Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese

6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Creamy and cheesy Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese is pure nostalgic comfort food made easily from scratch in just 30 minutes.

We love Copycat Recipes on the site but we’ve only scratched the surface of giving you Mac & cheese copycats starting with our  Boston Market Mac and Cheese (Copycat). 

Stouffer's Mac and Cheese


This Stouffer’s Mac and cheese is such an All-American classic, we knew it had to be included. The real reason though? All through the holiday season as we were enjoying Home Alone (best holiday movie ever) I would see Kevin make his mac and cheese and sit down to his meal and it made me feel warmth and joy for the holiday season.

There is something about the creamy, cheesy flavors we all grew up with in this recipe. No stringy cheese here, just creamy sauce.

As much as Stouffer’s classic macaroni & cheese is easy to grab from the freezer section of your grocery store, toss on a baking sheet and place in the oven, I wanted to give you a made from scratch recipe that still gives you that same delicious flavor.

Most copycat recipes use a canned cheese spread for this Mac and cheese but if you’re worried about preservatives, we opted to make a real cheddar cheese sauce. The end result is a creamy, cheesy, with a bit of tang sauce that’s totally worth the little bit of extra time it takes to cook it. It doesn’t get any better than real cheese!

Red Pot of Stouffer's Mac and Cheese

Because there are so few ingredients in this recipe, I like to focus on using quality ingredients. You really want the best of flavors to come through. I also encourage you to shred your own cheese for this macaroni and cheese. Pre-packaged shredded cheese isn’t always the easiest to melt smoothly due to the extra additives in the cheese. It can tend to get clumpy and you don’t want that.

This Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese recipe makes enough to be a side dish, but if you want to make this as a family size entree or have it party size, I would suggest doubling the recipe. All of my recipe cards have a slider tool to adjust the ingredients to help you with measurements. You might need to add an additional 10 minutes of cook time.  



  • Boil Pasta: Cook 8 ounces of elbow pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Make Sauce: In a medium-size pot over medium heat add butter and flour. Stir continuously while for about 1 minute. The flour paste should become fragrant. Slowly add milk in thirds and stir until it has thickened before adding the next portion of milk. Shred cheese and slowly add the cheese to the milk mixture. Add dry mustard powder and paprika and stir well. 
  • Bake: Stir pasta into cheese sauce and pour into a large 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Stouffer's Mac and Cheese on large spoon above red pot


  • Gluten-Free: Substitute the wheat flour in this recipe with a gluten-free all purpose flour, almond flour, or any other gluten-free substitute. Make sure to use a gluten-free pasta in place of the elbow macaroni.
  • Cheese: Try using sharp cheddar cheese in the real cheddar cheese sauce for a more pronounced flavor. You could also completely change it by making a White cheddar Mac or Alfredo sauce. Finish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. 
  • Pasta: To keep this a true copycat I used elbow macaroni but you can use any type of pasta. Shells and wheel-shaped pasta are just a few suggestions.
  • Milk: I like using whole milk for this recipe because it has a higher fat content than skim milk which helps with its creaminess.

Origin Story:

Stouffer’s originated from a small restaurant offering sandwiches and grew to a small chain of family operated restaurants. After World War II, the family wanted to give the convenience of eating their Stouffer meals at home. They decided to freeze their offerings and soon after opened a small processing plant to help facilitate their dream. Today, Stouffer Foods continues to be a part of Nestle Corp. and is famously known for their lasagna, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, Salisbury steak and ravioli. 


More easy side dishes for your dinner table!


  • Serve: For food safety, don’t allow the Mac & cheese to stay out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Store leftovers in a sealed container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply place back in the conventional oven, toaster oven or pop in the microwave oven.
  • Freeze: This dish can be frozen either before or after baking. Make sure to store it in a freezer safe container. It’ll last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking. 

Stouffer's Mac and Cheese on large spoon

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Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy and cheesy Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese is pure nostalgic comfort food made easily from scratch in just 30 minutes.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 8 ounces elbow pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups Colby Cheese , shredded
  • 2 cups Mild Cheddar Cheese , shredded


  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box then rinse and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium-size pot over medium heat add butter and let melt.
  • Add in the flour, mustard, and paprika and whisk together for about 1 minute.
  • Slowly add milk in thirds and stir until it has thickened (about 2 minutes between each third) before adding the next portion of milk.
  • Add in the Colby cheese, whisk until fully melted.
  • Add in the Mild Cheddar Cheese and whisk until fully melted.
  • Add the pasta to the cheese sauce, mix well then cover and bake for 20 minutes (if your pot is not oven safe transfer to a baking dish first).


Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 845IU | Calcium: 505mg | Iron: 1mg

Stouffer's Mac and Cheese Copycat Recipe collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I will not buy this again. I felt something happened. Seareded and found it had been changed. Very bland and had aLOT of sauce still floating after macaroni gone. Almost like watery, why do companies change a good thing and wind up making it worse, bye bye Stouffers. You were my lunch date for many years,with goodness gone I am gone.

  2. This is JUST LIKE the stauffer’s mac I love! I think they go with all the cheese sauce to allow it to be frozen and microwave easily. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  3. I tried this recipe last night. Was nothing like Stouffers Mac and Cheese. I tried a copycat recipe a few years ago that was spot on, couldn’t find it, this recipe was not it.

  4. 8 oz. of pasta = 8 servings. If you DARE to indulge in 1 additional oz., don’t forget to DOUBLE the Nutr. Info. It WAS however, really, really good!

      1. Lots of sauce…..not many noodles…..second batch like this……….I am a Mac & Cheese lover for 20 midnight comfort food..truth be told………..I could make nachos with the leftover cheese sauce