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Budget Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Budget Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

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. YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Budget Macaroni and Cheese

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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. :)"

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."

Reviewed Dec. 9, 2012

"Good and easy to make."

Reviewed Dec. 4, 2012

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

Reviewed Dec. 31, 2011

"Nothing special. More like a box recipie."

Reviewed Aug. 10, 2011

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

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!"

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."

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."

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."

Reviewed Feb. 8, 2011

"So simple! I can't believe it tasted so good and was easy. I may never make boxed mac and cheese again."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2010

"This is the standard recipe that made up about 25% of my bodyweight as a child. You can't go wrong with this one. Top with sliced tomatoes or bread crumbs (or both!) and broil for a few minutes for a real treat."

Reviewed Dec. 2, 2010

"This is the only homemade macaroni and cheese recipe we use! It is so yummy!"

Reviewed Oct. 7, 2010

"I usually don't particularly care for mac&cheese. This recipe was excellent. In order to make this dish a little healthier, I used fat free milk, 2% fat shredded cheddar cheese, & whipped butter. I did add an extra tbsp or 2 of milk, then I placed the mac&cheese in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray & sprinkled 1/4 cup of cheese on top. Baked @375 for 15 or 20 minutes until it lightly browned."

Reviewed Nov. 4, 2009

"So easy and so good! My 10 month old devoured this and I was happy because it's healthier than the traditional boxed macaroni & cheese! My husband liked it as well and he's not a fan of macaroni and cheese. Will definitely be keeping this recipe close!"

Reviewed Jan. 13, 2009

"Easy and delicious! My toddler loves this. I often use sharp cheddar cheese, which adds additional flavor."

Reviewed Mar. 24, 2008

"This is very good, quick and creamy. I'm always looking for a good stovetop recipe, as the baked kind tends to change in texture. I make a lot of freezer meals, and have only tried the mac and cheese in a crockpot. I find that the cheese breaks down more than I'd like. Do you think this would freeze well?"

Reviewed Jan. 17, 2008

"So, so, sooooooo good! Not too rich and even my dad who hates mac and cheese loved it!"

Reviewed Jan. 14, 2008

"MMM.. YU U U Ummy!"

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Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied White Wine

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