipe stated.
    – The sauce took at least 20-30 minutes to get thicker, not a “few minutes”, plus I had to increase heat to medium.
    – The milk and half and half mixture was way more than the specified volume of noodles could take. I had to use cook another batch of noodles (used twice what was specified).
    – I baked it for an hour to get the top a big more brownish.
    – After doubling the noodles the mixture looked good going into oven.
    – I added a lot more breadcrumbs and was glad I did. They soaked up the extra oil from the excess butter.

    Final verdict, the final result turned out very good, as a result of my improvisation. BUT these instructions are way off. If I had followed the instructions, this would have resulted in a cheesy noodle soup.

    1. 1 star
      Proportions are all off, as others stated, I should’ve read the comments first. Please update this recipe to a more accurate guide. Had I not followed my intuition I would’ve ended up with cheese soup.

      1. I’m so sorry you had trouble, but the ingredient ratios are accurate. Be sure to cook the sauce until it has thickened, in step 4. That is important, before adding the cheese, so that it’s a thick, cheesy sauce.

  29. 5 stars
    Made this for 15 people at a family weekend and it was the favorite at the meal! I used half the recommended flour for the roux for a triple batch and it took about 20 minutes for that amount to thicken, but it worked – better a thin sauce than too thick, and it thickened as it baked. Everyone liked Franks Red Hot or BBQ sauce on it as well. I’ll definitely make this again.

    1. My husband love this recipe
      I used white cheese but followed the exact recipes and yummy
      Made it today! Sorry I forgot to take pic it was so good

  30. 1 star
    I have been working on this recipe for 1 hour and 15 minutes now. My toddler is starving. I’m at the part where you’re supposed to let the milk thicken until it’s a gravy consistency. And per the recipe it’s only supposed to take “a few minutes”. I am not joking when I say I’ve been waiting for it to thicken for TWENTY minutes…I’m following the instructions exactly—I’m stirring as I type! I wish I would have read the reviews—this recipe is a joke!

  31. 3 stars
    It took 2 teaspoons of corn starch slurry and an extra cup of cheese and noodles but I got there. Not sure what happened with the roux but the mixture never thickened for me.

  32. 5 stars
    Just made this the first time and doubled it because I had a 16oz box of pasta. It turned out really well. I did not bake it in the oven and omitted the black pepper.
    Used sharp cheddar aged 9 months.

    1. I made the recipe with a couple alternatives.
      1. Did not have milk but used almond milk. (Same measurements)
      2. After the cooking time, broiled for 5 mins so the cheese would brown
      3. Sprinkled smoked paprika on top after cooking.

      The consistency of the Mac & Cheese was perfect, not soupy nor dry. I will definitely make this again!

      1. The 1x recipe make more than enough sauce for double the amount of noodles listed. The milk and butter did not thicken much until I added all the cheese. The recipe should be corrected. Good news is that you can freeze the extra sauce or use it in scalloped potatoes and ham.

  33. 2 stars
    In following the directions, the roux didn’t thicken properly and the sauce was runny. Won’t make again.

  34. 2 stars
    Sorry this has too much liquid going on. One kid hated it. One girlfriend took some home. Had to bake it for a long time.
    Don’t wanna make it again. Not 30 minutes.

  35. I tried this recipe tonight. So, so good. Perfect consistency. I watched the video where it was mentioned that 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream) would work. Since I had heavy cream to be used up, that is what I did. Will make again!

    1. Literally the WORST recipe I’ve ever made. Instead of eating dinner with my family, im now making more noodles, bc this recipe was trash!! Wayyy too much liquid for the small amount of pasta. Wish I had read the comments first…. 0 stars, do not recommend.

  36. 5 stars
    I am not sure why reviews mention it being soupy. I followed the recipe and it came out perfect consistency and creamy. Best recipe I have found for Mac and cheese.

  37. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! I made this 3x the size and it turned out great. I even poured my milk and half and half into my pan quickly but just took a longgggg time to my roux. Not too soupy at all. Will be making this again next week for my family vacation. Could see how adding mustard or other spices could help with a bit more flavor.

  38. 5 stars
    This is the best mac and cheese i’ve ever made. I can mess up recipes badly but this turned out addicting!! I held back a couple tablespoons of the milk but I could have totally added it with a little more flour or been more patient with stirring. It’s too good.

    1. Yes but I would suggest you store the sauce and noodles seperatly, then combine before baking.

  39. The recipe was confusing at the end. It was also very soupy even though I did everything the recipe said.

  40. 2 stars
    There’s definitely better recipes I’ve followed but overall really tasty. I added garlic,onion,and paprika powder. I baked for 25 minutes. I can understand the soupy reviews. Mine was as well I did let it thicken because it bothered me. I did a full pound of noodles and added 3.5 cups of cheese to mix and 1.5 to mix in baking dish and add on top. Overall very yummy but definitely easier ways to make a good roux.

    1. Hi Andrea, make sure you cook the sauce until it’s thickened, and then it wont end up soupy 🙂

  41. 5 stars
    This was so good!!! I thought it would turn out soupy but something magical happens when you bake it.

