Main Dish/ Meatless/ Pasta

Stove Top Mac and Cheese

October 3, 2015 (Last Updated: March 10, 2019)

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Mac and cheese is comfort food.  It’s filling, It’s warm and most of all…it’s cheesy!  On the weekends, mac and cheese  is often on our lunch menu.  This stove top mac and cheese is quick and easy and tastes delicious.

Bowl of macaroni and cheese

If my kids had their choice, they’d probably buy and make those boxes of mac and cheese with the powdered cheese!  I don’t know what it is about that stuff that they love.  Maybe it’s the orange color….or perhaps the little noodles.  The good thing is, they also love my mac and cheese.  

Maybe it’s really that they want what they can’t have.  I’m going to keep making them this version. And I’m fairly certain they will keep eating it!

Macaroni and cheese

You can use almost any type of cheese in this sauce.  I typically use cheddar, but sometimes mix in Monteray Jack, mozzarella, or even throw in a bit of Parmesan. As long as you keep the portions the same, any hard cheese will work. The cheese sauce cooks in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta.  When your pasta is done cooking, simply drain, return to the pan and add the sauce.  It takes a few minutes longer than the box…but the end result is soooo worth it!  And no powdered cheese!

5 from 1 vote
Bowl of macaroni and cheese
Stove Top Mac and Cheese
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Creamy macaroni and cheese

Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people
Author: Kathy
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is boiling, melt butter in another sauce pan.
  3. Add flour and stir over heat for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add milk to flour mixture. Whisk while adding milk to help avoid lumps.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  6. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching. The mixture will begin to thicken as it heats up.
  7. Do not bring to a boil.
  8. Once your mixture has thickened, slowly add cheese while stirring.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Drain pasta and return to pan.
  11. Pour cheese mixture over top, stir and serve.
Recipe Notes

I usually use cheddar cheese, but sometimes use a mixture of cheddar and Monteray jack. Almost any kind of cheese will work. Use your favorite variety or blend.

Macaroni and cheese

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  • Reply
    November 7, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Thumbs up from the “box loving”kids! So quick and easy too!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2015 at 7:49 am

      Glad you tried it and your kids loved it! Hooray!!!

  • Reply
    Brie @ ToasterOvenLove
    October 18, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I used to only eat the blue box until I had real homemade mac & cheese. Once you’ve had homemade you never go back 🙂 With such a simple and flavorful recipe like yours there’s no reason not to make the real stuff!

    • Reply
      October 19, 2015 at 4:45 am

      I agree!

  • Reply
    Kalee @ The Crowded Table
    October 6, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Nothing is better than homemade mac & cheese. I love that your stove top version is so quick and easy!!! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 7, 2015 at 5:03 am

      Sometimes we need quick and easy!

  • Reply
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Nothing can beat a cheesy, classic, creamy and comfy mac n cheese. This one looks super divine, Kathy.

    • Reply
      October 7, 2015 at 5:04 am

      There’s something so wonderful about a cheesy dish!

  • Reply
    Maya @ Treats and Eats
    October 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Total comfort food! I love this Kathy- perfect for fall nights!

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    October 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Mac and cheese is the best comfort food! Who needs the box stuff when you can have this amazing deliciousness!

  • Reply
    karrie @ Tasty Ever After
    October 5, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    5 stars
    Love this recipe and my Hubby will too because mac-n-cheese is his favorite! He thanks you 🙂 Too funny about your kids. I don’t have children but I cooked for four children when I was a private chef for a family a couple of years ago. I would spend all day cooking the meals from scratch and the kids couldn’t have cared less. They just wanted food from a can or a box. LOL!

    • Reply
      October 7, 2015 at 5:09 am

      They always think the grass is greener on the other side….or the food tastier from a box!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Kathy, this just looks awesome. That’s all I can say! My kids won’t touch boxed mac n cheese with a 10 foot pole. They just look at it like, ewwwww. They literally just stare at it, let it cold and leave it untouched. I only made it when I felt desperate. This recipe looks so much easier than the Fanny Farmer one I typically make. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      You’ve got smart kids! They’ve got a sophisticated palate!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    October 5, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Oh my gosh, this is pretty much my definitely of the ultimate comfort food! I’m pretty sure I could go with a bowl of this for breakfast right now…looks awesome!!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      Nothing wrong with having it for breakfast!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Unbound Wellness
    October 3, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    This looks beautiful! The pictures are just awesome! Mac n cheese always reminds me of Thanksgiving (because every holiday always had to include pasta for me growing up) and this gets me excited for Thanksgiving!!

    • Reply
      October 4, 2015 at 4:52 am

      Thanks, Michelle!

  • Reply
    Marsha @ Marsha's Baking Addiction
    October 3, 2015 at 11:47 am

    One of my favourite comfort meals is mac and cheese. This looks so delicious!

    • Reply
      October 4, 2015 at 4:53 am

      It’s one of our favorites too!

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