Budget Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Budget Macaroni and Cheese Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Budget Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

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This is a quick and creamy main dish. I've tried many macaroni and cheese recipes, but this is my favorite.—Debbie Carlson, San Diego, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1 package (7 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 412 calories, 20g fat (13g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 437mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 15g protein.


  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour, salt and pepper; stir until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted.
  2. Drain macaroni. Add to the cheese mixture; toss to coat. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Budget Macaroni and Cheese in Taste of Home April/May 1995, p19

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

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VenusDoomed User ID: 7446237 217571
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2015

"We made this for Thanksgiving (just the 2 of us). It was good. I definitely think the flavor should be kicked up a notch when making it again as it did taste a little too much like flour. :)"

popoaggie User ID: 2713833 1088
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2014

"I added extra 1/2 cup of pepper cheese and kicked the flavor up a bit. Also put it under the broiler for a few minutes for a little extra crunch."

ClarkR User ID: 7002993 867
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2012

"Good and easy to make."

PreciousPirate User ID: 6325821 206
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2012

"After making this recipe we tasted too much flour and not enough seasonings and cheese."

Wingding52 User ID: 6432297 637
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2011

"Nothing special. More like a box recipie."

thinlynn User ID: 4472136 706
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2011

"I made this recipe for my teen son and I for dinner tonight, and it was delicious."

kpeown User ID: 4421873 1666
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2011

"Just made this to bring for a cookout. It turned out delicious as is but to give it a little more of a kick I added some sour cream, paprika, and ground mustard. I also topped it with extra cheddar cheese!"

MrsKase User ID: 3265136 747
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2011

"I used a 12 oz. package of Wacky Mac Veggie pasta shapes, I increased the milk by a 1/2 cup and used a blend of shredded Cheddar and Montery Jack cheese. I added a pound of sliced turkey dogs. Everybody liked this."

Tarheel91 User ID: 5369965 972
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2011

"I made this recipe as written. The end result was not to my liking. It was creamy but tasted too much like flour. It was edible but dull and not worth the calories. I won't make it again."

agnes24 User ID: 4430156 570
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2011

"This was good. Very easy to make. I added extra cheese when serving since I did not think it was cheesy enough. I used mild cheddar. Maybe next time I'll try sharp."

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