Food Quiz

Easy & Delicious Macaroni Cheese Recipe


A bowl of macaroni and cheese on a blue cloth.

This simple yet amazing Macaroni and Cheese quick recipe is perfect for those looking for a quick, delicious meal. Using simple ingredients like elbow macaroni, cheddar cheese, and milk, you can create a classic comfort food dish that will satisfy everyone’s cravings. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a casual party.

A plate of macaroni and broccoli on a table.

Quick Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Dive into this creamy, cheesy heaven! This quick macaroni and cheese recipe brings you all the comfort and richness of this classic dish in just under 30 minutes.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cost $10
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 2138 kcal


  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Saucepan


  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain using a colander and set aside.
    8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until it forms a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth.
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole milk
  • Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in the shredded cheese until it melts completely. Season with salt and pepper.
    2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until the pasta is fully coated.
  • Serve immediately while it’s warm and gooey.


For an added flavor boost, you can stir in a teaspoon of mustard or a dash of hot sauce into the cheese sauce. Also, feel free to mix in different types of cheese for a more complex flavor profile.


Calories: 2138kcalCarbohydrates: 192gProtein: 91gFat: 111gSaturated Fat: 63gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 315mgSodium: 1588mgPotassium: 1061mgFiber: 7gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 3360IUVitamin B1: 0.5mgVitamin B2: 2mgVitamin B3: 5mgVitamin B5: 3mgVitamin B6: 1mgVitamin B12: 4µgVitamin D: 4µgVitamin E: 3mgVitamin K: 8µgCalcium: 1953mgCopper: 1mgFolate: 103µgIron: 4mgManganese: 2mgMagnesium: 213mgPhosphorus: 1725mgZinc: 13mg
Keyword Cheese, Comfort Food, Easy, Macaroni, Quick
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Gather Ingredients

Making mac ‘n cheese is easy and scrumptious! Gather these ingredients from the pantry: basics for a creamy classic mac ‘n cheese. Need instructions? We can help with prepping them – here are the ingredients and what to do!

  1. Ingredients:
    • Butter
    • Flour
    • Milk
    • Cheese
    • Salt
    • Pasta
  2. Instructions:
    • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
    • Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
    • Whisk in milk and bring to a boil.
    • Add cheese and stir until melted.
    • Season with salt.
    • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
    • Drain pasta and return to the pot.
    • Pour cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to combine.
    • Serve and enjoy!

List of ingredients needed

Create this scrumptious mac ‘n’ cheese! Start with:

  • 1/2lb elbow macaroni
  • 2tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 2cups milk
  • 3cups shredded cheese (Velveeta, cheddar, Colby Jack, etc. Pick your favorite!)
  • A pinch of paprika (optional)
The Simplest Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
The Simplest Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Preparing the Cheese Sauce

Creating the ultimate mac and cheese begins with the cheese sauce. Quick and easy to make. All you need is butter, flour, milk and some cheese. Here are the steps for a creamy and scrumptious cheese sauce base. Perfect for your mac and cheese dish!

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add flour and whisk until the mixture is combined and starts to bubble.
  3. Slowly add the milk while whisking continuously.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
  5. Reduce the heat, add the cheese and stir until melted.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Melt butter in a saucepan

Take a medium saucepan. Heat it over low-medium. Then, melt the butter. Stir in the flour. Whisk for one minute. Then, pour in the warmed milk little by little (a quarter cup at a time). Keep whisking until there are no lumps. Once all the milk is in, let it bubble a bit. Then, reduce heat to low. Whisk occasionally until the sauce thickens (about five minutes).

Add flour and stir

Melt the butter and cook the veggies until they’re soft. Then, add flour to make a roux. This helps thicken the sauce and keeps the cheese mixed in. Stir constantly while simmering. This also stops lumps or granules from forming. Heat the mixture for 2 minutes, until it’s a thick paste. If it starts sticking or scorching, turn off the heat. Add some warm milk so you can loosen it up. When it’s just right, take it off the heat straight away.

Gradually add milk and stir

Once the butter has melted, add the flour to the pot. Whip it for a min. It should become bubbly.

Pour in the milk, in half cup chunks. Keep stirring over medium heat, until the sauce thickens and boils. This takes about 8 mins, based on the heat.

If the cheese sauce is too thick, add a few extra tablespoons of milk to get it to your desired consistency.

Add cheese and stir until melted

Once the milk is gently boiling, add in the same amount of cheese. Stir it constantly until it has fully melted. Use the specific cheese mentioned in the recipe. Different cheeses have different melting points and moisture levels. Freshly grated cheese is best – not pre-shredded. Pre-shredded cheese usually has additives that stop it from sticking together when cooked. Add more cheese if you’d like, up to one cup per gallon of milk. The cheesier the better!

Cooking the Macaroni

Mac ‘n’ Cheese – yum! Quick n’ easy to make. Here’s how to cook the macaroni:

  1. Prepare the water, add salt for flavor, then the macaroni.
  2. Finally, drain it.

Let’s get crackin’!

Boil water in a large pot

Start making macaroni and cheese. Boil a large pot of salted water on high heat. Before adding the macaroni pasta, stir with a spoon so all noodles are submerged. Boil for 9-11 minutes, until al dente. Then, drain the pasta into a colander or sieve. Rinse with cold running water to avoid sticking. This will ensure your macaroni and cheese is cooked perfectly.

