Made From Scratch Mac & Cheese

Recipe by Lindsey Chester. Photo by MegaBeth.

Cary, NC – If you’re like me, the only macaroni and cheese you’ve ever made came from a box and involved an orange powder. But I was inspired this week to make it from scratch – I was surprised just how easy (and cheap!) this dish was to make.

I shop at Aldi often-  it is the best bargain grocer in Cary – and in the pasta aisle I picked up a 32 oz. box of macaroni, and on the back was a recipe for  “Easy Baked Macaroni & Cheese”. I know both my daughters like mac & cheese, so I thought, “Why not?”

The ingredients listed were items I already had in my pantry: shredded cheddar cheese, milk, butter, bread crumbs and macaroni; plus flour, salt and pepper.  The box called for only 8 oz. of macaroni, but the box was bigger, so I did some fuzzy math and increased the recipe. It came out awesome – and was plenty to feed us twice and a lunch or two.

You’ll need about an hour, so make sure you have the time.


  • 32 oz. box macaroni
  • 1 stick butter (8 oz.)
  • 8 T flour
  • 4 C milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 t salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 4 C shredded cheddar cheese (or your choice)
  • 1 C breadcrumbs

To Make:

  1. Get a big pot of water and boil the macaroni- rolling boil for 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Butter a large (like BIG!) casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In another large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  5. Add the flour gradually, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until well blended (this makes a white roux).
  6. Gradually add all the milk, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil for 2 minutes (continue to stir). Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. This will be a thick mixture.
  7. Gradually add the shredded cheese and stir until melted and well blended. Simmer an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Turn off the flame. Add the drained macaroni to the cheese mixture in the pot. Make sure pasta is well coated.
  9. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake 20 minutes until top is golden brown. This makes at least 10 good sized servings.

This recipe is a keeper and this will become my “Go To” recipe for a crowd of hungry teens. If you want some variety, try adding diced ham or peas for a more complete meal.


2 replies
  1. Christine Lang
    Christine Lang says:

    This recipe is a winner…made it by chance as I looked at the Reggano box. I enhanced with garlic powder, omitted breadcrumbs, topped with parmesan, and halved the cheese sauce ingredients to the 32 oz of pasta…I enhanced with small chunks of sharp cheddar after mixing the sauce and macaroni together. This was a WINNER!!!

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