Recipe: Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I love macaroni and cheese — especially when it is made from scratch. Many people think macaroni and cheese originated when Thomas Jefferson first served it in the White House in 1802, but it probably originated in Europe much earlier than that.

My neighbor, Mr. Mike, insists that macaroni and cheese should only be served as a side dish, but I beg to differ — in our house it’s usually the main course! In fact, when I plan our two-week dinner menus, the kids’ inputs include mac and cheese as one of their choices more often than not.

There are lots of great things about mac and cheese. Two of the best are that it is really simple to make and easy on the budget.

Here is my very simple stove-top recipe that I think you will really like. In fact, this recipe is so ridiculously easy my son has been making it for the family since he turned 11.

Len’s Cheap and Easy Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups low-fat milk
8 oz Velveeta cheese (cut into small cubes)
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
16 oz small- or medium-sized pasta shells
salt and pepper to taste

Boil some water and cook the pasta shells according to the package directions — just don’t overcook the pasta! Meanwhile, slowly heat the milk (over medium flame) in a medium sauce pan until it just comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and mix in the Velveeta cheese, stirring until completely melted. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Taste the cheese sauce, and then add salt and pepper, if desired. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta shells and then mix thoroughly. Serves 4.

That’s it. Serve it with some fruit and green peas and you have yourself a quick and easy dinner that is not only delicious, but easy on the pocket book too.


    • 2


      We use 2 percent milk. I’ve never tried it with skim milk, so I do not know if it would make a difference or not. But I have read that you should not use skim in custard, pudding and sauce recipes because they rely on the diary fat for texture and flavor.

  1. 3

    Easy D says

    Len. You made my day complete with this wonderful recipe of yours. I tried it last night and all i can say to you is, Thank You! It was easy to make and delicious!

  2. 4

    Birgit Strauss says

    My husband and I prepared this for the main meal recently. Everyone enjoyed it, for certain I will be preparing it regularly from now on, it is always nice to get innovative recommendations for tasty recipes also easy to understand approaches to cook them. Thanks for providing them.

  3. 6

    Peter says

    Thomas Jefferson is credited with launching macaroni towards the Usa. It appears that he fell in love using a specific dish he sampled in Naples, though serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. In fact, he promptly ordered crates of “macaroni,” along with a pasta-making machine, sent back to the States.

  4. 7

    brynna says

    Tried your recipe last night. This is a very good macroni and cheese recipe, Len. I don’t like it as much as the baked kind, but it is rich and creamy and is very quick and easy to prepare!

  5. 8

    Jerry A says

    Velveeta? No, oh no way. Not when you can taste real cheese in your food. Try the macaroni & cheese recipe from Horn & Hardart on the Food Maven’s website.

    • 9


      Looks good, Jerry! I’ll have to try it. I love baked mac and cheese too – although it is an entirely different beast than stove top. I like Alton Brown’s baked mac and cheese recipe, which we use here when I have a little more time to devote to cooking.

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