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ATK Kids

How to Make DIY Mac and Cheese Mix

Making a big batch of macaroni and cheese mix requires just 3 ingredients and means you can have mac and cheese for yourself—or a crowd—whenever the craving hits.
By Published Feb. 7, 2022

When I want quick and easy mac and cheese for myself, I reach for the boxed stuff. When I want to make mac and cheese for a crowd, it’s much more involved: grating block after block of cheese, making a béchamel, and getting the seasonings juuuust right. I just can’t win . . . or can I?

By making your own mac and cheese mix, you get all the convenience of boxed mix—plus, a seemingly never-ending supply of macaroni and cheese (our recipe makes 12 batches!). All you have to do is combine cheddar cheese powder (available in some grocery stores or online); nonfat dry milk powder, which adds dairy flavor and creaminess; and a bit of tangy dry mustard.

Then, just add cooked pasta, butter, and a bit of water to make a single serving—or, up the ingredients to serve more than one.

Adults will delight in the ease and nostalgia of this recipe, while kids will love recreating a favorite store-bought food at home. It’s one of the 100+ DIY-ified recipes the ATK Kids team dreamed up for The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs. Check out the recipe below, and make it with the family (or keep it for yourself!).

Macaroni and Cheese Mix

  1. Whisk together 2½ cups cheddar cheese powder, ½ cup nonfat dry milk powder, and 1 teaspoon dry mustard. (Mixture can be stored in airtight container for at least 2 months.)
  2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil. Add ½ cup elbow macaroni and 1½ teaspoons salt. Cook until al dente. Drain macaroni and return to saucepan.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, ¼ cup macaroni and cheese mix, and 2 tablespoons water. Stir until well combined, and serve warm.

For two servings: Use 1 cup (4 ounces) elbow macaroni, ½ cup macaroni and cheese mix, 2 tablespoons butter, and ¼ cup water. (Keep salt and water for boiling amounts the same.)

For four servings: Use 2 cups (8 ounces) elbow macaroni, 1 cup macaroni and cheese mix, 4 tablespoons butter, and ½ cup water. (Keep salt and water for boiling amounts the same.)