This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
I’ve been making a lot of macaroni and cheese this summer for lunches it seems. It’s a favorite and this version for Easy Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese is so easy and so much better for you than the boxed stuff! I first posted this recipe about two and a half years ago and over those years I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to make it taste even more delicious and share those changes with you too. And I’ve updated the photos a bit also. Maybe you’re new here and you’re just discovering this recipe for the first time–lucky you!
My kids love macaroni and cheese. Shoot, I do too! I craved that stuff in the little blue box when I was pregnant with my son! But after I started learning what was in those box mixes, I decided I wanted to try and find a recipe that I could make from scratch. It was somewhat challenging to find a recipe that provided the convenience of the box mixes with the same creamy texture and flavor that we liked.
Several of the recipes I first tried included mustard but my family didn’t care for that flavor so I continued my search. Then I came upon a recipe for a basic cheese sauce and knew it would be a great start. I modified it a bit to make it better for pasta (and with more cheesy flavor) and it was a hit! What I also love about this recipe is that in the time it takes to boil the pasta, you can have the sauce made so that you’re ready to eat it when the pasta is cooked. I can generally have it done in about 15 minutes (depending on what type of pasta we choose). Now isn’t that almost just as easy as the boxed stuff? And so much better for you too because it’s made with real food ingredients.
Of course, you know I like to see if things freeze well so I can take it one step further to make meal prep even easier! So I tested this by freezing some of the leftover sauce and when I thawed and reheated it, it was just fine. Yay for extra simplicity. So feel free to make up a big batch of this sauce so you can freeze it into smaller portions for a quick and easy meal, side dish or yummy lunchbox option (put it a Thermos“>Thermos food jar and you’ll be good to go!)
I hope you enjoy this Easy Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese too!
Easy Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 3 cups skim milk divided
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or less to taste
- 16 ounces whole wheat pasta we like the gemelli or shells shape
- In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
- In medium saucepan, combine 1 cup milk and flour, using whisk to blend into a smooth mixture.
- Stir in remaining 2 cups milk and salt and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning or sticking.
- Turn heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes, until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and add shredded cheese and black pepper, stirring until cheese is melted. Set aside.
- Add cheese sauce over cooked pasta in pan and serve.