Add macaroni and cook according to instructions

Fill a big pot two-thirds with water. Place it over high heat and boil. When there are plenty of bubbles, drop in the macaroni. Stir it occasionally with a spoon or fork so it doesn’t stick. Boil it like the instructions say for firm texture. Check it often. 6-8 minutes is a guideline but it could be more or less. Test by taking out 4-5 noodles. If they resist biting, they are done.

Assembling the Dish

Boil elbow macaroni in a salty pot of water. Strain, then set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 9×13-inch baking dish. Add macaroni, cheese sauce, and butter. Stir together. Sprinkle breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Simple!

Preheat oven to 375°F

Before you start mac and cheese assembly, preheat the oven to 375°F. Preheating is essential. It gives the oven time to adjust to the correct heat so the food cooks right. Set the temperature dial or digital readout to 375°F and wait for the signal. Check the temperature with an oven thermometer as different models can be inaccurate.

Preheated? Get cooking!

Grease a baking dish

Greasing a baking dish is key! Butter or oil stops the mac ‘n’ cheese from sticking. Nonstick cooking spray is also great, take care not to use too much!

When prepping for the oven, set temp to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8-inch casserole pan with a tablespoon of butter or cooking spray.

Add cooked macaroni to baking dish

Macaroni done? Get ready! Drain the cooked pasta, then place it in a baking dish. Spread it out evenly. Now, add the cheesy sauce. Yum!

Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni

Once your macaroni is cooked, add butter until it melts and mix in cheese. Now, pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni. Make sure all noodles are evenly coated. Then, stir gently and pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish or casserole dish.

Spread the noodles as much as possible. Sprinkle extra cheese on top, if you like. Finally, top with fresh herbs or paprika-seasoned bread crumbs for texture and color.

Sprinkle with extra cheese

Mix together the mac ‘n cheese. Spread it in a greased oven-safe dish. 9×9 inch to 9×13 inch size is fine. Give the top a gentle stir. Sprinkle with cheese. Cheddar, Gruyere, mozzarella and parmesan blend well. For extra decadence, layer on ricotta or cream cheese.

Put it in an oven heated to 375°F, bake for 25-30 minutes. When golden brown and bubbly on the edges, take it out and let stand 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Baking and Serving

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the macaroni and cheese in the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Take it out and let it sit for 5.

Scoop servings onto plates – yummy!

Dig in and enjoy your homemade mac and cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes

Combine all ingredients. Place macaroni and cheese in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Cover with aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese sauce is bubbling around the edges. Check temperature of macaroni and cheese before serving. It must be between 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit. If it needs more melting, leave uncovered for 5 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In some regions, dairy products must be pasteurized. Baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit will result in a safe meal!

Let cool for 5 minutes before serving

Once the macaroni and cheese is done baking, let it sit for 5 minutes. This helps all the flavors blend together. Also, it gives you a few minutes to prep a side dish or any other items for serving.

Choose if you want your food warm or cold. Let it sit at room temperature or put it in the fridge till it’s cool enough. Don’t let it sit out long as it can cause bacteria growth if not stored right.

Serve with a side of vegetables or salad

For a complete meal, serve Macaroni & Cheese with fresh veggies or a colorful salad. Broccoli, spinach, kale and cauliflower are nutrient-dense options to provide vitamins and minerals. Top off the salad with goodies like tomatoes, carrots, peppers and croutons.

Fruit allergies? No problem! Cooked beets work great as a side, just season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Green beans are a great magnesium-rich option too. They don’t interfere with the flavor and are low in calories yet high in fiber!

Whatever veggies you choose add an extra layer of healthy goodness from their nutritional values. Yum!


The Simple and Amazing Macaroni and Cheese quick recipe is a perfect solution for those who need a quick and delicious meal. It offers a classic comfort food dish that is easy to make, rich in flavor, and super filling. Plus, you can always adjust the recipe to your taste by adding different types of cheese, seasonings, or vegetables. Whether you’re a beginner cook or a seasoned pro, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients needed for the simplest macaroni and cheese recipe?

The ingredients for the simplest macaroni and cheese recipe include macaroni pasta, butter, all-purpose flour, milk, salt, pepper, and shredded cheddar cheese.

How long does it take to make the simplest macaroni and cheese recipe?

It takes approximately 20 minutes to make the simplest macaroni and cheese recipe.

Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?

Yes, you can use a different type of pasta for this recipe such as penne, fusilli or elbow macaroni.

Can I use a different type of cheese for this recipe?

Yes, you can use different types of cheese for this recipe. However, it is recommended to use a cheese that melts well such as cheddar, colby, or Monterey Jack cheese.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it in the oven when ready to serve.

How can I make this recipe healthier?

You can make this recipe healthier by using low-fat milk, reducing the amount of cheese used, and adding vegetables such as broccoli or spinach to the recipe.

How do I store leftover macaroni and cheese?

Leftover macaroni and cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Penelope Rossi
Penelope Rossi

Hello! I'm Penny, a creative recipe developer and food stylist with a love for vegetarian and plant-based cuisine. When not gardening or hiking, you can find me in the kitchen, transforming classic dishes into healthier, veggie-packed versions. Let's embark on a delectable journey of colorful, plant-based delights together!