  42. 1 star
    Made this according to the recipe: way too much milk for the amount of cheese and macaroni. It was more like macaroni soup. I have been make roux for 40 years, so I know when a sauce should be thickening up.

    1. 100% this, my macaroni just tasted like milk and the sauce was way to thin, thankfully I had some Weber Garlic Parmesan laying around. Ended up throwing most of it in a pan with a about 35% of the sauce it made and baking it. I felt like I was doing open heart surgery! Please test the recipe first before cooking it for a big event.

  43. 5 stars
    This recipe was absolutely to die for! It was so smooth and creamy and I even used the store bought shredded mild cheddar cheese and it was so good!!!

  44. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last weekend when I had family over, it turned out great! You guys who are saying it was soupy must not have let your sauce thicken. This recipe will be replacing regular mac and cheese recipe. Everyone loved it!

  45. 5 stars
    Loved it. Nice and simple! I used soy milk instead of milk and cream and added a tbsp of cornstarch as I was worried it would be thin. Probably added too much old cheddar but loved it! Also added two cups of broccoli florets to cheat my toddler into eating some veggies too. Added breadcrumb layer to the top and roasted for 3 mins at the end. Thank you for this recipe – made me super dad tonight!

  46. 1 star
    Had absolutely no flavor to it whatsoever and had a super weird texture to it. Mac & cheese is my favorite food and I was really excited to try this. Definitely wouldn’t recommend

  47. 1 star
    Horrible recipe. I followed the directions and it is like macaroni soup. What a waste of my time and money! I followed the directions for 3x the amount. Went right in the trash. So upset

  48. 3 stars
    Not sure where I went wrong. I followed the recipe. It was creamy and thick before I put it in the oven, but when it came out it had separated and was oily and not creamy at all.

  49. 2 stars
    I added 25% more of everything because half and half comes in 1 cup size boxes and I didn’t see a reason to throw away that extra quarter cup. Overall, it was rather bland, tasted like milky noodles. I should have shredded the entire 8oz block of medium cheddar instead of following the numbers, I still had 3oz left once complete.

    1. Hi Kevin! Thanks for trying out the mac and cheese. For hard cheese, like cheddar, 8 oz is 2 cups shredded. In that case, the original recipe would need 10 oz. of cheese. Sadly, you didn’t use enough cheese for the recipe.

      1. this is why cup sizes are awful in a recipe for some things. After shredding, I had 3.5 heaping cups along with the remainder. I, of course, did not pack the cheese down in the cup before adding. Pure liquid, pure solid, cup sizes are fine.

      1. Part of the issue may be if you double or triple the recipe by hitting the 2x or 3x buttons above, it still says about 1.5 cups dried macaroni, and keeps the instructions for adding the cheese at stirring in 1 cup of cheese into the sauce, sprinkling with 1/2 cup, etc. I’m troubleshooting while my daughter makes this recipe, and that’s what we noticed. So for anybody trusting the text, it may not be entirely accurate if you have hit those buttons. Double check the math the old fashioned way just in case!

  50. 3 stars
    Followed the recipe exactly. The sauce was way too runny and too much. I ended up just cooking the rest of my noodles I had on hand ( 1 lb total) and added that. It turned out ok after that.

  51. I follow this receipt exactly every time I make it and it turns out perfect! Whole family loves it. The only thing I ever change is the type/brand of cheddar cheese (depending on what I have in the fridge or was on sale).

    The people saying it’s too thin and adding things should have tried it the way the recipe was written first. The sauce thickens even more in the oven so adding the extra cheese beforehand isn’t necessary and I would assume probably loses some of the added flavor.

  52. 3 stars
    This recipe was easy and quick. I shredded my own cheese and used extra sharp white cheddar. I follow the recipe but felt I needed to add all the cheese and did, this made it less watery. I added a tablespoon of mustard powder to the recipe. I added a little Italian flare and mixed 1/4 c of olive oil and Italian breadcrumbs and sprinkled on top and baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. It was delicious 😋

  53. 5 stars
    This is a family favorite. I double the recipe and then add add 1/2 c Italian bread crumbs mixed with 2T melted butter and some parmesean cheese to the top before baking 🥰

  54. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious. I used Velveeta instead of shedding the cheese because it what I had. Cut way back on salt, but increase Macaroni to almost 3 cups. Perfection! Oh a touch of nutmeg in the cheese sauce.

  55. 4 stars
    I modified the recipe and it was perfect. As written the sauce was too thin.

    Firstly, I doubled the recipe. However, I added about 1/2 tablespoon extra flour, omitted the half and half, and added all but 1 cup cheese to the roux. Topped the macaroni and cheese with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and baked for 15 minutes in a rectangle baking dish.

  56. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote andsay, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing.Do you have any points for novice blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  57. 5 stars
    I tripled the recipe for easter. I used 5 tblsp of flour instead of 6, 3 cups of milk instead of 4.5 cups and the amount of half and half. Literally came out perfect!

