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Easy Homemade Mac n Cheese Sauce

Delicious homemade mac n cheese tutorial

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for making an easy cheese sauce that is perfect for homemade mac n cheese. Apart from grating the cheese (and you could buy pre-grated cheese) and gathering ingredients, I find this as easy as making boxed macaroni and cheese – and it tastes much better! You can even make it gluten free by using rice (or other gluten free) pasta, and substituting corn starch for the flour in this version. This is more of a tutorial than a recipe, but it’s hard to mess up so I encourage you to try even if you are used to making things with set measurements.

mac n cheese - start with a a white sauce

Start with 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Melt the butter on medium heat, and add 1-2 teaspoons of flour (depending how thick you want your sauce, how much cheese you are adding, and how much sauce you are making). The flour will act as a thickening agent. Stir in the flour, and then add just enough milk – maybe 2-3 tablespoons to create the thick paste shown above. Alternately, you can shake the flour up in a jar with the milk and then add that to the butter, if you prefer).

A more milk, a little at a time, until you have as much as you need for your cheese sauce. Then add 1-2 cups of unpacked grated cheese, as shown below:

making cheese sauce

Stir until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a little bit of garlic, or a squeeze of yellow mustard. Mix with your pasta and enjoy!

delicious cheese sauce tutorial

This tutorial is based off of my mom’s recipe combined with a method used by some friends in the UK. Our UK friends often made their mac n cheese with peas and bacon mixed in. It was delicious! I don’t usually have bacon around, but I do add peas pretty frequently. My mom used to serve this over steamed broccoli instead of over macaroni. Also delicious, and much healthier!

Do you make your own mac n cheese?

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

12 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Mac n Cheese Sauce”

  1. Thankyou so much for sharing this with me over on #kidsinthekitchen… it’s great to have you joining in! We are massive mac and cheese fans and I love adding cauliflower and sweetcorn to ours… Hubby allways puts it under the grill with breadcrumbs and chopped bacon on the top, I’m vegetarian so tend to avoid the bacon!!! Have a great week, I hope you can link up again next week for more family friendly cooking!

  2. I make mac and cheese sauce when I am trying to use up cheese in the fridge. Sometimes I just cut it into think slices or chunks because I am too lazy to grate. It works if you just stir a lot in the hot milk.

  3. Yum! Yes, I do make my own mac n cheese, it’s a combo of cheddar, cottage cheese, parmesan… lots of cheese :) And bread crumbs! I remember growing up with boxed mac n cheese and vowed never to go back to that again lol.

  4. I always try to make our food fresh where and when I can and Macaroni Cheese is one of the kiddies’ all time favourites. I think it’s a great recipe for adding things to, like you say bacon and peas goes well. We do bacon and mushrooms quite a lot too and broccoli, tuna and sweetcorn. Yum.

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    My mouth is watering!! In the UK was when I started making my own mac and cheese, too. Yum!

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