This Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe is made with 6 ingredients in 15 minutes on the stovetop (no baking required)! Time to ditch the boxed mac and cheese for this irresistibly creamy, smooth & cheesy homemade recipe!
Cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions. Be sure to add ¼ tsp salt to the water used to boil the noodles. Drain, and set aside.
Make the cheese sauce:
Mix flour, sea salt, and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add flour mixture and whisk to combine.
Cook for 1 minute until mixture is slightly brown.
Add 1 cup milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Add sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and whisk until smooth.
Cook on medium-high heat until the mixture is thickened (about 3-5 minutes). Do not let it boil.
Once mixture is thick (sticks to the back of the spatula), reduce heat to low and add cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Taste and add more salt/seasoning if desired.
Add cooked pasta to the pot of cheese sauce and stir until the sauce is evenly distributed.
Let the mac and cheese cool for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese sauce has thickened a little bit and sticks to the noodles. Serve warm!
Storage & reheating
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. You may need to add another 1-2 TBS of milk to make the mac and cheese creamy again after storing!
Here are some notes on the ingredients in this easy mac and cheese recipe, as well as possible substitutions.
Macaroni. I have used just about every noodle variety under the sun to make this mac and cheese recipe and it always turns out delicious! You can also use gluten-free pasta, whole wheat pasta, chickpea pasta, etc. etc.
All-Purpose Flour. There are a few substitutions that work well for the flour including corn starch, tapioca starch/flour, and all-purpose gluten-free flour.
Milk. Any kind of liquid dairy works well in this recipe. Just remember the higher the fat content, the creamier your homemade mac and cheese will be. 2% milk, whole milk, half and half and cream all work well!
Sour Cream. I have used Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream with excellent results.
Cheese. I recommend a high-quality medium to sharp cheddar cheese for the best flavor!
Garlic powder. This ingredient is optional but I think it adds just a touch of flavor that takes this mac and cheese recipe up a notch without making it unpalatable to kids. Adjust the amount to your family's tastes!