Food & Drink



Budget Bytes has many flavored macaroni and cheddar recipes, but I was surprised to find that I did not have a single recipe for mac and cheese. It’s straightforward, creamy, comforting, and cheesy goodness. Here’s what I have today. This classic stovetop macaroni-and-cheese recipe uses a classic roux cheese sauce. It will satisfy all your pasta cravings. This mac and cheese are amazing on its own. But I also have a list of fun additions that will make your mac and more delicious.


This extra cheesy homemade macar and cheese had a slightly different roux. I added 30% more cheese to it than I normally do to my stovetop mac and cheddar recipes. It’s not something I regret. This mac and cheese were so creamy and rich from the thicker sauce and extra cheese that I could not stop eating it between photos. The best thing about this mac and cheese is that it can be reheated in a microwave. It’s mac and cheese heaven!

What is a Roux?

The classic stovetop recipe for mac and cheese starts with a “roux”, a mixture of flour and fat (in our case, butter). The roux thickens and lets the cheese melt into the sauce without clumping. Although there are many ways to make cheese sauces without a roux, you can create the dreamiest and creamiest cheese sauces for mac and cheese by adding this step.

What kind of cheese is best for MAC and CHEESE?

Sharp Cheddar is the best choice for macaroni and cheese, while Cheddar is the most widely used cheese. There are many other slices of cheese you can use in macaroni or cheese, but Cheddar is the most popular. To make your mac and Cheddar unique, you can use any combination of cheeses.

These cheeses are great with macaroni or cheese.

  • Parmesan
  • Gruyere
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Parmesan
  • Chevre
  • Cream Cheese
  • Brie
  • Monterey Jack or pepper jack

Avoid pre-shredded cheese

Although it may seem convenient, the anti-caking agent in pre-shredded cheese can adversely affect the creaminess and texture of homemade mac and cheese. It can also make your sauce taste chalky and grainy. You can buy cheese in blocks and then grate it yourself. It will be less dry and will make a creamy, smooth sauce.


This is where mac and cheese can be fun. You can make your mac and cheese by changing the cheeses. These are some fun additions to mac and cheese.

  • Chicken cooked
  • Broccoli
  • Bacon
  • Spinach
  • Kimchi
  • Pesto
  • Sausage
  • Taco meat and taco seasoning
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sriracha
  • Peas
  • Tuna
  • Salsa
  • Rotel
  • Jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Cauliflower
  • Ham
  • Buffalo sauce


This creamy, creamy homemade mac and cheese tastes great as an appetizer or a starting point for your creation.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: Each approximately 1.25 cups


  • 8 oz. macaroni ($0.67)
  • 3 Tbsp butter (0.30)
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.03)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder ($0.05).
  • 2 cups whole milk (0.84)
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce* ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
  • 8 oz. block sharp Cheddar, shredded ($2.25)


  • Follow the package instructions to cook the macaroni. Boil the macaroni for about 7-8 minutes or until tender. Use a colander to drain the macaroni.
  • Combine the butter, flour, onion powder, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat until butter melts and the mixture bubbles. Continue whisking and cooking for 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the milk after you have cooked the butter and flour roux. Cook on medium heat and continue to whisk the milk until it begins to simmer. At this point, the milk will thicken to a heavy cream-like consistency.
  • Turn off the burner. Season the white sauce by adding the hot sauce and salt.
  • Start by adding the shredded Cheddar one at a time. Continue whisking until it is completely melted. Continue to stir the cheese into the sauce until it is completely melted. If the sauce is too cold to melt cheese, you can place it back on low heat for a short time to melt the cheese. The sauce may become dry and grainy if it is too hot.
  • Mix the pasta with the cheese sauce. Enjoy the mac and cheese warm.


This amount of hot sauce will not make macaroni or cheese spicy. This enhances the flavor. Dijon mustard can be used in the same amount.

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