Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is a great tasting, creamy and cheesy side dish.
Easy to make with a few simple ingredients (two may surprise you).
Pairs well with Smoky Collard Greens.
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EDITOR’S NOTE (November 12, 2022): Published this recipe for the first time on August 17, 2021. Today, I revised recipe and updated instructions. Original recipe called for 1-1/2 cups fat free buttermilk and 3 tablespoons of cultured whole buttermilk.
Worked on the recipe again. It tasted good and that’s why I changed to 1-1/3 cups cultured whole buttermilk. Made fat free buttermilk a substitute for individuals who prefer it.
DISCLAIMER (NOT SPONSORED): I have not been paid to endorse pictured products. Delighted to share the ingredients I purchased and used to make this delicious recipe. All comments are my own.
Boil elbow macaroni in salted water until al dente (firm).
Watch closely to avoid overcooking.
Avoid mushy elbow macaroni. Causes an unpleasant taste and texture.
Al dente elbow macaroni seasoned with salt and coarse ground black pepper.
Although garlic powder and onion powder add great flavor, both are optional ingredients. Good news for individuals who cannot tolerate them for whatever reason.
This recipe calls for medium cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack Cheese.
I purchased block of cheese because the taste is better than shredded cheese in a package.
Slice blocks into thin pieces. Faster than shredding in my opinion.
This is a matter of personal preference. Shred if that’s what you prefer.
INTERESTING BACK STORY
Several years ago, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of my mega church. I was feeling very blessed after a phenomenal church service so I didn’t mind waiting for the thick traffic to subside.
Next to my car, a friendly sister was also waiting.
We rolled down our windows and began talking about what we were having for Sunday dinner.
We talked about our mutual love for mac ‘n cheese. She suggested I try buttermilk instead of whole milk. That ANGEL was right on!! I’ve never used whole milk since then.
Never seen the dear sister before and haven’t seen her since that enlightening conversation.
TWO SUPRISE INGREDIENTS
I’ve made mac ‘n cheese with whole milk, 2% milk, and heavy whipping cream.
The taste always felt like something was missing.
I soon discovered the BEST taste is provided by sour cream and whole cultured buttermilk (or fat free buttermilk).
In my opinion, buttermilk and sour cream make a great tasting, creamy cheese sauce.
Delighted to share my discovery with you. Must try at least once!
My Homemade Macaroni and Three Cheeses recipe calls for cultured buttermilk only. Must try at least once because it’s also very good.
USE AN EGG AS A THICKENER
One egg (beaten) provides the thickening. No need for flour. In my opinion, the egg tastes much better.
I’ve heard many famous chefs say egg doesn’t belong in macaroni and cheese.
This self-taught cook totally disagrees. Never had formal training and proud of it.
I was born and raised in the south where most southerners add an egg to their mac and cheese. I love the taste and texture!
To obtain calories and nutritional information by weight, visit popular online nutritional calculator is myfitnesspal.com.
Copy recipe link in the address bar and add it to their calculator. No need to type each ingredient.
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 box ( 8 ounces) elbow macaroni Or use two cups of elbow macaroni cooked according to instructions printed on box.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt more or less as preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper to taste more or less as preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 2 blocks (8 ounces each) medium cheddar cheese divided
- 1 blocks (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese Or use 1 packages (8 ounces) of Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese.
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1-1/3 cups cultured whole buttermilk Or use fat free buttermilk.
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil elbow macaroni until "al dente" by following instructions printed on the package. Avoid overcooking until mushy because it will negatively impact the taste and texture of this side dish.
- Pour cooked/drained elbow macaroni in an ungreased 9 x12 casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with salt, coarse ground black pepper, and garlic powder (if using). Stir until well combined. Set aside.
- Prepare the cheese. Thinly slice or shred ONE block of cheddar cheese and ONE block of Monterey Jack cheese. Layer slice cheese over top of seasoned elbow macaroni. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl or large measuring cup, beat one egg. Add buttermilk, sour cream and beaten egg. Stir together until well combined.
- Drizzle liquid mixture over top of sliced cheese. Stir gently until macaroni and cheese are both coated.
- Place in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes OR until cheese is melted.
- While dish is in the oven, cut remaining block of cheddar cheese into thin slices.
- Carefully remove hot casserole dish from oven. Stir mixture until melted cheese is evenly distributed.
- Layer remaining sliced cheese over top. Place under broiler for 5 to 10 minutes OR until cheese has melted and covered with brown spots.
- After baking, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese may be slightly soupy. After cooling 10-12 minutes, it will thicken into a creamy cheese sauce.
- Serve hot.
4 thoughts on “Homemade Macaroni and Cheese”
I’m trying the Mac and cheese with buttermilk. Sounds delicious! Is there a recipe to make my own buttermilk? I seldom use buttermilk, so the rest is tossed. Such a waste.
Hi Ruth! Yes, there is a recipe for Homemade Cultured Buttermilk which is BEST for Homemade Macaroni and Cheese. Check it out here…https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/packages/food-network-essentials/how-to-make-buttermilk
Please note that Homemade Buttermilk made with 2% milk and lemon juice (or white distilled vinegar) will NOT work in Homemade Macaroni and Cheese.
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Made this today. Absolutely awful!
Hi HL! First, thank you for visiting and trying the recipe. Sorry to hear of your bad experience. Delighted to let you know there is still hope. If at first you don’t succeed, TRY AGAIN. Mistakes do happen and they can be corrected. Did you follow the recipe as written or did you make changes along the way? Please let me know. I’ll be delighted to assist in any way I can.