Quick & Easy Mac & Cheese

Quick Mac & Cheese

Quick Mac & Cheese

Twenty minutes! Four ingredients! That’s all it takes to make this creamy, delicious, low-fat mac & cheese. Use mild or sharp cheddar as long as it’s reduced fat and for the best result, shred your own cheese. Be warned: It’s creamy-good but just because it’s low-fat doesn’t mean you can eat it all in one sitting. I tried… bad idea. :-) - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Quick Mac & Cheese


  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I use 1% low fat milk)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 12 ounces elbows or other pasta (about 4 cups)

  • 8 ounces reduced fat cheddar cheese, which you shred or thinly slice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste


  1. Cook macaroni per package directions.
  2. Whisk together the milk and flour and place in a large sauté pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook & stir about 10 minutes until thickened. Keep stirring as it can easily burn.
  4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in cheese, salt & pepper. Do not cook the sauce once the cheese is added.
  5. Add cooked & drained macaroni. Done.

Quick Mac & Cheese - Only Four Ingredients

73 Comments on "Quick Mac & Cheese"

  1. Naomi

    How many calories per serving would this be?

    • Jenny

      I don’t know since I don’t count calories.

  2. Maria Williams

    This recipe is a hit with my family and foolproof, it doesn’t curdle or end up too thick or too watery. Just right and simply delicious ☺

  3. Elizabeth

    Hi Jenny! Is this recipie good for making it with your best friend for dinner at a sleepover? Because we both love to cook and bake!

  4. First Timer

    Hi Jenny!! i’m 14 years old and would like to try to make this for my family tonight! for the milk and flour mixture, do i bring the heat to high until it boils first and then reduce it to low and allow it to cook for an additional 10 minutes?

    • Jenny

      That’s exactly right. Good luck!

      • First Timer

        Hi Jenny!

        I just went out to buy the ingredients and was only able to find sharp cheddar. They didnt have reduced fat. Will that be okay to use to melt into the milk/flour mixture?

  5. Cook

    This tastes amazing!!!! I added a lot more cheese though, and chili powder made it irresistible! thank you!!!!!

  6. Gabby

    Hi Jenny,

    I tried to make mac and cheese using this recipe today. As someone mentioned before my mac and cheese turned out gritty so I was wondering if you could help me figure out what I did wrong. I used all purpose flour, Tillamook sharp cheddar full fat cheese, and 2% milk. My milk and flour started to curdle (as I see you’ve mentioned before it may have been because I cooked it too hot), but my sauce never came to a boil or thickened. (So I kept it on the stove longer than 10 minutes, but again no boil or thickened consistency.) I also added the cheese slowly at first, without heat, and halfway through added the rest. The cheese did not properly melt and as said before, the mac and cheese ended up gritty. Please let me know how I can fix this. Thank you!

    • New to Baking

      Gabby, mix sure to mix the flour very thoroughly before cooking. It sounds also like you did not constantly stir the mixture. Also, you should always remove the sauce from the heat before adding the cheese. Do not cook the sauce after you have added the cheese.

    • Jenny

      Grainy mac & cheese is generally caused by too much heat. I agree that your pan needed to be removed from the burner before adding the cheese. Also, your milk and flour need to come to a boil and then keep cooking on low heat for 10 minutes. I suggest you try this recipe again, do not leave the stove, stir the milk and flour constantly, and follow every step exactly. Let me know if it turns out better.

      • Gabby

        Hi New to Baking & Jenny,

        I did stir the sauce often, about every minute or so. I forgot to mention that I had let the milk and flour sit a while before I had added it to the pan, and forgot to stir it again before I started cooking it, so some of the milk and flour turned into a paste. (I then tried to stir that while it was in the pan right away.) Could this have caused the problem? I will try the recipe again. Thank you.

  7. The Novice Baker

    Hi, I’m 15 years old and love to cook. Thank you for the recipe. It tasted very good, It reminded me so much of the one my school cafeteria makes that I like. I did make a few changes though. First, I used 3 ounces of extra sharp cheddar cheese, combined with 3- 1 ounce slices of 2% milk American cheese. Second, I increased the flour to 1/3 cup. Also, I added 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard, 1 tbsp grated Parmesan-style topping, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. I also used whole wheat rotini pasta. I will definitely keep this recipe.

  8. Dee

    This tasted great but mine turned out a bit gritty…not sure what would have caused that. I followed the recipe to a T but I wonder if the milk and flour mixture didn’t cook long enough. Anyone else have this problem? I would like to know what I did wrong so I could fix it next time.

