Simple Mac and Cheese

Simple and delightfully cheesy in all the right ways, our 5 ingredient Simple Mac and Cheese is a great table option for holidays or any day of the week. Children and adults alike flock to it for its traditional yummy taste. No excuse needed to enjoy this delicious comfort food.

Simple Mac and Cheese on a table

Years ago, I had a neighbor that would make so many wonderful dishes that were a lot different from the ones I grew up with. When I would cook, she would lovingly offer tips and impart her wisdom on different ways of doing things. She offered several pointers on what became this awesome dish, that I always think of her when I make it. It has been years since we’ve lived near one another, but my family still refers to it as “Jackie-Mac”, after her 🙂

Ingredients for Simple Mac and Cheese

Ingredients for our Simple Mac and Cheese:

  • Elbow Pasta
  • White American Cheese
  • Velveeta Cheese
  • Milk
  • Butter

If you are not a fan of Velveeta, click here for a great blog on how to make your own!

How to make our Simple Mac and Cheese:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook macaroni as directed on box. While the noodles are cooking, slice the cheese and butter.

Three types of cheeses on a board for Simple Mac and Cheese

When the pasta is done cooking, about 9-11 minutes, drain in the sink. You will need to reserve 1/4th cup of the pasta water. You can drain the pasta over a large measuring cup to make this step easier. Also, you can always ladle the water out slowly before draining.

Draining macaroni into a measuring cup

Grease the baking dish. We typically cook in a 2 quart (9×13) casserole dish.

Once the pasta is drained, add 1/2 of the noodles to the dish. Place 1/2 of the sliced butter on top of the noodles, evenly distributing it.

Macaroni noodles in a baking dish with sliced butter on top for Simple Mac and Cheese

Next, add 4 slices of Velveeta and 5 slices of American Cheese on top of the noddles. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.

Adding the cheese to Simple Mac and Cheese

Pour the rest of the pasta on top of the sliced cheese and repeat with the remaining butter and cheeses.

Add 1 cup of milk slowly to the dish. After that, add the 1/4 cup of water that was reserved from cooking the pasta.

Simple Mac and Cheese with pasta water

Bake for 30 minutes. Once done baking, remove from the oven and carefully give it a good stir. After stirring, allow the mac and cheese to sit for 5 minutes to really set. It is perfectly normal if it appears a little runny at first. It won’t after 5 minutes!


Simple Mac and Cheese

When we are going somewhere for a get-together over the holidays, I almost always brings this dish. I do so because then I know without a doubt there will be something my kids will like to eat! It’s also super easy to put together which makes my life so much simpler. My favorite recipes to make are ones that are light on steps but full of taste and flavor… as if I spent hours making it versus just minutes! Pair it with our Shredded Buffalo Chicken Tacos or 3 Ingredient Baked Pork Chops for a full course meal!

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Simple Mac and Cheese
Yield: serves 6-8

Simple Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 Box elbow Pasta
  • 1 cup of Milk
  • 10 slices American Cheese
  • 8 slices of Velveta
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1/4 cup water from pasta


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease baking dish.
    2. Cook macaroni as directed on Box.
    3. Drain pasta, and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
    4. Add 1/2 of noodles to the bottom of the dish.
    5. Slice 1/2 of butter and place on top. Add 4 slices of Velveeta and 5 slices of American Cheese, adding salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Add the remaining noodles followed by the last of the butter and cheeses.
    7. Add 1 cup of milk and 1/4th cup of water all around the noodles.
    8. Bake for 30 minutes.
    9. Once pulled from the oven, stir and allow to set for 5 minutes.
    10. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 472mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g

(Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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