We love mac ‘n cheese at our house, but my kids won’t touch the boxed stuff. Even my five year old yells, “No! Not the orange stuff!” It doesn’t take even one minute longer to whip up the good stuff that to make the boxed stuff, either. Honest! My kids whip this up all the time, by themselves, for lunch.


1. Boil a 16 oz box of pasta, any type.

2. Drain the pasta (we just drain the pasta in the pot so we don’t have to dirty any other dishes. Ultimate lazy, huh?) mostly. It doesn’t matter if there is a bit of water left in the pot.

3. Put the pan back on the burner and turn it to low. Add 1/2 a cube of butter to the pot, along with 2 c. whole milk. The pasta should still be hot so the butter will melt and the milk will warm. Add 8 oz. shredded cheddar, or whatever yummy cheese you have. We also love monterey jack, white cheddar and fiesta blend.

4. Stir until the cheese melts and everything combines. It will be really cheesy and gooey. 





Add frozen peas or broccoli with the cheese
Add crisp bacon, crumbled
Add cubed ham
Scoop mac ‘n cheese into a casserole dish, top with buttery breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes.

Cost Breakdown:
16 oz. box of macaroni or other pasta: $0.99
2 cups whole milk: $0.80
1/2 cube butter: $0.50
16 oz. shredded cheddar: $2.29
Serves 8
less than $0.60 per serving


Similar Posts


  1. 2 cups of milk for 16 oz of pasta and 8 ox of cheese? I made this and this feels like way too much milk. I’m not being critical, just making sure I got this right since I’m no great cook.

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Yes, it will look kind of milky right after you add everything. But if you stir it then let it sit for a few minutes the hot milk and pasta will melt the cheese and the pasta will absorb the milk and it will all be a good consistency. 🙂

  2. Do you mean half a stick of butter? A cube or pat of butter is just 1TBS/slice. Half a cube would be a tiny amount (1 cube is 1/8 of a stick so half that would be 1/16 and negligible in a recipe this size). About how much pasta water should I leave? 1/2C 1C? Enough to cover the bottom, half way up the noodles?

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Yes, half a stick as in 1/4 cup of butter. I always call sticks of butter cubes — I should have specified the amount! I don’t intentionally leave any water in the pot, I just drain it in the pot, using a slotted spoon, so some water inevitably remains, but a negligible amount (probably under a cup). Can you tell I’m really lackadaisical in my cooking? I’m a pinch of this, a little of that type of cook. Sorry for the confusion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.