Yes, you can make your own mac and cheese and it's vastly better than store bought. Be creative with your choices of cheese.
I've used smoked Gouda, Gruyere and even Blue Cheese. Their are no solid rules here.
Just make sure it's good cheese, and make sure it's shredded or cubed. For shredding, I find the food processor with the shredding disk is very helpful.
It is easy to make this vegan, so if you want a vegan mac and cheese, go for it. Just sub out the butter with Earth Balance, the milk with soy milk and cheese with non dairy options. Nutritional yeast is a helper here to give that cheesy flavor.
I've made it both ways, and both are very good.
3 Tbsp Butter or Earth Balance
3 Tbsp Flour
2 cups Milk or Soy Milk, warmed.
2 cups Shredded Cheese or Daiya Cheddar.
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast, if making vegan.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese or Go Veggie Parmesan, for topping
Salt and Pepper
1 lb Pasta, Shells, Farfalle or Fusilli are perfect.
Preheat your oven to 400F. Start the water for your pasta. When boiling, add salt and then add your pasta.
Then melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir for 2-3 minutes to create a light roux. Add the warmed milk and keep stirring until it thickens. Add the cheese, nutritional yeast, black pepper, reduce the heat and gently allow it to melt.
When your pasta is cooked slightly more al dente than normal, drain and add it to the cheese sauce. Stir and coat the pasta and then transfer to a baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese, cover and into the oven for 20 minutes.
Then remove and allow to rest covered for 5 minutes. Serve in bowls with extra Parmesan Cheese or Go Veggie Parmesan.