  58. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Easy to make. I did increase the noodles to a whole pound because 1/2 pound was not enough for the cheesy mixture. Just like my grandma’s!

  59. I made it it was not the consistency I’d hope for. It was smooth in the process but not in the end product. I think 2 T of flour was too much.

  60. 4 stars
    Made this dish today. Very good taste. My family liked it.The only thing is that the flour made it a little grainy.It was my bad as I tried adding more flour during the cooking after adding the milk and cream and I guess it did not dissolve completely. I was trying to make the sauce thicker. Next time I will not add any more flour than the indicated amount while cooking. Thank you.

    1. Definitely cut back on the liquids. Too runny. I cut a cup of milk out right away, and still wasn’t enough.

  61. 4 stars
    Just made this- have to remember to read the recipe comments ahead of time. It never really thickened up after I added the milk. I put it all together as the recipe said, and sprinkled some cheese on top and threw it in the oven. The cheese sunk in to the casserole so I never had any browning and it still appeared quite soupy after increasing the time in the oven and the temp several times. Finally, I pulled it out and sprinkled crushed up ritz crackers over the top, and finally about 10 min later I pulled it out. It tasted fantastic! My husbands only complaint was that there were no onions. I told him next time.

  62. 4 stars
    Made this Mac n cheese two times in past month. One time without the Panko bread crumbs. My family prefers it made without the bread and more cheese added to it too. Very easily to make.

    1. Making this for Easter and would like to know what different types of cheeses and how much you used. I too am doubling recipe. Thanks!

  63. 1 star
    It was super watery??? I even did more cheese and pasta then the recipe called for and it was so liquify I couldn’t fix it

    1. When you’re adding the flour, butter, and then milk/half and half, you have to make a bechamel type sauce by adding them slowly. The longer you cook it the thicker it will become. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Then add the cheese. I never use half and half in my mac and cheese, just whole milk. Hope this helps!

    2. My advice is to add more flour. Your roux is where you encountered your problem so adding more cheese oe noodles would not help. I hope that you find thua information useful in the future.

  64. 5 stars
    I made this for Christmas and used two organic sharp cheeses, one orange cheese, and one white cheddar cheese. they both had a nice bite to them. Everyone loved it!

  65. 5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving 2022. It was delicious! It was addicting! Everyone raved about ut. I’m making it again for our church potluck this coming Sat.

  66. 5 stars
    First time making mac and cheese from scratch and I’m in love! It’s one of my favorite foods but home made stuff is always grainy so I just never thought I’d be able to get it right but the tips here really work! I accidentally burned my butter so it was more of a “beige sauce” lol, but it was still delicious.

    I replaced the half & half with sour cream just because I love having that in my baked mac recipes and some of the comments said theirs turned out runny, it was perfect. Can’t wait to try this with all sorts of cheeses!

  67. 5 stars
    I made this tonight since I had a ton of left over cheese from Thanksgiving. I was very disappointed in how runny it was prior to putting it in the oven, so much so that I started boiling more water for additional noodles while it was baking. However, while I was waiting for it to bake, I started reading reviews and lo and behold IT BAKED UP PERFECTLY! Trust the runny process, people!

    1. 5 stars
      I’m making this tonight, as mac and cheese is one of my daughter’s favorites. Homemade is so much better than box. I added bacon and some parmesan on top… More cheese, how could it be bad ?

  68. 5 stars
    This is my family’s favorite. My son is a chef and at Thanksgiving he told his wife to make sure they too some home.

  69. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday for a Thanksgiving side, everyone loved it! It was super easy and super tasty. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  70. I tried your Mac and cheese recipe with equal amounts of Fat Free half and half and skim milk. Then heavily sprinkled the top with plain Panko crumbs. It turned out SO good and lightened it up as well. Thank you for my new go to recipe for Mac and cheese!

  71. 5 stars
    I doubled the recipe, used block of white cheddar and block of Montery Jack. It was so soupy when I put it in the oven and came to check reviews…thought I messed up. Came out a TOTAL crowd pleaser. I’m talking a party of older teenagers gobbled it up. Not runny at all. I baked it about 25 minutes then cut off the temp and let it sit in there for 30 minutes to keep it warm. Will definitely add to my book of go to’s.

  72. This recipe came out great! I was at first a little worried because it seemed like a lot of liquid when I added the noodles. The sauce never thickened as much as I thought it would. It did thicken more after baking and was delicious.

    I used heavy cream for this recipe as this is what I had in the fridge I also added a little ground mustard to the sauce for flavor. Will make again. Next time I will add panko or something to the top.

    1. Hello Donna. This mac and cheese doubles wonderfully. Use a 9 x 13 for a double batch and make sure to double the amounts added in the instructions! Hope you love it.

  73. 5 stars
    Finally a recipe that is just like my Mum used to make. The perfect comfort food. Definitely use a block of cheese rather than preshredded, and buy a good brand – you’ll be happy you did.

