Comfort Food Classics: Macaroni and Cheese #ThrowbackThursday

Irresistible homemade Macaroni and Cheese made with American cheese, butter, and Mexican crema.

Easy Macaroni & Cheese recipe -

I have a confession to make.  When Hope was two years old, I introduced her to a new food, that quickly became her favorite...Macaroni and Cheese.  But not just any macaroni and cheese, it was the kind that comes in a blue box.  She loved it!  And every time we went to the grocery store, she would spot the blue box and scream "Mac-Cheese".  Whenever I wasn't sure of what to make her for lunch or dinner, she would say "Mac-Cheese!"  She was crazy about the stuff.

Fast forward to almost a year later, when we moved to Mexico.  Sure, Hope liked the food that my suegra prepared for her, but she still wanted her mac & cheese. This being a small town, far from the big city and large grocery stores, the stuff in the blue box was no where to be found. I did buy a few boxes of the different Mexican brands, but none of them came close to the yummy goodness of the stuff in the blue box.

Stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe -

Then began my desperate search for the perfect homemade version.  Some were baked.  Some had a bechamel sauce base.  But still, I hadn't found a recipe that was pleasing to my little girl's taste buds.

Finally, one day, I really didn't feel like making yet another bechamel sauce, so I decided to use a few shortcuts.  I cooked my macaroni according to package directions.  Then in a separate bowl,  I melted a little bit of butter, added some Mexican crema, a splash of milk, and oodles of good ol' American cheese.  To finish it off, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, and paprika before presenting it to my princess, Hope.   

I waited with bated breath as she tasted this easy stovetop macaroni and cheese.

She turned to me with a very serious look, then flashed me the biggest smile and said, "Mommy, this is the BEST mac & cheese EVER!" And I've made it the same way ever since.

Coditos con Queso -

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Macaroni & Cheese

Irresistible homemade Macaroni and Cheese made with American cheese, butter, and Mexican crema.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 30 mins


  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni pasta 
  • 4 tablespoons butter 
  • 3/4 cup Mexican crema 
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 oz. American cheese slices 
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 


  1. Cook macaroni pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with with cold water.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in Mexican crema, milk, and American cheese slices. Stir with a wire whisk until cheese has melted completely. Season with paprika, ground black pepper, and salt to taste. 
  3. Add the cooked macaroni, stirring gently until completely pasta is completely coated with the cheese sauce. Simmer over low heat until heated through. Remove from heat. Buen provecho! 
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I used to make this for my kids all the time and they loved it. The recipe is pretty much identical. My 20 year old stepdaughter could live on the stuff out of the blue box.

  2. That really looks so good Leslie. Your blog is so pretty. You have things laid out "Just So." Very nice and yummy, I love mac n cheese. Have a great Sunday and week ahead. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you I made the watermelon drink and I was surprised when my husband said he liked it a lot. He normally doesn't like to try new things. Thanks a lot. Take care.

  3. My daughters are crazy with mac and cheese. Yours looks fantastic!

  4. I'm trying to eat a bit healthier these days, but I do love Mac and cheese too. Your recipe sounds great. Thanks for the simple solution.

  5. funny how the simple things will not only just do, but will be outstanding... and without a fuss - like your version, quick and easy

  6. I saw you on the Nestwork. Your blog looks absolutely YUMMY! I'm going to want to try out some of your recipes :) follow back, ifyou'd like!

  7. This is how we usually make it also. I use to add the slices of American cheese even to the blue box so one day I didn't have the box and thought well its worth a try. And yummmy is right!!!!

  8. You know I really like the box stuff too even if it is artificialy orange. I've tried a few homemade recipes but I don't like that they start off with a bechamel sauce, but even though I cook the heck out of it I can still taste the flour in it.

    I bet this is the BEST mac and cheese. I'll have to try it.

  9. LOL Leslie!! :) I made myself Mac-n-Cheese yesterday, probably for the first time in over a year. (blue box and all!) I was having an I-really-want-american-food moment :) But now, after reading your post - ooooo crema! - I want YOUR mac-n-cheese! CREMA!! Brilliant!

  10. Wow, what an easy version. This looks deliciouso.

  11. This looks really good. Believe it or not, I just had mac-and-cheese for the first time in my life two months ago. I have been deprived all these years! LOL. I am new to your blog by the way.


  12. leslie, whether you know it or not, you've already answered one of the requests that i posted on facebook about suggestions for recipes.

    i have several friends who get together for pitch-in lunches about once a month. we had one planned for today (sunday, sept. 5). when you posted this recipe, i asked one of my good cook friends to make it and bring it for the lunch.

    it was SOOOOOOO good! i'll admit i kind of had my doubts about it as i'm an avid mac and cheese fan and basically raised my son on the blue box version thereof. but this was just as good as it looks. we had some lamb from our local "grilled meat guy" here in jocotepec, the mac and cheese, a salad bar using locally-grown veggies, and brownies and ice cream. it was FABULOUS!

    so, you've now answered one of my requests (i.e. what can i bring to a pitch-in lunch that will serve five and is easily transportable). there were only four of us at lunch today and this made enough for two helpings each....which we all had.

    well done, my child, yet again!

    barb in the lake chapala area of mexico

  13. Oh wow this looks delicious. I just stumbled upon your blog looking for the perfect caldo de pollo recipe!

    I just bought some Mexican Creme, and had no clue how to use it. Is it similar to sour cream? Or more like whipped cream?

  14. I have not had good mac n cheese in so long! Wow I think I have to make this!

  15. Thanks Leslie, Yours looks so easy and delicious! I'm going to have to try it for Tifani!!

  16. Omg this looks relish and so easy to make! Can you please tell me what brand or type of Mexican crema you used? He in Texas they have "crema mexicana" cacique brand

  17. Wow! Amazing. Definitely great comfort food. Better than the blue box. Has anyone tried it with other cheeses? Such as cheddar?