Main Dish/ Meatless/ Pasta/ Recipe

Stove Top Mac and Cheese

September 10, 2020

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Macaroni and cheese is comfort food, pure comfort food! It’s filling, It’s warm and most of all – it’s cheesy!  Stove top mac and cheese is a homemade macaroni and cheese. This delicious cheesy pasta can be made in just 20 minutes!

Stove top mac and cheese in a small white bowl.

Macaroni and cheese is always a hit in our household with both the kids and adults and this mac and cheese is definitely one of our favorites. Making homemade mac and cheese isn’t difficult and just takes a handful of ingredients.

This cheesy macaroni is made with pasta, cheddar cheese, milk, butter, flour, dry mustard, garlic powder and a touch of salt and pepper.

Now I’ll be honest, we also eat plenty of the boxed mac and cheese and there’s really nothing wrong with that! But sometimes we want things a bit cheesier and that’s when I bust out my homemade version.

Pasta, cheese, butter, milk and seasonings displayed on a wooden board.

Variations on mac and cheese

Pasta

Use any type of dried pasta

  • Elbow macaroni
  • Rotini
  • Penne
  • Mini shells

Cheese

I typically use cheddar cheese, but sometimes I add a mixture to change up the taste. Just keep the portions the same and add your favorite variety.

  • Cheddar
  • Pepper Jack
  • Monterey
  • Colby
A pile of shredded cheddar cheese on a wooden board.

Additions

  • Chopped ham
  • Sliced sausages – smokies, hot dog, kielbasa
  • Frozen peas
  • Thinly slice sun dried tomatoes
  • Cooked chicken breast

Steps for making mac and cheese

A complete list of instructions is available below! Just scroll to the bottom!

  • Boil pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta is boiling, melt butter in another sauce pan.
  • Add flour and stir over low heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in milk.
  • Add dry mustard, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching. The mixture will begin to thicken as it heats up.
  • Once your mixture has thickened, remove from heat and slowly stir in cheese.
  • Drain pasta and return to pan.
  • Pour cheese mixture over top, stir and serve.

Tips for making mac and cheese

  • Drain pasta completely. Water left on the pasta can make your sauce watery
  • Turn off heat before adding cheese to help prevent your sauce from breaking
  • Taste sauce before adding to pasta. Add more salt and pepper, if needed
  • For best results, serve right away
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator. Reheat pasta in microwave or try it cold!
A small white bowl filled with dry mustard and other seasonings.

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A white bowl filled with macaroni and cheese.

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Stove top mac and cheese in a small white bowl.

Stove Top Mac and Cheese

Kathy
Creamy macaroni and cheese made on the stove top.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 484 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper (or black ground pepper)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)

Instructions
 

  • Boil pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta is boiling, melt butter in another sauce pan. Stir in flour and cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Whisk in milk. Add dry mustard, garlic powder and salt and pepper
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching. The mixture will begin to thicken as it heats up. Do not bring to a boil.
  • Once your mixture has thickened,, remove from heat and slowly add cheese while stirring.
  • Drain pasta and return to pan.
  • Pour cheese mixture over top, stir and serve.

Notes

Tips for making mac and cheese

  • Drain pasta completely. Water left on the pasta can make your sauce watery
  • Turn off heat before adding cheese to help prevent your sauce from breaking
  • Taste sauce before adding to pasta. Add more salt and pepper, if needed
  • For best results, serve right away
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator. Reheat pasta in microwave or try it cold!
Nutritional count is figured for a serving size of approximately 1 1/2 cups.ย 

Nutrition

Calories: 484kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 22gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 435mgPotassium: 301mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 446IUCalcium: 267mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Macaroni and Cheese, Pasta with Cheese SAuce, Stove Top Mac and Cheese
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

This post was originally published in October 2015. The pictures, text and recipe have been updated.

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27 Comments

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ With such a simple and flavorful recipe like yours there’s no reason not to make the real stuff!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      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!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kathy
      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
      Kathy
      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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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
      Kathy
      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
    Laura
    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
      Kathy
      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
      Kathy
      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
      Kathy
      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
      Kathy
      October 4, 2015 at 4:53 am

      It’s one of our favorites too!

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