Welcome to the wonderful world of stovetop mac and cheese! This is where we take our old school mac and cheese and turn it into one of the most wonderful creamy, cheesy pasta recipes ever! No hot oven, no baking – we’re gonna’ do this right on the stove.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and left turn into a simple yet decadent fantasy land full of melty cheesy pasta. This stovetop mac and cheese recipe is a combination of savory cheesy yum and simple wholesome goodness. Can you think of anything better or more comforting? Me neither.
Let’s do this!
What I Love About This Recipe
I love that this stovetop mac and cheese recipe is a wholesome decadent rendition of the simple dish I loved as a child. My kiddos love it too and after you try this, you’ll never eat boxed mac and cheese again. Here are some other great reasons to love it!
- Crazy delicious creamy cheesy sauce
- No need to heat up the house with the oven on
- Great main course or quick, easy dinner side
- Kids love it
How To Make Stovetop Mac And Cheese Recipe
Enjoying this yummy cheesy thick and creamy stovetop mac and cheese recipe is an ultra-divine experience. The best part is that its pretty simple to throw together and it all happens on top of the stove. Simply boil your pasta in one pot while you make your roux in another. Add milk and cheese to your roux, whisk together the cheesy joy and pour it over your elbow pasta. DONE!
Pasta – I like elbow macaroni works best. cooked just until al dente. It should still be just a little firm in the middle to avoid a mushy meltdown. You’ll also want to salt your pasta water accordingly. It will absorb salty water as it cooks, essentially flavoring your pasta from the inside out.
Cheese – This recipe calls for sharp cheddar, it creates the deepest cheddar flavor. Feel free to adjust to your taste.
Flour – I use a little all-purpose flour to thicken up this cheesy goodness and help coat every single noodle.
Sauce- Also, for best results, you should remove your roux from heat while whisking in milk. Add cold milk to your hot roux, whisk until smooth and then return to the heat.
Storing this southern stovetop mac and cheese is as easy as hiding it in the back of fridge where people can’t find it! Just kidding – not really. Store in an airtight container. When you reheat it, thin as needed with a little milk.
Can You Freeze This?
I don’t recommend freezing this Pasta can be unpredictable in the freezer and the sauce can turn grainy upon thawing (because of the flour).
Make Ahead Tips
This scrumptious stovetop mac and cheese recipe doesn’t require much prep, or much cook time for that matter. You can use pre-shredded cheese for convenience, and it can be ready in half an hour flat. If you’ve got some time, then shred the cheese off the block.
It’ll be so much creamier because pre-shredded cheese contains cellulose and other anticaking agents that prevent it from melting smoothly.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Your stovetop mac and cheese will stay fresh and yummy in the fridge for up to 3-4 days when stored properly in an airtight container. There’s really no need to worry about it because it’ll get gobbled up way before then. You’re not likely to have leftovers unless you’re the only one eating!
There are so many crazy awesome things you can do with this stovetop mac and cheese recipe it’ll blow your mind! Here are just a few of the most popular suggestions.
Can I Add More Cheese?
Oh yeah, baby! You can easily turn this stovetop mac and cheese into 3 cheese mac and cheese or even 5 cheese mac and cheese, depending on your cheesy tolerance and maybe your craving! Making mac and cheese with cream cheese helps add even more creamy decadence – if you can handle it. It’s a savory revelation.
For us old-schoolers, there’s always the trusty Velveeta mac and cheese fall back.
Other Favorite Mac and Cheese Recipe
You can make crock pot mac and cheese for slow cooker success. It creates a delicious, rich custard-style Mac and Cheese.
Pioneer Woman mac and cheese is a very similar recipe, but it’s baked in the oven instead of being completed stovetop.
Paula Deen mac and cheese include sour cream to add richness and hers is baked as well.
Our is a one skillet chili mac is a dinner winner that combines two perennial favorites. Kids go crazy for this one.
Smoked gouda mac and cheese has tender al dente pasta in a super creamy, velvety cheese sauce, topped with a buttery, crunchy crumb topping.
Stovetop Mac And Cheese
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 4 cups whole milk, more to thin sauce as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
- 3 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- In a large pot, cook the pasta in well-salted water according to package instruction.
- While pasta cooks, make the sauce. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Stir in tabasco. Place back on the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn the heat down to low and add the cheese and stir until smooth.
- When pasta is cooked, drain well and return to pasta pot. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. As mac and cheese sits, sauce will thicken. Thin sauce as needed with a little extra milk
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Stovetop mac and cheese is a quick easy meal that honestly tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen. It’s pleasing enough for generational palates and stick-to-your-ribs good enough for the heartiest appetites. Simple as it is to make, this recipe has a flavor that’ll make grandma proud and hook you from the first bite.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated
Shirley Roden says
I’ve cooked this many times . But I’ve never add the hot sauce. Will try this next time I make it. Thank you for a great Mac&cheese.
You’re so welcome, Shirley! It’s always a favorite over here! 🙂