How can I Make Macaroni and Cheese from Scratch?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Macaroni and cheese is a very popular food, and it is quite easy to make at home. By making this dish at home, cooks can control the quality of the ingredients, picking out healthier ingredients than those included in packaged mixes. Home cooks can also create variations on the recipe by adding their own supplements, ranging from exotic cheeses to smoked salmon.

Classic macaroni and cheese is a rich baked dish which can be seasoned in a wide range of ways. You can use this basic baked recipe to build casseroles with ingredients like tuna, broccoli, and mushrooms, or you can eat it plain. While it may seem complex, it's actually very easy to assemble this dish, and you may find the distinctive flavor preferable to boxed mixes.

Cooks are also not limited to macaroni when they make this classic dish. A variety of pasta shapes are acceptable, although bold, bulky shapes are best since they hold the creamy sauce well. A variety of cheeses can also be used; although cheddar and Swiss are common and popular, cooks might want to play with Gouda, Gruyère, or other rich, flavorful cheeses. A cheese blend is also an excellent idea.


To make macaroni and cheese, start by boiling water for noodles and preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Use your baking dish to measure out the amount of pasta you will need; remember that noodles swell as they cook; and different shapes take up different amounts of volume. The sauce which follows is designed for a one and one half quart baking dish, which yields four to six entree sized servings of macaroni and cheese. Scale it as needed for baking dishes in different sizes.

While the noodles are cooking, melt two tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan, and whisk in two tablespoons of flour to create a roux. Stir until the roux starts to turn a creamy, golden brown and then slowly whisk in two cups of milk. Add ingredients like pepper, paprika, nutmeg, bay leaves, cloves, garlic, or onions for extra flavor, and simmer until the sauce thickens. Strain into a pot and add salt and pepper to taste. If you time things properly, you can strain the cream sauce into the pasta pot while the pasta is draining.

When the pasta has cooked, toss it with the cream sauce to coat it and then pour half of the pasta into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the pasta with around one cup of grated cheese, and then pour the rest of the pasta on top, topping that pasta with another cup of cheese. Toast one half cup of breadcrumbs in a small skillet with some butter, and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until the top of the dish browns, and serve after allowing the baked macaroni and cheese to rest for around five minutes.


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Post 3

i tried this, but since my husband likes his macaroni a little sweet i added a little bit of condensed milk at the end and everyone loved it. I've had to make it for them two more times since then.

Post 2

Every year my children look forward to the holidays because of my sister’s famous homemade macaroni and cheese. And what’s better? She cooks it in the microwave. It is very simple to make but my kids seem to like hers better than mine!

It calls for 1 8oz. box of elbow macaroni (cooked and drained), ¼ cup butter, 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1 egg, 1 5oz. can evaporated milk, and 1 tsp. ground mustard.

Use a microwave safe casserole dish and place the butter in the bottom of it. Pour your cooked macaroni over the butter and stir well to make sure the butter melts. In a small bowl, beat the egg and then add the ground mustard. Pour the egg mixture and evaporated milk into the macaroni. Add the cheese and stir well. Microwave on high for 10-12 minutes. Stir after about 6 minutes.

Post 1

To reduce fat in your macaroni and cheese dish, low fat cheese can be substituted for regular cheese. There are some low fat cheeses on the market that taste almost as good, if not as good, as full fat cheese.

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