    • Jenny

      This should not happen so can you please tell me what kind of milk and what brand of cheese you used? I think I can help figure it out with this information.

      • Dee

        Thanks for your reply. I used 2% milk and full fat cheese (I didn’t have low fat).

        • Jenny

          Your ingredients should not have caused a problem (assuming you used all purpose flour and did not use pre-shreded cheese) so all I can think of is you either cooked too fast or too hot. Keep your heat low when you cook the milk & flour and keep stirring. Make sure it’s no longer cooking when you add the cheese (preferably shredded) and add the cheese slowly, not all at once. That’s all I can think of so I hope it helps. Let me know if you try again.

          • Dee

            Yes I did use all purpose flour and a block of cheese that I shredded myself. I did cook it fast and added the cheese all at once when I took it off the stove… that was probably the problem. I’ll be more aware next time and add it slowly. It still tastes good and is a great recipe.. thanks for sharing and for your help 🙂

  9. Tess

    Guess what I am eating?? Your Mac & Cheese!!
    Loving it! Woke up this morning with a cold….WANTED Mac & Cheese
    and there YOU were!!! Been Lovin’ You for years…
    If you ever decide to give up that awesome BLOUSE,
    Pass it My Way!!!

  10. hala

    made it today ( I’m 16) and I loved it and so did my family thanks a lot!

    • Jenny

      Thanks for letting me know. It’s great that you’re cooking for your family at sixteen. Keep it up!!

  11. Ellen

    Jenny can you make more by doing 1/2 cup flour-3 cups milk and more cheese?

    • Jenny

      If you want to make more you would need to keep the same balance of ingredients so this is too much flour for 3 cups of milk. It takes a little math but you need to increase each ingredient by the same percentage. It’s not always easy so I usually use a calculator (or I just double the recipe).

  12. Ekin

    Hi Jenny.
    love recipe so much!
    i hv question,if i want to use rice cooker, how is the recipe would be? is there any method?

    • Jenny

      I have never used a rice cooker for anything but I see there are lots of recipes online for mac & cheese in a rice cooker so a search might be helpful to you.

  13. kenisha

    hi jenny im kenisha. im from the Philippines. i m 12years old.i cook mac and cheese in our home i try it my family love it so much and i love it too.tanks for the video you made i love it so much

    • Jenny

      I’m so happy to see someone your age cooking for the family. They must be so proud of you.

  14. Pritie

    Hi Jenny, that’s such a great and quick recipe! Looks yummy! I want to try this recipe on the weekend, I would like to add chicken on this recipe. How do I do that?

    • Jenny

      To keep this a fast meal, I would just stir in some bite-size pieces of cooked, warm chicken at the end, when you add the macaroni.

  15. Tabatha

    Made this as a side for tonight’s dinner and it was great! Even my picky hubby enjoyed it. I have quite a bit leftover, so we’ll probably have some with ham, for lunch tomorrow. Thanks so much for your great recipes!

  16. resval

    Super recipe! thanks Jenny tried with corn flour as I ran out of APF. Turned out well also added oregano and basil and paresan. A big hit with my kid.

  17. Nicolas

    Jenny is right that the anti-caking agents in pre-grated cheeses tend to dry them out and make them melt less well. This might not be an issue for cheddar except that Jenny has chosen to use low-fat cheese and milk to keep the calories down (not a bad idea in itself, but don’t kid yourselves: you still need to control portions even with low-calorie eats 😉 ) and so she needs all the moisture/grease she can to properly emulsify the sauce. With harder cheeses such as Parmesan, the problem becomes critical regardless of fat content (my Carbonara sauce never turns out well unless I’ve grated my own cheese or use cream, and Italian purists tell me this latter is a capital crime).

    SO… always buy block cheese and take the time to grate it yourself – as Jenny demonstrates here, it doesn’t take THAT much time and it’s a good distraction while you wait for something else to finish. As an added bonus, if you leave a block of cheese in the fridge too long and part of it molds, you can cut off the moldy part, change the Saran wrap and the rest will usually still be good. For obvious reasons, you can’t necessarily do that with powdered cheese.

  18. Daisy

    WOW … this is the most delicious mac n cheese I’ve ever prepared! Jenny is clear with the recipe and my son loved the tasty n creamy consistency! Thank you Jen!

  19. Chika Tanjung

    Very easy & healthy… Can’t hardly wait to try it……sooon!!!!
    Thanks Jenny, what a lovly share..