  74. So if I make enough for 40 servings → that’s 4 lbs of noodles; 24 TBS butter, 12 cups milk, 6 cups hlf/hlf, and 20 cups of cheese? Which would be like 80 oz of block cheese? Is that right? Sounds like A LOT….?????

  75. 3 stars
    Use no more than half the total liquids the recipe calls for, and do NOT skip baking, and you’ll have yourself some amazing mac and cheese. Otherwise you’ll end up with an unappetizing mess instead.

  76. 3 stars
    I should have looked at the pictures. I jumped straight to the recipe and my version of a medium saucepan was much different than the pictures show. I had a smaller base and taller sides. I can only imagine the wider base of the pan in the pictures would have changed how the milk heated up and thickened. I can’t find another explanation as I also ended up with soup like many other commenters. Taste was still pretty good, just had to drain of a lot of liquid and it was thinner than I’d like.

  77. 4 stars
    Hint: If the milk sauce isn’t thickening, put 1 heaping tsp of corn starch in small cup and dip a little of the hot milk liquid into it, stirring to dissolve the corn starch, then add it to the sauce and it will thicken. This is a very good basic recipe!

      1. 1 star
        It was an epic fail even following the directions . The sauce never thickened up and was nothing but soup . Recipe calls for WAY too much fluids and way too much cheese . Half of the cheese didn’t even melt. Thumbs down for sure 👎👎

  78. 5 stars
    I used this recipe tonight for dinner & it was excellent-in fact I was told I could make this again! I didn’t have half n’ half cream so I used 2% evaporated milk & skim milk

  79. 3 stars
    Texture was fine.. didn’t really taste like much. Definitely could have used some spices. I had to dump Frank’s all over it to make it taste like anything.

  80. 5 stars
    Family favorite! My children always ask for mac n cheese and this is perfect. It’s fabulous. It takes longer than a box but it’s totally worth the extra time. My children don’t mind waiting for it. Also love that it doesn’t use a ton of milk or cheese. I’ve used evaporated milk in place of half and half with great results. I’ve also used half sharp cheddar cheese and half sharp white cheddar cheese. So yummy.

  81. 5 stars
    I used gluten free noodles and this came out delicious! I love that this is a half recipe and doesnt use 10 gallons of milk and cheese. Lol!
    The whole family loved it!

  82. 5 stars
    Had tremendous potential, but no flavor. It called for 1/2 tsp salt. I’m thinking this should be 1 1/2 – 2 tsp salt. I will work to prefect this.
    The texture was perfect.

  83. 5 stars
    Followed exactly except used 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream instead of half and half. Great recipe!!!

  84. 1 star
    Way too runny… Cut milk by at least 1/2 cup… Don’t know for sure as I won’t be making this one again.

  85. Well done, thank you for the tips, they are quite helpful. I made this last night, and my guy had two heaping servings. I thought it was just a little runny, I would cut back on the milk just a tad, I also put some Easter ham in with the cooked macaroi. So good, thank you.

  86. I made this exactly as written. It was perfect. I found it to be creamy and very tasty. It was served with Easter dinner and was a hit. I will make it again. Yes, grating the fresh cheese really makes a difference.

  87. 5 stars
    You should open a restaurant and just serve this. It’s delicious. I did use smoked gruyere and cheddar jack instead of just cheddar. Ok, and full disclosure, I used whole cream instead of half and half. What I love most is this dish reheats well unlike boxed mac and cheese.

  88. 5 stars
    I made this last night using two types of cheddar. I topped the mac and cheese with buttered bread crumbs. It was delicious! A cheese lover’s dream!

  89. 2 stars
    I got stuck at letting the sauce thicken. At medium low heat I let it thicken for much more than “a few minutes” (I hate when recipes time things like this – tell me how long – should be be thick enough by 5 minutes? 10? 15?) and still had a very very thin sauce. Thinking that maybe that was what I was supposed to have (it says to “barely” thicken after all) I tried adding the pasta but I’m certain this was wrong because it just looked like macaroni soup.

    A waste of good ingredients.

    1. Hi Jordan, Thanks for the feedback, sorry the mac and cheese didn’t come out right for you. The sauce should have thickened very slightly after just 2-3 minutes. The sauce will thicken more with the addition of the shredded cheese and as it cools slightly.

      1. I thought I made a mistake as well with the “noodle soup” but it turned out just fine. I’d give it another try. It’s worth it!

    2. 1 star
      I second Jordan’s review. I followed the recipe carefully and I ended up with Mac and cheese soup. 1 hour before thanksgiving dinner.. I really wish I had looked at the comments first.

    1. 2 stars
      Maybe you just suck at making it, this recipe is as old as time itself, you can’t say it isn’t good it’s you that isn’t good at making it right.

  90. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best macaroni and cheese I have ever made or had! My son-in-law, who is a Mac and cheese connoisseur, said it is the best he has ever had. This is a keeper for sure. I made it exactly by your instructions and it turned out perfect, not runny at all.

