How Do You Thicken Macaroni and Cheese? How to Make Mac and Cheese

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Mac & cheese is one of the simplest meals that can be prepared quickly and easily.

This recipe calls for just pasta, milk or cream, butter, cheddar cheese (or any other kind of cheese), salt, and pepper.

This cuisine has been enjoyed by both children and adults because to its rich flavor, and it is also rather adaptable in terms of ingredients.

The pasta may be replaced with any other kind you have on hand, or if you want to try something different but still utilize pasta, try bow tie pasta or rotini instead of elbow macaroni.

Having stated that, many people question how to thicken mac and cheese.

When you want to prepare a creamy gravy-like sauce for your pasta meal without adding milk or cream, thickening becomes a difficulty.

This post will teach you the simplest technique to thicken mac and cheese.

In fact, you’ll discover how to prepare a thicker sauce without using any more ingredients than those stated above in this recipe.

What Are the Most Frequent Mac and Cheese Mistakes?

The following are the most typical errors individuals make while attempting to create this recipe:

Cooking macaroni for too long This is a basic error that can be avoided by just cooking your pasta in plenty of salted water and then draining it after it’s done.

That way, you’ll know whether or not your spaghetti is done.

Not stirring the macaroni and cheese after adding the flour This error is done to prevent clumping, but the truth is that you shouldn’t be tempted to stir your pasta with a spoon or spatula too much (if at all), since this will make it pasty instead of creamy.

For 4 cups of macaroni, use 2 pounds of cheddar cheese. Inadequate use of cheese Several recipes may advise you that you should finish up with 1

But, if your stove isn’t extremely hot, a pound will enough and provide the desired taste (but nevertheless still keeps the dish creamy).

Not allowing enough time for the cheese to melt If you use a crockpot, your meal will take 4 to 6 hours to finish, but if you use the stovetop technique (which is more handy), it will take roughly 30 minutes.

Using an excessive amount of flour This error should be avoided at all costs, particularly if you do not plan to thicken your meal using a roux.

Instead of flour, you may use cornstarch.

How Do You Thicken Macaroni and Cheese?

Mac and cheese is often served with a tomato sauce and crumbled or cubed bacon, which adds a salty and smoky taste to the meal, but you may want to make your mac and cheese more creamy to get that gravy-like feel.

The good news is that it is not difficult to do so. So, how can you make mac and cheese thicker?

1 Use Cornstarch

Using cornstarch to thicken your mac and cheese is the simplest method to do this.

After the pasta is finished cooking, just add a quarter cup of flour (or corn starch) to the pan.

When using corn starch, add a quarter cup of cold water.

Be careful to whisk the corn starch (or flour) into the cheese rather than using your hands or a spoon, since this may cause it to get pasty and clump up.

Following that, leave your pasta aside for approximately 5 minutes to allow the cheese to set and thicken, but be careful not to overcook your pasta.

Then, top your macaroni with a tablespoon of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of crumbled bacon.

You may also add additional cheese if desired.

2 Ricotta Cheese Use

Ricotta cheese may also be used to thicken mac and cheese without the need of a roux or corn starch.

If you make your own, all you need is 1-2 cups of milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt to taste, and vegetable oil to grease the pan.

If you purchase store-bought, you’ll need to substitute 1-2 cups of ricotta cheese for the milk and butter combo.

After the macaroni is done, add the cheese and let it simmer on low heat until most of the water has evaporated, stirring regularly but not too much to risk pasting your mac and cheese.

3 Making Use of a Roux

Although cornstarch or ricotta may be used to thicken mac and cheese, the most traditional choice (if you’re truly into preparing that southern type of Mac and Cheese) is to use a roux (like in gravy).

This technique requires just 1 tablespoon of butter, which should be whisked combined with 1/4 cup of flour to prevent clumping.

Be sure to add the butter first, followed by the flour, taking care not to burn the flour or damage your dish.

Following that, lay your macarons aside for a few minutes to enable the cheese to solidify and thicken.

4 Let to Simmer

If you want to thicken your mac and cheese even more, simmer it for at least 15 minutes over low heat instead of adding a roux or cornstarch.

The longer you cook it for, the thicker it will get in the end.

Let the macarons to settle for about 5 minutes before serving, then top with crumbled bacon and cheese and serve with a dish of tomato sauce.

5 Make Use of Egg Yolk

Finally, egg yolks may be used to thicken your mac & cheese.

Just beat up to one or two egg yolks with a fork and then fold into the macaroni, being careful not to overbeat the eggs or you will end up with scrambled eggs.

Let the mac and cheese to boil for approximately 15 minutes after adding the egg mixture, and then serve with a dish of tomato sauce, crumbled bacon, and cheese on the side.


Mac and cheese is a meal that everyone can eat and love.

It’s easy to prepare and tasty when mixed with the appropriate ingredients, but you’ll need something to add to the noodles before serving to make it thick.

There are several methods to thicken mac and cheese, but the most important thing to remember is to avoid burning any of the components.

Thus, any method you choose, just keep it clean and simple, and your macaroni will be thick enough to change form once in your mouth.


How do I fix my mac and cheese?

Mix in 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of mac and cheese to include as much as possible. If you want to increase the richness and taste, use half-and-half or cream. 3. Wrap the dish in aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Does mac and cheese thicken as it cools?

Baked macaroni and cheese is best served hot, about 10-15 minutes after it has been baked. It will thicken and dry somewhat as it cools, and reheating may be a nightmare.

How much flour thickens mac and cheese?

To use flour as a thickener, combine two tablespoons flour with 14 cup cold water for each cup of medium-thick sauce.
To avoid lumps, thoroughly mix in the water.
Cook and whisk the combined flour and water into the sauce over medium heat until thickened and bubbling.
More to come…
•Aug 25, 2022

How long does it take for mac and cheese sauce to thicken?

Stir in the milk and stock until the flour and butter are completely dissolved. Bring the sauce to a boil and thicken it for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat after the sauce has thickened and stir in the mustard and cheddar cheese.

How do you thicken runny mac and cheese?

Add cornstarch or all-purpose flour to thicken the sauce.

Dissolve the cornstarch or flour in a small dish with a cup of water. A slurry will form as a result of the cold water. Over medium heat, stir the slurry into the cheese sauce and allow it to simmer and thicken.

Why is my mac and cheese always watery?

The box is incorrect. It is instructing you to use too much mich milk. That’s why it’s so runny. Use less milk to make it less runny.

How long does it take for milk to thicken for mac and cheese?

Gently whisk in the milk, whisking constantly, for approximately 2 minutes, or until thickened. Lower the heat to low and whisk in the cheese until melted. Cook the pasta in a large dutch oven or saucepan over low heat. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and mix to incorporate.

How do you make watery sauce thicker?

Flour is the most widely accessible sauce thickening. If your sauce is too thin, consider adding a slurry (equal parts flour and water whisked together) or beurre manie (equal parts melted butter and flour kneaded together to produce a paste)—both are excellent thickeners for rich and creamy sauces like steak sauce.

How do you thicken mac and cheese without milk?

If you don’t want to use plain old butter as a milk alternative, make a roux with your Kraft Mac and Cheese. What exactly is this? Just 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour are required. This will thicken the macaroni without changing the taste.

Will baking mac and cheese thicken it?

Add the grated cheese and stir until it is fully melted. (The sauce will seem thick at first but will thin as the cheese melts; it will thicken as it bakes.) Season with salt and pepper, then add cooked pasta and toss to coat.

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