This Copycat Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese is only five ingredients, and is so creamy and perfect that you’ll never buy it from the freezer again!
Let me start off by saying- I am EXTREMELY particular about my macaroni and cheese. I don't like, for the most part, baked macaroni and cheese. For me, a good macaroni and cheese is a saucy macaroni and cheese.
I tend not to make this dish from scratch very often, mostly because I usually end up pissed off. Either the sauce is grainy, or its too dry or SOMETHING. But I've persevered and finally come up with a version that I think is pretty darn similar to the mac and cheese with the biggest cult following- Stouffer's Mac and Cheese.
The key to a good, creamy mac and cheese is fat. There's just no other way around it, sorry. I would apologize for the nutrition facts for this recipe, but let's face reality here- you're here because you want to copycat Stouffer's mac and cheese. You and I both know thats not health food. The fat is necessary for a creamy sauce- I've tried cutting the fat down, either by less butter, or 2% milk, or whatever- and it never works as well. You end up with a grainy sauce, which is perhaps the most unappealing thing to eat ever.
Its up to you if you want to bake it or not, really. Baking it definitely does soak up some more of the cheese sauce, but some people really NEED that cheesy crust on top.
What you'll need for this recipe:
- Colander - I recommend using a colander for straining your pasta. Get a Deep Colander so you don't lose any pasta!
- Baking dish - This baking dish is perfect for making pasta and is great for cooking! You can get yourself a Rectangular Baking Dish here!
- Noodle scoop - A good noodle scoop that will last, is a key kitchen gadget to own. Grab this Nylon Noodle Server to add to your kitchen utensils!
If you're into this Copycat Stouffer's Mac and Cheese, make sure to check out:
- Pasta with Sausage, Basil & Mustard
- Creamy Caprese Pasta
- Four Cheese Sauce
- Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce
Copycat Stouffer's Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 8 T butter
- 1/4 c + 2 T flour
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 lb sharp cheddar shredded (about 5 cups)
- 1/2 lb american cheese about 9 slices
- Salt and Pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente, drain.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over and whisk in. Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.
- Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Simmer until slightly thickened, whisking occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn.
- Add the cheese, one handful at a time, whisking well after each one and not adding any more cheese until the previous handful is fully melted and incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour into a 9 x 13 dish. If desired, bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
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Cindy T says
Loved this! I made it ahead for Thanksgiving and put it in the freezer, but I (of course) had to sample some first, and it was even better than Stouffer’s! I took my time with the roux and adding the cheese and had no issues with it being grainy. Thanks for the awesome recipe!
Paul M. says
I also prefer the creamy Mac and cheese, but also want the crispy baked top without drying it all out. I find that a good way to get “the best of both worlds” is instead of baking it, just put it in the baking dish and put under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes. Comes out perfect!
Love this recipe! Easy to follow and closest to Stouffer’s that I have tried.
Just wondering if possible to prepare night before an event and bake the next day or should be made same day if not freezing it.