Friday’s Frugal Feast: Traditional Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe was given to me by my friend Lori. It’s amazing that many people don’t know how to make this old standby, including me before she gave this to me.

“It’s one of my standbys for kid appeal. I almost didn’t send it, because it seems such a basic one; however, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard moms exclaim, “I didn’t know you could do this from scratch instead of from a box!” It’s economical, easy to prepare, much better for you, quick to clean up since it’s made in one pan, and it tastes great, too! Even the grown-ups like it. The biggest challenge is to convince the kids that mac & cheese
doesn’t have to be bright orange to be good!”

Super Simple Macaroni and Cheese

16 oz. elbow macaroni
2 Tblsp. butter
2 Tblsp. flour
1 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste
(suggestion: 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper)
1 pinch nutmeg
1 cup shredded cheese of choice

  • Prepare macaroni per directions on box. When fork tender (not mushy), drain pasta into a colander in the sink. You don’t need to rinse it!
  • In the same hot pan, melt your 2 Tblsp. butter over low heat. Add flour, whisking until blended. Continue to stir over low heat for another 15+ seconds to “cook” the flour.
  • While whisking, add your milk slowly until incorporated. You can now turn the heat up to medium (or so) to bring it to a simmer. This only takes 1-2 minutes.
  • When it starts to bubble, it will thicken. Add your S&P, nutmeg and cheese, stirring with a spoon.
  • Pour your pasta back into the sauce, and stir. It’s ready to eat now, or you can follow some of these variations:
1) Add chopped ham or chicken at the end for more protein.
2) To add veggies, you can cook and drain them with the pasta, then add back at the end. Or just add leftover, cooked veggies of choice at end.
3) For a baked version, place finished mac & cheese in a greased 9×13 pan, top with bread crumbs, dot with butter and bake for 20 min. at 325 degrees.
4) Don’t be afraid to break out of the “mild cheddar” mold for this. Make this dish more exciting by adding 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to any version. Try sharp cheddar for more flavor. Mozzarella tends to get “stretchy,” and this can either be more fun or more annoying. You decide. Just have fun with it!


About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. But how could I survive without the orange cheese powder that I’ve grown up with?? Didn’t know this was so easy – will have to give it a try!


  2. Mac & Cheese is a staple in our home. We couldn’t live without it!


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