Simple Macaroni and Cheese (Wallet-Friendly and Delectable)

A wallet-friendly and delectable macaroni and cheese recipe that’s both quick and easy. While fancy, artisanal mac and cheese dishes can rack up a bill of forty or fifty dollars with their assortment of pricey cheeses, they don’t always deliver the most satisfying taste.

This straightforward recipe proves that you can create a delicious mac and cheese without breaking the bank.

This stovetop mac and cheese recipe relies on common kitchen staples and can be prepared in a mere 25 minutes. It’s a go-to option to bookmark for those hectic weeknight dinners. The best part? It’s so straightforward that after a couple of tries, you’ll probably have it committed to memory.


  • 1 (8 ounce) box elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

How to Prepare Macaroni and Cheese on the Stovetop?

Step 1:

Boiling the Macaroni – Begin by bringing a pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook your elbow macaroni until it reaches that perfect al dente texture, which usually takes around 8 minutes.

Pro Tip: If you prefer a heartier mac and cheese, consider doubling the quantity of macaroni in the mix.

Step 2:

Crafting the Roux – While your macaroni is simmering away, it’s time to dive into the creation of the roux. A roux, the foundational thickening agent for this creamy mac and cheese, consists of equal parts fat and flour.

To craft your roux, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper, and whisk the mixture until it becomes a silky, lump-free concoction. Gradually introduce the milk and keep stirring until your creation becomes smooth and begins to bubble. Exercise caution to prevent the milk from scorching.

Step 3:

Infuse with Cheese and Macaroni – Now, for the piece of resistance – adding the cheese! Gently incorporate Cheddar cheese into the mixture until it melds seamlessly and becomes a velvety sauce. We highly recommend grating your own cheese as pre-shredded varieties might not blend as effortlessly.

Once your macaroni has reached its desired doneness, drain it and fold it into the cheese sauce until each piece is beautifully coated.

Is Baking an Option for This Mac and Cheese?

While this stovetop mac and cheese is all about simplicity, if you happen to have some extra time and a hankering for a golden-brown, bubbly delight, you can indeed opt for baking.

To do so, follow the initial three steps mentioned above, and then embellish your mac and cheese with your choice of toppings, such as breadcrumbs, Parmesan, crushed crackers, and more. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for approximately 15 minutes, or until it attains that irresistible golden-brown hue with bubbling cheese.

How to Store Your Mac and Cheese?

For any leftovers, securely store your mac and cheese in an airtight container within the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for a span of three to four days. When reheating, simply add a dash of milk or cream and warm it up either in the microwave or on the stovetop, remembering to stir periodically.

Should you wish to freeze your mac and cheese, it’s viable for up to six months. Allow it to cool entirely, then transfer it into a freezer-safe bag, expelling as much air as possible. Don’t forget to label it with the date before freezing. When you’re ready to savor it again, move the dish to the refrigerator to thaw overnight, and reheat it as usual.

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Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 630
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g43%
Saturated Fat 21g105%
Cholesterol 100mg33%
Sodium 777mg34%
Total Carbohydrate 55g20%
Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 0mg2%
Calcium 568mg44%
Iron 3mg15%
Potassium 380mg8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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