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I think of myself as a macaroni and cheese expert. Stovetop Macaroni and cheese is one of my most favorite comfort foods. Whenever I have a craving for something, it is usually for macaroni and cheese.
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!
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.
Ditch the box! Make delicious, homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch in less than 20 minutes. A quick & easy southern style 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!
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Does it matter what type of cheese I use?
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 than Pre-Shredded Cheese in a Bag
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.