This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. For more information, please read our Disclosure Policy.
Southern Macaroni and cheese is one of my most favorite comfort foods. Homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch in less than 20 minutes. An easy southern macaroni and cheese stovetop recipe.
I’m not talking that yucky boxed stuff. Oh no, no, no….that simply will not do!
I prefer to make my macaroni and cheese from scratch, on the stovetop. You won’t believe how incredibly easy it is to make!
Why make Mac and cheese from scratch?
Honestly, making homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch tastes SO much better than any box mix on the market. Not to mention, it is so much better for you.
There is so much gunk that goes into boxed macaroni and cheese, just read the list of ingredients. Mac and cheese is supposed to be simple. All you need are a few ingredients like cheese, milk, and pasta noodles. That’s it! There is no reason for it to be complicated.
The best part is that one can make good, homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch in just about the same amount of time needed to prepare a store-bought boxed brand.
So today I’m finally dishing my secret to quick & easy southern style macaroni and cheese that can be made on the stove in less than 20 minutes.
Does it matter what type of cheese I use when cooking southern macaroni and cheese?
Here in the south, we always use sharp cheddar cheese. If you don’t like sharp cheddar cheese you can of course substitute it for a milder cheddar or other type of cheese that you prefer.
However, the classic southern style macaroni and cheese will always use some amount of sharp cheddar cheese. But don’t let that stop your creativity. Mix a variety of cheeses together and see what you come up with.
Block Cheese is Better when making homemade macaroni and cheese
I know buying pre-shredded cheese saves a little bit of time when cooking but the solid block of cheese is better for making macaroni and cheese.
Pre-shredded cheese is coated with something to prevent it from sticking together. This coating, however, makes the cheese sauce in homemade macaroni and cheese less smooth.
If pre-shredded is all you got, it can be used but shredding cheese from a block is preferred.
What is the easiest way to shred your own cheese?
When it comes to shredding cheese there is a variety of different ways you can do it. You could grate cheese by hand using a cheese grater or rotary cheese grater that has a hand crank.
There are also electronic shredders available that I think are worth the investment if you plan to grate a lot of your own cheese, like I do.
A food processor is a great small kitchen appliance to have for all stay at home chefs. I have the KitchenAid Food Processor attachment that I use on my stand mixer. It works quite well at shredding blocks of cheese for recipes like my homemade macaroni and cheese casserole.
Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
- 4 cups elbow macaroni noodles
- 8 oz Colby Jack cheese shredded
- 8 oz Sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook elbow macaroni noodles according to package directions. Drain with a colander. Set aside.
- In the pot that you cooked the elbow macaroni noodles, melt 4 tbsp of butter on medium heat.
- Add the flour to melted butter and stir until combined with the butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add milk and salt.
- Continue cooking the milk and butter mixture on medium heat, stirring occasionally so that the milk does not burn on the bottom of the pot, until it begins to thicken and bubble slightly.
- Stir continuously as it thickens and add in the cheese. Continue stirring until all of the cheese is melted.
- Add the cooked macaroni noodles to the cheese sauce and stir to coat all of the noodles.
- Serve as a side dish or a main dish (Mac & Cheese Night is a favorite in our house). Enjoy!
Want more delicious southern recipes?
Check out these other family favorite recipes.
How many people does this serve
About 4-6 depending on serving size.
Is the 4 cup measurement for macaroni before or after cooking – I mean, do I cook 4 cups, or do I cook 2 cups to get the 4 cups cooked.
It is 4 cups macaroni cooked, meaning you should cook 2 cups of dry pasta to get 4 cups of cooked macaroni. Hope that helps.
My cheese sauce is gritty, but I did exactly what you said. I used block cheese, so it didn’t have any of that powder that processed cheese has. I’m not sure where I went wrong.
I prefer slicing up a block of cheese as well versus buying the pre-shredded kind. The only thing I can think of is that you may need to allow the flour and butter mixture to cook for a few minutes, not until the butter browns but just for a few minutes, before adding the milk. Cooking the flour and butter together gets rid of the “flour” taste which might be causing the grittiness. I’m not exactly sure what could have happened having not seen you make it but I hope this helps.
If I make a whole box (1lb) of pasta instead of the 2 cups of uncooked pasta do I double the rest of the recipe?
A pound of uncooked elbow macaroni pasta is a little over 3 cups. In this recipe I would reduce the ingredients just a little bit since you are making less pasta.
My family loves mac and cheese, looking forward to trying this recipe.
Thanks for sharing! This looks amazing! I’m all for a good mac n cheese recipe! There’s just something about the homemade version that can’t be beat.
Yum, this looks incredible! I have been looking for a delicious mac and cheese recipe.
My son loves making mac and cheese. I will print this recipe for him.
Colby Jack is a great addition to mac and cheese. This looks delicious, and I’m sure my kids would love it too.
Mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort meals! I love finding a good homemade recipe!
I had tried this recipe before. But this time some of the indrigents are looking different. I will try it too.
We are huge fans of cheesy noodles in my house. I can’t wait to try this, it looks so amazing!
This recipe looks absolutely delicious, and the creamy texture makes it enticing and tempting!
I love mac n cheese. I’ve never tried to make homemade though. I’ll have to try making this for me and my son.
Wow! This looks absolutely delicious and tasty! I would really like to try this awesome recipe!
The word “stovetop” caught my attention! It looks cheesy, creamy, and delicious.
Love this style of mac n cheese, especially with a touch of some sweet BBQ sauce!
Oh my goodness! How creamy are these mac and cheese! My family will love it!
This look delicious and love that you can make it on the stove top! I make my grandmas recipe but am always up to a new version!