Make a Better Blue Box Mac and Cheese (Without Any Extra Ingredients)




We all know the drill when you open up a blue box of Mac and cheese. Cook the pasta, drain the water, throw in some dairy and the mystery powder in the mess and stir. You'll usually come up with some soupy mess that barely looks like the mac and cheese you find on the box. This guide will show you how to make a better mac and cheese, with only the ingredients inside the box, and the ones on the label.

Step 1: Materials and Ingredients

- Mac and cheese box (Kraft, generic, or otherwise)
- Butter
- Milk
- A pot to boil water in
- A large pan
- Something to stir with, preferably a rubber spatula.
- Pasta strainer

Step 2: Boil the Pasta

Simple enough. Just boil the water, throw in the pasta, and set the timer for 7-10 minutes (Or whatever amount of time your box says) As soon as your set your timer, do the next step immediately. You are going to cook the sauce while the pasta is boiling.

Step 3: Making the Sauce

The difference between the traditional method any my method is the way the sauce is prepared. 

Melt the butter in a separate pan over medium-low heat. 

I'm using a good chunk less than what the box says, because I'm not Paula Deen, and don't want to give myself a heart attack in my 20s, but feel free to adjust how much butter you use to your liking. The amount of butter doesn't seem to effect the consistency or taste in my experience.

Step 4: Add the Mystery Powder

After all the butter is melted, pour in the orange mystery powder into the pan and spread it around with your spatula. 

Step 5: Add Milk

Pour a 1/4th cup of milk over the mixture. It looks a bit gross, but it'll get better when you start stirring it.

Step 6: Stir

Start stirring the mixture around, ensure that the mixture is smooth and yellow.

You're gonna want to stir it like you're gathering it up in one spot, piling up the coagulating bits of sauce into one area.

If you're a little confused, use the pictures as reference. Keep mixing until your pasta is boiled.

Step 7: Drain the Pasta

Take your pasta strainer and drain the pasta.

Step 8: Add Sauce and Stir

Pour in the sauce into the pasta and stir until all the pasta is a bright shade of yellow-orange.

Step 9: Serve and Enjoy!

Pour it in a bowl and enjoy your delicious efforts!

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17 Discussions


Tip 5 months ago on Step 2

When boiling the pasta add, about a teaspoon of canola oil to stop sticking. Then shock the noodles after words to get off the oil before eating


2 years ago

I just did this - you would not believe the difference it made! I didn't think it would change it that much, but it makes it so so so much better. I highly recommend trying this. I did, however, cook the pasta, dump in strainer, then cooked the sauce in the same pot and added the pasta back to the pot to save on dishes. It only took 4-5 minutes for the sauce to become thick and creamy.


2 years ago

I change more in mine. I use a little sour cream, and add cheese (usually american) and melt.


2 years ago

I dump the noodles in the strainer and use the same already-heated pot to make the sauce. One less dish to wash.


3 years ago

LOVED IT!!! Bringing it in to my office potluck tomorrow!!!

ALSO.......... I used canned milk. Came out a lot richer and creamier.



4 years ago on Introduction

i did this and used a little less milk but added a tablespoon of whipped cream cheese and fresh ground pepper. made it a little thicker. i gotta say i will be making my "smack my pony and please" this way from now on :)


Thank you soooo much!!!! I made this Mac and Cheese and it was one of the best bowls of Mac and Cheese ever!

1 reply

4 years ago on Step 9

This is a great idea, but medium high is TOO HIGH! I have brown macaroni and cheese now. xD


5 years ago on Introduction

I like to take a slice (or two - if I want it real cheesy) of Kraft cheddar slices or Velvetta and add that the pasta. Also I only use margarine or butter instead of milk. This makes it super cheesy but not soupy.


6 years ago on Introduction

Use salsa or marinara in place of the milk for a different taste.


6 years ago on Introduction

Altho it is not listed "On the box" you are likely to have these things in your kitchen anyways:

A pinch of DRY MUSTARD goes a looong way to making this taste more like food. Just sprinkle it in while doing the sauce cooking here or if you do the regular mix-in-the- pan method just add it in when adding the powder.

A sprinkle of BLACK PEPPER can't hurt and adds---something!

My husband has recently become enamored of something called Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese. Since he knows I am not a mac and cheese fan he was surprised that I actually said it was something I would order. The basic premise is:
Add cut up buffalo chicken tenders (cooked and sauced) to your M&C. for the nicer version use some bread or cracker crumbs or panko and drizzle a bit of melted butter on top and bake or broil for a few minutes. Watch carefully if broiling!

for the plain version--still really good--just add the chicken hot and not too saucy to the hot M&C.

Adding pretty much anything to M&C makes it more speshul:
Bacon bits
Hot dogs
Any cooked meats or veggies (great for left overs)


6 years ago on Step 9

I love your instructions with included pictures for such a simple, yet now much improved, recipe.