I've tried many mac 'n' cheese recipes. Some of them were delicious but required time consuming, kitchen heating baking in the oven. Others were quick stovetop recipes but tasted terrible - the cheese was an awful consistency. I finally adapted my own version that combined the best of both worlds. I learned that the cheese sauce has a more robust flavor with cheddar, but it needs to have mostly American to get a fully blended consistency. Additionally, the usage of less milk makes a thicker cheese sauce that sticks to the macaroni without baking in the oven. If you like a runnier sauce, try 2 cups of milk instead. This recipe takes me about 20-30 minutes to make, yields roughly 6 cups, and serves 4-8.
8 oz (1/2 box) elbow macaroni
4 tbsp margarine*
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 dash pepper
1 1/2 cups milk*
6 oz Velveeta*
1/2 cup (2 oz) cheddar cheese*
*You can also use butter. I use skim milk. I use a generic brand of Velveeta and the variety made with 2% milk. I look at the block and eyeball 6 oz. I use medium cheddar cheese - it has a sharper flavor than mild and melts better than sharp.
Step 1: Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Cook the macaroni per directions provided on the box.
Step 2: Meanwhile, prep the rest of your ingredients (measure the dry ingredients, measure the milk, cube the American cheese, shred the cheddar cheese) - the rest of the recipe moves quickly.
Step 3: It's probably about time to add the macaroni to the boiling water.
Step 4: In a medium saucepan over med-high heat, melt the margarine.
Step 5: Once melted, stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Mix until you have a (possibly crumbly) paste.
Step 6: Slowly add the milk, and bring to a simmer. Stir constantly, so you don't scald the milk! If you need to stop for more than a few seconds, take it off the heat.
Step 7: It's probably about time to strain the macaroni. Just turn off the burner for now.
Step 8: Going back to the sauce, lower the heat, and add the cheese. Stir until melted, and remove from heat.
Step 9: Strain the macaroni, and return to pan (or pour into serving bowl).
Step 10: Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, and stir to coat.
Step 11: Enjoy! I usually serve with steamed broccoli or mixed veggies - you can dip them in the extra cheese sauce.