  91. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe. I add broccoli and some spicy, sautéed chicken breast and top it with bread crumbs. I use pre-shredded sharp cheddar and have no issues as long as the cheese is room temperature when I add it.

  92. 5 stars
    Delicious – used cracker barrel extra sharp cheddar with swiss – delicious. remember LIGHTLY grease pain…

  93. It tasted fine However was rather runny. Let’s just say it didn’t thicken hardly at all. Next time I’ll add additional flour.

  94. 5 stars
    I used this as inspiration to make my own lazy mac n cheese. Basically I made it all in one pot, measured nothing, and used the dreaded pre-shredded cheddar. I also added a dash of nutmeg and some cayenne and a some kale. It turned out amazing!

  95. I had heavy cream instead of half and half but only used 1/2C and increased the milk portion. I added some breadcrumbs to the top with the grated cheese. It was excellent, and i will make it again. Thanks.

  96. 5 stars
    Wow. Made this with a friend the other night and we both agreed it was some of the best we have ever had. I used yellow and white EXTRA sharp cheddar and added some garlic powder, onion powder, a dash of cayenne and a dash of ground mustard and the taste was AMAZING. I recommend waiting until the milk and cream mixture has thickened for longer than the time in the recipe, just watch for it to have less ripples when you’re stirring! Imo it’s better to have thicker sauce than too thin.

  97. This is as good as it is easy, truly delish! My picky 12 year old daughter gets excited for this dish.

    1. I would cook the noodles and sauce and store them separately in the fridge. Then rewarm the sauce (add a splash of milk of needed), and bake when ready to eat.

  98. 4 stars
    I used Monterrey cheese and put in the sauce to melt little by little and somehow didn’t melt it just turned into a blob and I tried putting it in the over but still didn’t, is there something I did wrong , was it the cheese?

    1. Yes sometimes it is the cheese. Some cheese’s on the back will say does not melt. I always read 3 -5 recipes b 4 I decide to cook 1 so I get ideas. There was 1 website that said only buy premium block cheese that you would eat yourself and shred bc they add stuff to shredded cheese that make it hard to melt[some brands] *hope this helps*

  99. 5 stars
    i made this and it turned out good. i didnt have half and half used a bit more whole milk. and i added extra cheese to the sauce. i also broiled the cheese at the end.

  100. 2 stars
    Do not recommend doubling this! I doubled it and nothing worked right. I’m sure it’s an amazing recipe, but doubled it was a sloppy chunky greasy mess.

  101. 5 stars
    Really great recipe. Liked that the sauce was just the right creamy consistency after baking and tasted wonderful. My granddaughter loved it, that says it all!
    Thanks Lauren 🙂

    1. Half and half is half milk and cream..found by milk in the refrigerator section. You could also sub half milk and heavy cream.

  102. Looking at making this recipe but have to alter ingredients for it to be gluten-free. GF pasta I have but would an almond flour or rice flour work just as well for the sauce?

  103. 5 stars
    This is hands down the best mac & cheese recipe out there! It’s so easy to make and it’s beyond delicious! My 2 year old requests it at least 2 times a week! I double the batch to have leftovers and I find it even better when it’s reheated! I also had Panko bread crumbs on the top for a little crunch.

  104. 1 star
    I cooked it for more than 20 minutes and it was greasy not creamy. The sauce was thin and took double the time to cook the macaroni through.The butter floated to the top and curdles of milk stuck to the pasta. I should have stuck to my original recipe instead. Not making this again.

    1. Sorry it didn’t work out for you. Did you grate your own cheese and allow it to come to room temperature?

    1. Quirk in the recipe software:
      When you double or triple the recipe, the macaroni WEIGHT is magnified but the macaroni VOLUME stays at 1 1/2 cups.

  105. 5 stars
    The only recipe I use ! I grate half orange cheddar and half white. The white really elevates the flavor
    I make it a day ahead and it’s sooo good after marinating a night
    Thank you!

  106. 4 stars
    I made this tonight for family that came over for dinner. I doubled the recipe. Omg, everyone absolutely loved it. It was delicious. I will definitely start cooking this for holidays. Thank you so much for posting this amazing recipe ❤️♥️

  107. 5 stars
    Great recipe!! I did top with breadcrumbs because my kids like it that way, but otherwise followed the directions exactly. It was wonderful and my husband declared it the best he had ever had! Don’t worry when the sauce looks thin before baking…it is perfect when done!

  108. 5 stars
    This is the ONLY Mac and cheese recipe I use. It is so good. I get rave reviews every time I bring it to an event.

  109. 5 stars
    I followed the instructions exactly, except I added Gruyere. I also added Panko and bacon. It was so good! I like the roux to brown a little, it adds a nutty flavor. I will be making this again😁
    Thank you!

