Looking for a quick and easy macaroni and cheese recipe? Our version uses a mixture of shredded cheddar and Gouda to create a delicious cheesy pasta dish!
With temperatures dropping, the time has come for us to prepare warm, hearty dishes.
In our household, there’s nothing we like better than an easy macaroni and cheese recipe.
For today’s post, we’re going to explain how to make macaroni and cheese using a simple sauce.
If you need detailed instructions or tips, scroll down. After that, you’ll find the recipe card. Let’s get started!
How to make macaroni and cheese?
First, go ahead and cook the pasta noodles per the box instructions. While they cook, shred your cheese and start the cheese sauce.
If you’re worried about burning something, you can always wait for the noodles to finish cooking, drain them, set them aside, and then start the cheese sauce.
Grab a large skillet (or saucepan) and place it over low-medium heat. Toss in the butter and let it melt.
Next, once the butter has melted, sprinkle in the flour, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk everything together as it cooks.
Then, when the flour has cooked for about two (2) minutes, pour in the milk and heavy cream. Again, keep whisking to blend all the ingredients.
Now, let the liquid heat until you see steam rising from the milk. Do NOT let it come to a boil. Should the liquid start to bubble, remove it from the heat to let it cool, then place it back on the burner.
After that, carefully sprinkle in the cheese a little at a time while whisking. Let the cheese melt before adding more.
Continue this process until all the shredded cheddar and Gouda cheeses are gone and you have a creamy, smooth cheese sauce.
Last, take the cooked noodles, drain them (if you haven’t already) and stir them into the sauce. Serve while warm.
That’s it, your easy macaroni and cheese recipe is done! Kim and I hope you enjoy the side and we wish you all the best 🙂
- So, this macaroni and cheese recipe may appear, “soupy,” when you finally mix the noodles into the sauce. However, don’t panic, the noodles are going to soak up all the cheese sauce as it starts to cool.
- When heating the milk and cream mixture, it’s important not to let it come to a boil. Otherwise, it will separate and cause, “beads,” of fat to form in the sauce resulting in a grainy texture.
- If you don’t have a large skillet (12 inches or more), use a large non-stick saucepan or stock pot. Honestly, the cast iron skillet is more for presentation than anything else.
Other mac and cheese recipes you may enjoy:
- Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 3 Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
- 8 Ounces Elbow Noodles, (about 2 cups by volume)
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Cups Milk, (we used whole)
- 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, (shredded)
- 1 Cup Gouda Cheese, (shredded)
- Cook the elbow noodles according to the package directions, drain, rinse in cool water, and set aside.
- While the noodles cook, make the cheese sauce. Heat a large pan over low-medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butter and allow it to melt completely. Next, add whisk in the flour, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Continue to whisk continuously for 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly add the heavy cream while whisking to combine. Allow the mixture to thicken, then add the milk. Continue to whisk the milk until the liquid begins to steep and steam. Don’t let the liquid begin to bubble or boil.
- Add the cheese a little at a time while whisking. Don’t add additional cheese to the pan until the last cheese has completely melted. After all the cheese has been added, turn off the heat and add the cooked noodles.
- Carefully stir to combine. Serve hot, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a serving size of one-fourth (1/4) of a cup of macaroni and cheese. Actual calories will vary.
*This mac and cheese cooks up really creamy with a lot of extra sauce. After it cools, the starch from the noodles will thicken the sauce. If you’d like a less “saucy” macaroni and cheese, the easiest fix is to add more elbow noodles.
*Use your favorite cheese(s). Cheddar and Gouda was our pick, but it may not be your favorite.
*Don’t let the milk/cream mixture begin to boil. Otherwise, the fat could separate and possibly curdle.
*Don’t add too much cheese at once. It will decrease the temperature of the pan, and the cheese will stop melting. It will sink to the bottom in globs and burn.
*We used a 12-inch pan for this recipe, and it was very full. We don’t recommend using anything smaller.
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Serving Size:0.5 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g
*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.