For many years I have been searching for a macaroni and cheese recipe that is as quick as the stuff in the box.  I had some rules for this mac and cheese recipe.  First, I wanted to make the cheese sauce while boiling the noodles; so, the sauce had to be quick.  Next, I wanted a recipe that included milk, butter, cheese, flour, and noodles — no weird spices (that my kids would notice and reject) and no weird milk products.  Many recipes I found had ingredients like dry mustard or condensed milk.  I gave up for awhile.  Then, I came across this recipe from Simply Recipes.  Their recipe has lemon juice, ham, and black pepper in it; which, I didn’t use.  But, the genius part of this recipe is that they toss the grated cheese with corn starch to prevent the cheese from clumping up and to quickly thicken the sauce.

So, you need the basic ingredients I mentioned with the addition of corn starch.  The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you probably have all this stuff in your kitchen already.

Toss corn starch in the grated cheese (genius).

Boil whatever pasta shape you like.  If you are making this with kids you may want them to pick the pasta.  If they pick the shape of the pasta, it is more likely they will eat this.

To make the sauce, you melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add some flour and heat the flour.  Then, slowly add milk and allow the sauce to thicken over the heat.  Then, you add the cheese.

Drain the pasta, and put the pot on the stove over low heat to incorporate the sauce and the pasta.

Put in the appropriate serving vessels.

Enjoy!  If you want to get some of this good stuff you better grab a bowl before your kids devour it.  I love macaroni and cheese and I really love macaroni and cheese that takes less then 20 minutes to make.  So, throw out the boxes of mac and cheese (yes, even the relatively healthier one with the bunny on it)!  You can now make your own mac and cheese that is just as fast and even tastier.

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese

adapted from Simply Recipes


2 quarts of water

1 tablespoon of salt, plus more to flavor sauce

2 cups uncooked pasta

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated

1 teaspoon of cornstarch

2 teaspoons of flour

1 cup of milk

1.  In a medium sized bowl, mix corn starch with grated cheese, so that the cheese is coated, set aside.

2.  Boil water with one teaspoon of salt.  Add the pasta and cooked according to instructions on the box.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat.  Whisk in the flour.  Slowly pour in the milk, while whisking until the sauce is smooth.  Slowly add the grated cheese, while whisking, until smooth.

3.  When pasta is done, drain it, and put it back in the pot.  Add the cheese sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sauce is incorporated with the pasta.