  110. 4 stars
    This is a really great recipe! However, there are a few edits to it that really make the consistency and texture right:
    -Recommend doubling the recipe to make one pound of pasta. Who makes 1/2lb? haha
    -Use heavy cream instead of half and half and adjust the measurements to be: 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of heavy cream (this is for a doubled recipe)
    -For the last 5 minutes in the oven put it under the broiler so it gets a nice brown crust on the top.
    -Agree that additions make this really elevated, a few I do: green onions and sriracha (it’s like a baked potato); bread crumbs; peas and breadcrumbs; etc
    But overall a good recipe and roux!

  111. 5 stars
    Easy and tasty, I only use milk not cream, I added garlic and onion powder and sometimes one chopped and quickly stewed tomato and a spoonful of regular cream cheese for extra tanginess. My family loves it.

  112. 5 stars
    So good! My very picky, mac and cheese loving daughter even approved. And said it was better than Annie’s! I did have to stir the milk/butter/flour mixture for more than a few minutes for it to be a little thick. And it seemed like it wasn’t going to be thick enough but it was! Will be making this over and over again! Thank you!

  113. 5 stars
    Like many commenters, I was shocked by how thin this sauce is. But behold, once baked this was the best macaroni ever!

    1. 4 stars
      Followed recipe and even the hints at the end and it was good but the cheese looked curdled. I didn’t care but my bf did.
      It was very runny as well and I cooked a lot longer and broiled at the end. I will try again and hope for perfection.

  114. 5 stars
    I thought this was great! I’m gluten free so I used Chickpea pasta, and instead of using flour to thicken the sauce I added some cream cheese and Heavy Whipping Cream instead of Half and Half. I have some picky eaters and all the kids were fans of this dinner!

  115. 4 stars
    Good recipe! I didn’t have half & half so I substituted plain Greek yogurt. Also added some brown mustard. Turned out well!

  116. I made this and tweaked a few things. Most importantly put bread crumbs on top and added hot dogs cuz I have the palette of a 5 year old… but it was some of the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had.

  117. 5 stars
    Delicious Mac and cheese! My mother’s recipe was misplaced, and this is so similar to her’s. She didn’t use half and half, but I loved that addition and will continue to add it from now on! I doubled the recipe since I typically buy 16 oz boxes of pasta, and it’s a family favorite. Will continue to make for years to come. Love!

  118. Love the recipe, used this as a side dish to smoked ribs. I doubled up the recipe and I used pepper jack cheese and cancelled the salt. Using salted butter and salt in the cheese is too salty. Instead of putting in oven I put it on my smoker. Thank you. Huge hit and will be made often. For those that say it was not good try using real butter and slowly mix flour in a little at a time with only the butter. Once you get the flour mixed in then add the milk and half and half. I also cook it low heat. Medium is to hot on most new stoves.

  119. 2 stars
    The taste was all right but the texture was off. I’m wondering if I did something wrong? I used freshly grated cheese but it was Tilamook- is that not high quality enough? The sauce ended up seeming really thin as well.

  120. Thanks for your sharing this mac and cheese recipe. It’s simple and delicious. I believe that easy recipes are better because I can add to them if I want to use other ingredients. You’re recipes are just what I have been looking for. Apperation from Amena Minckler

  121. Loved it! For a homemade Mac and cheese, managed to make fairly quickly. I used a mixture of cheeses I had on hand and put some buttered panko bread crumbs in top.

    1. Yes, you can, just keep in mind the noodles will soak up some of the sauce so it would be quite as saucy.

  122. 5 stars
    This recipe was a HIT!!! First time making mac n cheese from scratch. It was easy to follow. My kids want me to make it again! Keeping this recipe in my recipe book!

  123. 1 star
    Oily, not creamy sauce. Way too milky. Definitely a far cry from the creamy pub mac&cheese I was looking for. Time to try for a sodium citrate recipe, as this roux-based one was just the taste of disappointment.

  124. Just found your Mac and cheese going to make for my grandbabies this weekend. I am sure I will be back to your website.

  125. I’m making this the day before. Do I need to bake it before putting it in the fridge? Or combine, store in fridge and then bake the next day? Thanks for your help!

  126. 5 stars
    One of the best, and easiest, mac and cheese recipes I have used. I didn’t bake because my family and I prefer it that way. Highly recommend.

  127. 5 stars
    Super easy and delicious to make. I used Baldersons aged cheddar, yellow old cheddar and parmesan. I made too much cheese sauce so I froze it or should have made 4 cups of macaroni noodles. Delicious!

  128. 5 stars
    Had to make a side for a BBQ last minute and needed something quick. This Mac and cheese whipped up is quickly and it was a hit. Will definitely use again.

  129. 1 star
    This recipe was not at all accurate. I bought quality cheese and even added more than called for, absolutely no cheese taste. The sauce never thickened and it was so overly watery the end product was soggy flour tasting noodles. I followed the directions to the letter. Terribly disappointed.

  130. 3 stars
    Eh for preparation. Most recipes can simply be doubled with no need for midifications. Not the case here. In addition, it is unrealistic to expect the milk,cream mixture to be warm enough to melt the cheese in the time listed as it is not even luke warm. Lastly, time given for until “barely thickened” does not have it reach that stage. Disappointed. Will not use this recipe again.

