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Homemade Mac and Cheese

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If your kids are anything like mine, then mac and cheese is a staple in your house! There are some boxed options I really like, but nothing really compares to homemade mac and cheese.

mac and cheese in a bowl

Why I love this recipe

I love this recipe because you get all the comfort and deliciousness of a boxed mac and cheese, but you can customize it a bit more to your liking (stay tuned for my favorite cheeses to use!) and even fortify it with some veggies. Great nutrition, great taste, a really creamy sauce- it’s a win-win for kids and adults.

Homemade Creamy Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese is made with a combination of my favorite melty cheeses and features a little bit of pumpkin puree for added creaminess! I’ll also give you some additional suggestions for boosting the nutrition even more!

Ingredients Needed

All you need is:

  • 2 cups chicken bone broth
  • 2-2.5 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 3 cups dry elbow macaroni
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (NOT pre-shredded)
  • 1.5 cups shredded gruyere cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp canned pumpkin purée
mac and cheese ingredients

Notes:

You can also use vegetable broth to make this recipe vegetarian. I used bone broth (not just regular chicken broth) because it gives the dish extra protein that it wouldn’t have with just regular chicken broth or veggie broth, but it’ll work with any!

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot, stir together 2 cups chicken bone broth, 2 cups milk, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat.
  2. Stir in macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes until al dente (about 10-12 minutes total), adding more liquid gradually if needed.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in pumpkin and cheese until melted. If the sauce is too thick, gradually stir in additional broth or milk until it comes together.
close up mac and cheese
small bowls of mac and cheese

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze homemade mac and cheese?

You can, but before popping it in the freezer, you’ll need to make sure it’s all the way cooled down so it doesn’t become mushy. You can reheat it in the oven! 

How long is homemade mac and cheese good for?

This homemade mac and cheese recipe will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, and it reheats great for leftovers!

How can I make homemade mac and cheese healthier? 

Mac and cheese is a totally fine food to serve just as-is- it’s got carbohydrates, fat, and good nutrients like calcium from the cheese, but if you’re looking for ways to boost the nutrition even more, I have some ideas for a little bit healthier mac and cheese! 

You could use whole wheat pasta for added fiber, ultra filtered milk to up the protein content even more, add pumpkin puree and use bone broth like we did in this recipe, or serve it alongside a few other meal components like fruit/veggies and treat it more like a side dish than the main event. 

birds eye view mac and cheese

Expert Tips

Choose your favorite meltable cheeses to make this perfect for your family. I used regular sharp cheddar and gruyere in this recipe, but you could also use gouda, white cheddar, or monterey jack. Different cheeses will change the nutritional value of the recipe, but feel free to play around with what sounds best to your family!

If you want to throw in some veggies, I recommend small pieces of broccoli, or a veggie medley like carrots, peas, and corn!

Other recipes to try

Red Lentil Pasta with Veggie-Packed Tomato Sauce

red lentil pasta

Creamy Cashew Cauliflower Pasta Sauce for Toddlers

For you

Check out my free Picky Eater Starter Guide with some helpful tips to get your picky eater eating a wider variety!

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Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN, LD
A delicious, easy, homemade take on a crowd favorite!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 401 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups broth I used chicken bone broth
  • 2-2.5 cups milk whole
  • 2 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 3 cups elbow macaroni dry
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese not pre-shredded
  • 1.5 cups shredded gruyere cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp pumpkin puree canned

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, stir together 2 cups chicken bone broth, 2 cups milk, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat.
  • Stir in macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes until al dente (about 10-12 minutes total), adding more liquid gradually if needed.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in pumpkin and cheese until melted. If the sauce is too thick, gradually stir in additional broth or milk until it comes together.

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 35.5gProtein: 20gFat: 19.5gSodium: 590mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 4.5g
Keyword Healthy Mac and Cheese, Homemade Mac and Cheese
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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Kacie Barnes holding an apple
Hi, I’m Kacie!

I’m a mom of two and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I offer e-guides and e-books (go to my Shop page), workshops, brand partnerships, and nutrition counseling. Check out my blog for nutrition and feeding tips for your little ones.

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This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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