    Regards from Indonesia 🙂

  20. Cecilia Rogers

    Hi Jenny Love your videos!! Can you reheat in microwave as I don’t think we could eat it all I in one sitting?Actually probably could but trying to cut back!!

    • Jenny

      I can’t say because I usually reheat mine in a 300 degree oven or on the stove top with a little added milk. I looked up some websites and they say if you microwave not to do it on full power. I hope that helps.

  21. Vida

    Yum! Made it twice and with some broccoli it’s a quick meal.

  22. Adli

    Do I have to use an all purpose flour? Is it alright if I don’t use it? As it is very hard for me to get an all purpose flour. Thanks

    • Jenny

      You can use any plain flour or white flour but I would not suggest whole wheat. This recipe does require flour for thickening so you can’t just omit it.

  23. Grace

    Hi jenny I was just wondering if it would be ok to use fat free milk as I use that in my house.

  24. Mostafa

    Thank you very much!!
    Perfect for students like me.
    I’d be thankful if you could put more fast and simple recipes…

  25. sophia

    Hi jenny your mac n cheese was sooo good could I take some for lunch? I know its a dumb question but I’m only 10 plus, I remembered the milk was part of the sauce.

    • Jenny

      It’s not a dumb question at all, in fact it’s a good one. And you’re smart to realize that something made with milk might not be good to leave without refrigeration so unless you have a special container that will keep it cold, I don’t think it’s a good idea.

      • sophia

        Ok thanks. You have some really good recipes. I think I’ll do your Christmas bread next:-)

  26. khabirah

    Can this be made with mozzarella cheese?

    • Jenny

      Mozzarella does melt well but it does not have much flavor so I think your dish would be bland. You could try half mozzarella and half sharp cheddar.

  27. Emily Taylor

    Hello Jenny, may I use other milk than 1% in this recipe?

    • Jenny

      You can use whole milk or 2% but not fat-free as it would likely curdle.

      • Emily Taylor

        Oh, you read my mind! 😀
        I wanted to ask if i may use 2% instead of 1%. 🙂
        Thanks for answer!

  28. Emily

    Delicious! I tried and whole family loved it! Thanks for this recipe, Jenny! 🙂

  29. Keiotta C

    Hi Jenny this looks really good I just love all of your recipes can’t wait to try them going to the store today and make the mac n cheese and your double chocolate cookies,but one quick question can I use AP flour instead of wheat flour I don’t use wheat flour @ all and I feel that it will be a waist of buying it since I have never used it ok Thks!

    • Jenny

      Yes, you can use all purpose flour in the cookies.

  30. donald

    looks really good jenny your the best

  31. Sarah

    Made this with some smoked gouda and some reduced fat sharp cheddar and my family loved it! Thanks for the recipe. Love your channel.

  32. yoloswag gals

    Wow awesome I’m 12 and I’m defiantly going to try this.

  33. Jamee

    I’m only 12 and I love to cook and I hate boxed mac and cheese because who knows what’s in it? Mine came out perfectly and its sooooo good!!

  34. Nicholas R

    I am really looking forward to making this tomorrow. I love your videos and keep making them. I am on a big diet and i thought making this would be a great day. Thank you CYBER HUGS!!<3

  35. Cristito

    Thanks for cooking this meal, my family loves it, I just started making this meal, my daughter loves making it too! Thank You. bye

    Also Cook more meals please…

  36. scarface 133

    I love your recipes. Make this today and it was lovely.


    I added egg scramble to this and its tasted great ! Thax.

  38. Jessica

    Tastes great! Was quick and easy to make. Thank you!

  39. Jliscorpio

    Turned out perfect…Thanks for the recipe!!

  40. bubbles

    I added a can of cooked tuna to this and its tasted great.

  41. Michelle C.

    just made this and it was delicious! thank you for this wonderful recipe! <3

  42. Netasha

    Your mac&cheese is a winner-great for these frozen winter days we have been having here in Ont. Tks n cyber hugs!

  43. Lisa

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. Fast and easy too. I also added lean ground beef. Mmmmmm

  44. Lizy T.

    My girls loved it again thanks for a great meal idea!

  45. Kirsten W

    Ditched the box tonight and made this instead for the kiddos. Big hit! Thank you!

  46. Becky

    That looks amazing!! Can’t wait to try it! :))) Thanks, Jenny!

  47. renee

    do you think i can use fat free cheese and non fat milk!thank you!!

    • Jenny

      I have never had luck trying to melt fat free cheese, so I stick with reduced fat.

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