  131. 5 stars
    Easy to follow instructions. Very flexible recipe. Used on egg noodles, and (shredded) Gruyere, Swiss and Gouda cheese we already had. Putting in the oven for a few minutes helped – looked really great! We will make again! Thanks for the recipe!

  132. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I like that it is just the right amount for my small family and tastes awesome.

  133. 5 stars
    As tasty as it was easy to make! My two little boys really enjoyed it – don’t think we’ll be going back to the box kind any time soon! I think the only thing that I’d add in the directions is that it’s about 4 cups of cooked elbow macaroni. Thank you so much!

  134. Delicious! We had a lot of pieces of cheese in the fridge and I used them all up in this recipe. Also had more cream and half/half in fridge that needed to go so I used more of that than milk. Also used some left over grated locatelli on top along with some seasoned panko bread crumbs. It was a HUGE hit!

  135. 5 stars
    This recipe was perfect I made it for my kids Sunny and Dorian and they loved it, will definitely make it again soon!

  136. 5 stars
    I’m 50 years old and this was my first time trying it, it was awesome! I eat me a bowl before I put it in the oven. I wanted to try it and also just to see how it would come out but I love this very good taste. 5 stars

  137. 5 stars
    This recipe was the best mac and cheese recipe ever! however I changed some stuff up!
    I found the recipe only stated to put 1.5 cups of cheese in it, when the recipe calls for 2.5 cups of cheese. I put the 2 cups in it anyways and the 1/2 cup on top figuring it was a typo. I also used more macaroni noodles because that did not seem like enough noodles for the amount of sauce. I also added more seasoning like chili flakes, paprika and garlic and onion powder!
    it turned out great!!!!

  138. 5 stars
    Awesome base recipe for the perfect mac and cheese. Experimented out of the gate with other cheeses, as suggested, based on other recipes I read, and went with equal parts sharp white cheddar, gruyiere and havarti then topped with cheddar and jack. First batch came out great, but I used small elbow mac and thought it would be better with the large elbows… second batch proved that to be true.

    I’ve been wanting to do a try a homemade mac and cheese for some time now and the ease and flavor of this recipe has me wondering why I waited so long to try it. Thank you… I now have a go to mac and cheese recipe!

    No need to try another recipe, just use this and dial your cheese and pasta choices in to your own taste!

    Perfection!

  139. 4 stars
    Turned out very good and I used pre-shredded mild cheddar cheese and I didn’t use half and half…and I did half the portion listed.

  140. 5 stars
    I just made this and it is heavenly. I added Asiago and Parmesan cheese along with the cheddar. I also added the breadcrumbs/melted butter.

  141. 5 stars
    This Mac & Cheese taste just like my great grandmother’s. Grandma Zella had the best Mac around! We tried this for the first time for Thanksgiving. We LOVED it so much, we had to make it again for Christmas. It reheats so nicely too! Thank you! 🙂

  142. 2 stars
    I followed the directions and, at least for my family, it really was not nearly cheesy enough. It was very bland. I believe it had way too much milk.

  143. 5 stars
    Other recipes had costly gruyere cheese so I chose this simple recipe. Everyone liked this tasty mac and cheese and it was easy to make. I did add a sprinkle a smoked paprika as I was making it.

  144. 5 stars
    I have been wanting to make mac and cheese for the last week or so but I have never had a decent recipe to follow. I had made it a few times it was always good but never really really good… This is the BEST mac and cheese EVER!
    I made double and had one pan regular and the second I added some left over ham from Christmas dinner. So good.
    For such a simple recipe it tastes amazing.

  145. This was a fabulous Mac and Cheese! Easy and super cheesy. I baked it with some breadcrumbs prepared as suggested, it added a great flavor and texture!!! This is a keeper!

  146. 5 stars
    Love this cheesy mac & cheese. I didn’t have half-and-half so I added a half a cup of sour cream instead. It was delicious. A nice twist but not too much.

    1. Sounds great! I do not have half-and-half either. If you used 1/2c sour cream, how much milk did you use? Thank you!

  147. 5 stars
    Made this today for the third time! I have to admit I was pretty skeptical the first time, as the sauce seemed VERY thin, but this is the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had!! I made a double batch the first time, so I could freeze half, but it never made it to the freezer! It is so creamy and cheesy. Love mixing it up with different cheese combinations. Very easy prep, no strange ingredients! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  148. 5 stars
    This is the best mac and cheese – and my ‘go to’ recipe from now on! Thank you for the tips on creating the smooth sauce. Perfect!

  149. Made it today and it seemed really liquid-y I’m not sure what I did wrong as I followed the recipe exactly 😥

  150. 1 star
    Wayyyy too cheesy! Nobody in my family liked it. It was pretty good for about four bites and then it was way too strong. We would rather have boxed mac & cheese.

