Homemade Mac and Cheese

Nothing beats Homemade Mac and Cheese. Pair the homemade deliciousness with pizza burgers and you have a winning dinner! This recipe for homemade cheese sauce is the simplest recipe to follow and results in a deliciously creamy cheese sauce.

homemade mac and cheese with sweet peas and pizza burgers

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Published May 27, 2022
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What makes this Homemade Mac and Cheese recipe special

Making a cheese sauce is fairly easy, once you master this recipe you will then be able to make it more and customize it with different meals. A basic roux is made with equal parts melted butter and flour and is then the basis for making a cheese sauce. By using a three-cheese blend, comprised of asiago, parmesan and mozzarella, your cheese sauce then has a bold flavor that is creamy. However, feel free to use any cheese you desire for a delicious and homemade mac and cheese. Just make sure to shred your own cheese and not use pre shredded cheese.

Using cheese that has been pre shredded has an additive that helps it to not stick together, which is the opposite of making a cheese sauce. By using pre shredded, you are putting anti-clumping powders into your sauce and will cause it to clump and not be smooth. Additionally, using cheese that you shred will help to lower the cost as block cheese is typically less expensive.

Why use starchy pasta water for Homemade Mac and Cheese

There are a few reasons to use reserved starchy pasta water when making a Homemade Mac and Cheese sauce. The first is because the pasta water will help the sauce to better stick onto the pasta once you blend the two together. The second is that it eliminates the need to use chicken stock completely if you want a lighter sauce than using all milk. Instead of pouring all of that water down the drain, save some of it to use to make your cheese sauce.

Additionally, you can strain the pasta water into a large bowl and allow it to cool completely, then store and use this water within a day or two to water plants. This is called Gray Water and is very beneficial for plants if used properly. For instance, if you are boiling pasta, do not add salt to the water and save the water for houseplants. Using gray water cuts water costs 30-50%, depending on how much water you use. Just make sure that this water is not used on any consumable plants or root vegetables.

Another example of grey water is by setting up a collection off of your gutters and downspouts into a barrel and using the collected rainwater to water your plants or garden. This is an amazing way to save money on your water bill.

Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

10-oz elbow macaroni
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups starchy pasta water
1-2 cups milk
2 cups cheese blend, mozzarella, asiago and parmesan
Garlic, dill, salt and pepper to taste if desired

all ingredients on countertop for homemade mac and cheese

Directions

1. In a 6-Quart pot on the stove, boil water and then cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions. When the pasta is cooked, collect 1-2 cups of the starchy pasta water and then strain the rest in a sink colander. Or, rest the colander in a large bowl and collect the non-salted water to water houseplants.

2. Shred cheese in a Cuisinart food processor. Make sure to use block cheese and not pre shredded as the pre shredded will not blend well into the sauce.

3. Melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter in the 6-Quart pot and then add 4 Tbsp flour and whisk the flour into the butter well, making sure to cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.

4. Season the flour mixture if desired with garlic powder, dill, salt and pepper.

5. Add 1 tsp chicken broth base per 1 cup of starchy pasta water, whisk to blend and then slowly add the water to the flour mixture and then whisk well to combine. Make sure the starchy pasta water is collected while the pasta is still in the pot and you use a heat-safe measuring cup like a Pyrex Glass one.

6. Then measure and add 1-2 cup milk to the sauce in the pot and whisk together well.

7. Add the shredded cheese, one handful at a time, and whisk to blend until all of the cheese is blended well into the sauce.

8. Add the drained pasta back to the 6-Quart pot and then use a large spoon to mix well.

Finally, serve the Homemade Mac and Cheese and enjoy! This night, we had pizza burgers with Mac and Cheese.

Recipe for Homemade Mac and Cheese

Ingredients for Homemade Mac and Cheese

10-oz elbow macaroni
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups starchy pasta water
1-2 cups milk
2 cups cheese blend, mozzarella, asiago and parmesan
Garlic, dill, salt and pepper to taste if desired

Directions for Homemade Mac and Cheese

1. In a 6-Quart pot on the stove, boil water and then cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions. When the pasta is cooked, collect 1-2 cups of the starchy pasta water and then strain the rest in a sink colander.
2. Shred cheese in a Cuisinart food processor. Make sure to use block cheese and not pre shredded as the pre shredded will not blend well into the sauce.
3. Melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter in the 6-Quart pot and then add 4 Tbsp flour and whisk the flour into the butter well, making sure to cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add 1 tsp chicken broth base per 1 cup of starchy pasta water, whisk to blend and then slowly add the water to the flour mixture and then whisk well to combine.
6. Then add 1-2 cup milk to the sauce in the pot and whisk together well.
7. Add the shredded cheese, one handful at a time, and whisk to blend until all of the cheese is blended well into the sauce.
8. Add the drained pasta back to the 6-Quart pot and then use a large spoon to mix well.
Finally, serve the Homemade Mac and Cheese and enjoy! This night, we had pizza burgers with Mac and Cheese.

Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

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