This is hands down the best stovetop mac and cheese! This is my go-to and my family’s favorite! It’s has amazing flavor with a silky, ultra creamy cheese sauce. Made with simple ingredients like, cheese, butter, paprika, milk, Worcestershire, mustard and a just a bit of onion powder. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal. The best macaroni and cheese!
Once you try this stovetop mac and cheese, you’ll kick your boxed version to the curb! It’s so easy and delicious. It’s one of my “in a rut” quick and easy recipes!
The flavor combination in this mac and cheese recipe makes it very irresistible! I’ve tried tons of macaroni and cheese recipe and I find that seasonings and the right type of cheese truly makes it delicious. There are tons of ways to make this and everyone seems to have a special way of making their own. For this version of stovetop mac and cheese, I like to use my favorite ground seasonings and a variety of cheese. This macaroni and cheese recipe moves quickly, so make sure you have all your ingredient measured and ready to go! In the next paragraph, I will show you how to make this super tasty stovetop mac and cheese.
How do you make stovetop macaroni and cheese?
I love to make my stovetop macaroni and cheese the old fashioned way. Firstly, boil the water and salt it then add the macaroni. Drain and set to the side. Secondly, in the same large pot over medium heat, add the butter and melt it. Thirdly, add the flour and cook stirring constantly for about 5-8 minutes. Make sure you cook for the recommended timeframe. I usually cook mine for about 5-8 minutes. Before I forget, the flour and butter mixture is called a “roux”. Cook the roux very well. To often I hear stories about peoples mac and cheese tasting like flour. You ever taste mac and cheese that tasted floury? Well, the floury taste comes from flour that was not cooked long enough. So most importantly, make sure you cook that flour taste away!
Okay back to this easy stovetop mac and cheese recipe. Next add the milk to the flour and butter mixture. Stir constantly until the milk is thickened about 5 minutes. Next, add the cheese and preserved pasta water. Mix well stirring constantly for about 2-4 minutes. Add in the seasonings and mix well. Lastly, add in the cooked and drained macaroni. Stir to combine. Garnish with parsley or chives if you like.
I’ve added two photos of how I garnish my mac and cheese. The first picture above with chives and the one below with parsley. You know what would make this mac and cheese even better, breadcrumbs? Sometimes I’ll brown some bread crumbs that were cooked for 3 minutes in butter with a bit of salt. Then once the bread crumbs are nice and browned, I top my stovetop mac and cheese with them. So delicious. I got that tip from America’s Test Kitchen. FYI, the photos below may look a bit different. That’s only because they were taken on different days.
What kind of spices do you add to Macaroni and cheese?
Seasonings are a great way to add more flavor to your macaroni and cheese. I grew up eating lots of macaroni and cheese. The boxed kind, stovetop mac and cheese and the baked kind. My mom would doctor up boxed macaroni and cheese with the same seasonings she’d put in her homemade mac and cheese. So I pretty much use the same seasonings I grew up on. However, I do add a couple of my own favorite ingredients for more flavor. For this macaroni and cheese recipe, I used paprika, onion powder, a couple small pinches of crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, a bit of spicy mustard and parsley or chives for garnishing.
What goes well with Macaroni and Cheese?
You can make this macaroni and cheese as a side or a main. We love to have serve our stovetop mace and cheese as a main with a nice caesar salad. Sometimes I’ll serve it with fried chicken and other times, with my best meatloaf. During the spring, I love to serve mac and cheese with my southern fried whiting fish or these peach glazed chipotle honey sticky wings. It’s also good with crispy smothered chicken with bok choy.
What type of cheese do you use for Mac and Cheese?
Some people use sharp cheddar cheese or mild cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese in their stovetop mac and cheese. Since I’m not a fan of strong cheddar cheese alone, I like to use a mixture of cheeses, so I love to use a pack of pre-shredded triple cheddar cheese. It’s a mixture of three cheeses with great flavor and it’s not too strong. Yes, this pre-shredded cheese melts just fine too. I use it all the time to make my stovetop mac and cheese. As you can see in the video below, the cheese sauce is very silky. My family loves it and I hope your family loves it too!
This is hands down the best stovetop mac and cheese! This is my go-to and my families favorite! It's has amazing flavor with a silky, ultra creamy cheese sauce. Made with simple ingredients like, cheese, butter, paprika, Worcestershire, mustard and a just a bit of onion powder. It's perfect for a quick weeknight meal. The best mac and cheese!
- 2 cups Barilla macaroni or elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 tsp salt or more if needed
- 1 1/4 cup triple cheddar shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp pepper or more if needed
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce add more or less
- 1/4 tsp spicy mustard
- 1-2 pinch crushed red peppers up to two small pinches
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the macaroni to al dente then drain and set to the side.
Melt butter in the same large pot. Over medium high, stir in flour and cook for about 5-8 minutes stirring constantly. Slowly pour milk into the flour and butter mixture and stir constantly until thickened and smooth with lots of big bubbles for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the cheese and water then stir in the seasonings. Mix well for about 2-4 minutes. Add in the macaroni. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings if needed.
WATCH ME MAKE STOVETOP MAC AND CHEESE.
Quick tip: As I stated in the body of the post, the flour and butter mixture is called a "roux". Cook the roux very well. To often I hear stories about peoples mac and cheese tasting like flour. Well, the floury taste comes from flour that was not cooked long enough. So most importantly, make sure you cook that flour taste for the recommended timeframe.
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