    1. Every time I try to melt the butter and mix in the flour it turns into crumbs. Please tell me what I’m doing wrong?

  151. 5 stars
    9/30/20 – Made this today for dinner. I added soy curls that were soaked in veggie broth for added protein. Yummy! 🙂

  152. Could I make this recipe without baking the Mac and cheese? We are going camping and o wanted to mac some mac and cheese but no oven! 😃

  153. 5 stars
    Recipe was very easy to follow. I used Colby jack and mozzarella cheese. I also added breadcrumbs and bacon bits to the Mac. Turned out so GOOD! Love the recipe homemade cheese sauce is the BEST! Will experiment with different cheeses next time.

  154. I am so excited to try this simple, yet tasty sounding recipe! I was wondering if you have a recommendation on if I need to prep this dish earlier during the day, to cook at night? Or is it just a lot better tasting fresh? Or is there a way to do parts of this recipe like cook the noodles and grate the cheese, and then do the rest later by leaving the noodles and the cheese sitting out for a couple hours if I have the AC on? Please LMK! I really want to cook this on Wednesday, but want to know my best option for preparing it ahead of time, or reheating it later. Do you think I should prepare it ahead of time, wait for it to cool, then put it in the fridge, then bake it later (letting it sit for a little to room temperature to get the cheese back to room temp)?

    1. I would cook the noodles and make the sauce, but store them both separately in the fridge until ready to bake. Otherwise the noodles will soak up the sauce and the baked product wont be very saucy/cheesy.

  155. My first time making mac n cheese and I was glad that I came across this simple recipe. The mac n cheese turned out perfect. Thanks again.

    1. Congratulations on exploring cooking so young. You’ll have a great foundation for exploring more complex recipes or hosting dinner & holiday parties. My son finally got into cooking but not until his college days but now a couple of people actually pay him to cook at their tailgates! I say great family recipes make a difference! LOL

  156. 5 stars
    I made this today, it was delicious! I did increase the pasta to 2 cups and substituted 1/2 a cup of cheddar with smoked cheddar, mixed all but 1 cup of the cheese into the sauce and put the remainder on the top. I also broiled it a bit at the end to make it brown up. My husband doesn’t usually like mac and cheese and he loved it, will definitely make this again.

  157. 4 stars
    I made this with my family last night. I substituted with wheat noodles which I believe made the mac N cheese dry. However, the roue sauce was very flavorful and creamy. I will be experimenting with whole wheat noodles a bit more and maybe adding a bit more mile to make the roue thinner to help the noodles soften up a bit or maybe covering the dish with tin foil while cooking instead of uncovered… Have you used whole wheat noodles before? If so what has been helpful?

    1. I have not made this recipe with whole wheat pasta yet but in other pasta recipes I noticed that it needed a little more sauce when baking. Hope this helps.

  158. 5 stars
    I made this earlier today and it is perfect!!! I thought the sauce was sooo creamy. I did let it get to room temp prior to grating….made all the difference in the world. You directions were simple and correct!! Oftentimes people post a recipe and leave out steps or eyeball measurements. This can be simple or elegant depending on cheese and pasta variety. My husband is not a fan of mac and cheese but he said it was delicious.

  159. 4 stars
    I use to make a very similar one but we are a smaller family so this look the right size. I added sourcream since I did not have half and half and it worked great. I like to broil the pan for a 2 minutes to make a crunchy cheese topping yum. Did not give you five stars because I think I needed more pasta. My husband and I enjoyed very much.

  160. Made according to direction. Leans itself toward a finished product somewhat thick in nature. While successful as a mac and cheese, if you are looking for a lucious creamy product plentiful if sauciness, this might not be the result you are looking for, as its more on the drier side leaving you yearning for more creaminess.

  161. My Aunts would top the cheesy top with tomato slices, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Personally, I like to mix a softer cheese (monterey Jack or mozzarella) with the cheddar (about a third of it a softer cheese). Then instead of the tomato slices, I mix the bread crumbs on top with Parmesan.

    Sometimes, also, I will just add frozen mixed vegetables to it (since I just add this to the pasta pot, it takes no time and no additional mess). Stir in some diced ham, then pop it in the oven as a main dish.

  162. 5 stars
    I was looking for an easy Mac and cheese recipe for my picky teenagers who insist that boxed stuff is better. Not only was this so easy, my kids loved it! I can’t wait to take the leftovers and add other things to it and pan fry it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  163. 5 stars
    I haven’t made this recipe YET. But I am going too. The purpose of this comment is to say thank you! Every recipe I made last year on thanksgiving was from this site. From the turkey all the way to the rolls. It was my first thanksgiving hosting for family and it was a total hit. Nobody believed me that the turkey they were eating was the first turkey I had ever made. All the side dishes were amazing. Thank you so much for taking time out of your life to help the less fortunate who can’t cook🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️ Happy holidays. Looking forward to making this.

  164. 5 stars
    Thanks Lauren for sharing this recipe. Made this with my daughter who loves homemade mac-and-cheese. We followed the recipe as described using sharp cheddar ~ it was super easy and quick. We both enjoyed this dish very much ((along with the majority of the rest of the family.

    Easy to double and bring to another family or freeze for later.