Mainely Dish: Quick and Easy Macaroni and Cheese

— By Alex Gayton, Assistant EFNEP Coordinator & Social Media Coordinator, Expanded Food Nutrition and Education Program (EFNEP), University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Visit EFNEP’s recipe website for the Quick and Easy Macaroni and Cheese recipe and recipe video.

Do you want to switch from using boxed macaroni and cheese to making your own homemade macaroni and cheese? Try this Quick and Easy Macaroni and Cheese recipe, it’s easier than you might think! A typical boxed macaroni and cheese includes noodles and cheese, and then you have to add milk and butter. The only additional ingredients for this homemade version are flour, grated cheese, and optional seasonings like salt and pepper. The flour is cooked with butter to make a thick sauce, called a roux. After the roux is made, add milk and stir constantly until it thickens and then add the cheese until it is all melted into a delicious cheesy sauce, which is then added to the cooked noodles.

Swaps you can choose to make your mac and cheese healthier

  • Use unsalted butter to decrease the amount of sodium
  • Use fat-free milk and low-fat cheese to reduce saturated fat
  • Choose whole grain pasta or bean-based pasta for added fiber and protein. I made this recipe with whole-wheat egg noodles and added garlic powder to add additional flavor, it was delicious!