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The Very Best Mac & Cheese Recipe I’ve Ever Tried

This is seriously THE BEST mac & cheese recipe of all time!

Remember when I posted this yesterday and said I needed to try the mac & cheese recipe stat?

Well, I did. Because I’m impatient like that when I find a really good-looking recipe.

And you guys… I have cracked the Homemade Mac & Cheese code.

I may have wanted to hide the pan so I can keep it all to myself. 😉 But, since I couldn’t keep the goodness all to myself (and because I probably would need to work out for about 19 hours to work off all the calories in a whole pan!), I shared it with my family.

They raved and raved about it. Before I knew it, the pan was gone and we were all wishing there was more!

It only took me about 57 different Homemade Mac & Cheese recipes to finally find THE recipe, but it was worth it. Plus, all that trial and error made finding the perfect recipe that much more exciting.

Best Ever Homemade Mac & Cheese

There are so many different things that I love about this recipe:

  • It only takes 5 ingredients. For real. And one of them is salt & pepper — which I’m not sure even really counts!
  • It’s pretty frugal. Okay, so if you find boxed mac & cheese on some crazy low sale, making this from scratch is probably going to be more expensive. But overall, the ingredients are very inexpensive and ones you can pick up for less than $5 total at Walmart or Aldi — or less, if you get them on sale with a coupon!
  • It’s filling. Our kids are currently at that always hungry all the time stage. (It’s no wonder considering they are all in competitive sports and have multiple practices a week. Plus, they spend the bulk of the rest of their hours running and biking and playing baseball and kickball with the neighbors.) This kind of recipe actually sticks to them for longer than 3 minutes! 🙂
  • It’s so simple to make. You know I’m as simple as they come when we’re talking about recipes. I don’t like lots of steps or multiple bowls or hoops to jump through. This recipe is my kind of recipe — it literally only takes about 5 minutes of prep work. Boil the noodles. Cut up the cheese. Mix everything together and dump it in a pan. I’m SO down with that.
  • It’s adaptable. We used gluten-free noodles and I added extra cheese on top (is there such a thing as too much cheese? Nope, I didn’t think so!). I think you could also add cubed ham or chopped steamed broccoli or other spices… or probably a bunch of sophisticated ingredients that a non-foodie like me wouldn’t even know how to pronounce, let alone think to add!
  • It’s supposedly freezer-friendly. I’m not sure I have the self-control to ever let it make it to the freezer, though.

Here’s the recipe link. You’re welcome.

Best Ever Homemade Mac & Cheese


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28 Comments

  • Jessica says:

    Glad you liked it! It is our favorite, too. I’ve been making it since i was 16, which is probably longer than you’ve been alive. ahem. 😉 Bryan and I used to split the pan when we were newlyweds, but we can’t do that anymore.

  • sdr says:

    I saw this yesterday and will be trying it. If you’re saying it’s the BEST, I have to wonder if you’ve made Martha Stewart’s Mac & cheese. The ingredients are spendy and it’s definitely not frugal, but oh my goodness is it good!

  • Elise @frugalfarmwife.com says:

    Looks delicious! Mac ‘n cheese is one of the kids’ favorites (of course, that’s true of all kids isn’t it?), but my son is currently dairy-free, so we’ve been experimenting with dairy-free “cheese”.

    But this recipe is definitely on my short list as soon as the ban gets lifted!

    • Jo says:

      That’s got to be hard to have your son dairy-free! I hope the ban gets lifted soon!

      • Elise @frugalfarmwife.com says:

        Well, you know how it is. It’s harder to think about doing than to actually do, but thank you! 🙂

        • LaTanya says:

          Predominately Paleo has a really good non dairy cheese recipe. It’s really versatile and can go from cheese sauce to block cheese. (P.S. It’s on her $1 menu so you do have to buy the recipe – this was a recipe that is in her children’s cookbook but she offered the recipe for those that only wanted the recipe and not have to buy the cookbook. She’s got 3 recipes for sale so make sure you click on the one for the cheese if you decide to buy)

          http://predominantlypaleo.com/1-menu/

          • Elise @frugalfarmwife.com says:

            Thanks for the tip! I’m looking at her dollar menu right now, and I’m tempted to buy all three recipes LOL!

    • Emilie says:

      Have you tried goat cheese…my sister can not tolerate cow’s milk or cheese.

      • Elise @frugalfarmwife.com says:

        We haven’t yet, but my sister-in-law has dairy goats, so I definitely hope to once he gets “cleaned out”. 🙂

  • Denise says:

    Try adding a can of cheddar cheese soup. It adds another level of creaminess. Yummy!

  • Heather says:

    This is so close to our favorite Mac n cheese recipe, except we add one egg and a container of cottage cheese. Then cook for 40 minutes. I know that sounds weird, but it is so good that we call it smackaroni because you smack your lips! So glad you found a favorite!

  • Meghan says:

    oh my gosh thank you for sharing! I think I’ve tried a million recipes too and none are just right to me! Trying this tomorrow!!

  • Jennifer says:

    We use an egg and a few TBSP of butter and a half cup of evaporated milk. It adds a slight sweet flavor that goes great with the tang of the cheese.

  • Lyndie says:

    Looks delicious! I bet Greek yogurt could replace the sour cream for “healthier” version. As for freezing, I’ve never had good results from freezing gluten-free pasta, but I’m sure regular pasta would do great!

    • Jo says:

      I want to try it with regular pasta! Great suggestion on not trying to freeze gluten-free pasta!

    • Suzie says:

      I made this with greek yogurt and it seemed to separate a bit. I found it sort of dry and a little bland…maybe that is how it is meant to be. I ended up adding paprika and more salt to zip it up a bit. I saw another post that said to add a can of cheddar cheese soup….I think that would make this much better!

  • Michelle says:

    I tried this with shredded cheese I had on hand and it didn’t work well (too grainy). I’m going to try gain with cubed cheese like the recipe suggests. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Tracy says:

    Oh my goodness. That is it!?! And I could make another and freeze it? Thank you so much for sharing. I will be trying this next week.

  • Kim @ Wildflower Four says:

    Has anyone tried making this in a crock pot? Would I need to make any changes to the recipe?

  • Stephanie says:

    Looks delish! I am gluten free and can’t wait to give it a try.

  • smh says:

    I was suspicious when I saw this didn’t include a stove-top sauce, and it indeed turned out to be rather dry. The taste is OK, but not even as good as boxed mac and cheese. I might try again with some adjustments.

  • Clair says:

    This sounds delish! would love to make it.. and it looks like I can, just for me… family are not fans of mac and cheese.

    a tip to make it more interesting for adults… (made some for a block party bbq – Everyone Loved it…) Add a little cayenne to the cheese and sauce… I made mine with gruyere and cheddar for fancy, was a little worried a bout the younger kids… who usually don’t like strong flavours… but they loved it too.
    So now I add the cayenne when I make some for bring a long dishes. I just shake, stir, taste, till I think its about right…

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