Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese (Easy, Homemade)

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make with no baking required! 

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese (Easy, Homemade)

Hey everyone! If you’re a mac and cheese lover, then I’m about to blow your mind with today’s Easy Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese. 

This easy stovetop mac and cheese is incredibly simple to make in just 20 minutes time and tastes lightyears better than any boxed mac and cheese you’ll ever buy. 

Even better, this creamy mac and cheese recipe uses simple ingredients you most likely already have in your fridge and pantry, making it the perfect choice to make for your family this week! 

Keep reading for all my best homemade mac and cheese recipe tips below and watch the full video tutorial over here

Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel here for weekly recipes. 

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

As per usual, today’s mac and cheese recipe focuses on using simple, no-fuss ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry.

Below I’ve included a list of all the ingredients and kitchen tools you’ll need to make my delicious and easy stovetop mac and cheese. 

 

Homemade Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

Macaroni – Macaroni is my preferred noodle, but you can use any shaped noodle that you want. Bowtie, rotini, and cavatappi noodles are all great choices.

Butter – I prefer unsalted, but you can use salted if you prefer.

All-Purpose Flour

Milk – I love using whole milk for a better flavor/creamier texture, but you can also use 2%. I don’t recommend using skim.

Cheese – We love the combo of sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack, but the possibilities are endless, and I’ve shared a list of recommendations in the post below. For the best flavor, I recommend using medium to sharp aged cheeses. 

Seasonings – Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Ground Mustard add a ton of flavor and can be added to taste.

 

Kitchen Tools Needed: 

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

What are the best cheeses to use for macaroni and cheese?

The classic (and most popular) choice for mac and cheese is sharp cheddar cheese, but any melting cheese will work. I definitely recommend playing around with different cheese combinations to discover your favorite.

Our family loves sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack, but here’s a list of cheeses that are excellent choices for using in homemade mac and cheese:

  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • Gouda
  • Brie
  • Parmesan
  • Provolone
  • Pepper Jack
  • Monterey Jack
  • Goat Cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Guyere
  • Fontina
  • Asiago

 

How do you make mac and cheese better? (What are some great add-ins?)

This creamy stovetop mac and cheese tastes amazing on its own and we love eating it as a side to one of our favorite dinner recipes (included below), but you can also easily pair it with one these amazing add-ins below to make it extra yummy! 

  • Crumbled bacon
  • Grilled chicken
  • Chopped sausage
  • Fresh herbs
  • Broccoli
  • Chopped spinach
  • Hot Sauce
  • Jalapenos
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes

 

What goes well with stovetop mac and cheese?

Pretty much anything, but we especially love it served alongside these popular recipes: 

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

Creamy Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese FAQ’s

Can I use pre-shredded cheese to make mac and cheese?

If you’re in an extreme bind, you technically can use pre-shredded cheese, but I STRONGLY recommend using fresh cheese if at all possible.

Pre-shredded cheeses are typically mixed with an anti-clumping agent such as potato starch, powdered cellulose, and natamycin, which cause the cheese not to melt as well as freshly shredded cheese.

Not only that, but the flavor of freshly shredded cheese is FAR superior.  

 

Why is my homemade mac and cheese bland? (How can I add more flavor?)

Our family LOVES the flavor combination of this mac and cheese, but if you want to amp up the flavor more, feel free to add additional seasonings or substitute sharper cheeses.

Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, black pepper, crushed red pepper, or even chili powder can all be added for extra flavor.

You can also use stronger, sharper cheeses such as extra sharp cheddar, parmesan, and smoked gouda for a bolder flavor.

 

How do you store mac and cheese?

Leftover homemade mac and cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and will last for up to 1 week.

I love making my stovetop mac and cheese in this cast iron pot because it comes with an airtight lid and I don’t have to transfer it to another container. I can also easily and quickly re-heat the whole pot on the stove. (yay for less dishes!)

 

How do you re-heat mac and cheese?

This mac and cheese can easily be re-heated on the stove or in the microwave.

As the mac and cheese sauce naturally thickens after refrigeration, I recommend adding 1-2 tbsp of milk when re-heating it to make it nice and creamy.

If re-heating individual servings in the microwave, you can add just a tiny splash of milk and heat for 30 second intervals until warm.

 

Can homemade mac and cheese be frozen?

I wouldn’t recommend it. This recipe is so easy you can easily make it from scratch anytime you’re craving it!

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

4 Tips for Making the Best Homemade Mac and Cheese

  1. Use freshly shredded cheeses instead of pre-packaged ones. It doesn’t take that much time to grate them yourself using this affordable electric grater or box grater and it will make your mac and cheese taste incredible.
  2. Don’t overcook your pasta or it will turn to mush in your mac and cheese. Cook your pasta until al dente, according to the package directions.
  3. Add milk a little at a time, and stir constantly when making your roux to get the creamiest mixture. I also recommend warming your milk up slightly to avoid shocking the mixture. I love using this glass measuring cup as I can easily warm it up in the microwave and pour in a little milk at a time. 
  4. Add an additional ½ tsp of ground mustard if you prefer a smokier/stronger flavor. I usually don’t add it for my children’s sake, but I personally love the extra kick it adds.

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

Stovetop Mac and Cheese Video Tutorial

Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese (Easy, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese)
Watch this video on YouTube.

 
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Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese (Easy, Homemade)

  • Author: Kindly Unspoken
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make with no baking required! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (or similar type pasta)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk (warmed in the microwave for 12 mins)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard (*add 1/2 tsp more if you want more of a kick)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded pepper jack cheese

Instructions

  • Shred your cheeses with an electric cheese grater or box grater and set aside.
  • Boil lightly salted water in a medium pot over medium/high heat.
  • Once water comes to a boil, add in the pasta and cook until the noodles are al dente (usually around 10 minutes, but check your box for recommended times). Set aside to prepare your homemade cheese sauce.
  • In a large pot, melt the unsalted butter. Next add in the flour and whisk over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes until it becomes a light brown.
  • Next, using a glass measuring cup add in milk that has been warmed in the microwave for 1 minute, into the pot a little at a time and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add in your seasonings to include salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and ground mustard.
  • Cook over medium/high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly until the sauce thickens and bubbles.
  • Add in shredded cheese and whisk until smooth and melted.
  • Remove from heat, drain pasta in a colander, and add drained pasta to homemade cheese sauce.
  • Stir until evenly combined, serve warm, and enjoy!

Notes

How to store mac and cheese:

Leftover homemade mac and cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and will last for up to 1 week.

I love making my stovetop mac and cheese in this cast iron pot because it comes with an airtight lid and I don’t have to transfer it to another container. I can also easily and quickly re-heat the whole pot on the stove. (yay for less dishes!)

How to re-heat mac and cheese:

This mac and cheese can easily be re-heated on the stove or in the microwave.

As the mac and cheese sauce naturally thickens after refrigeration, I recommend adding 1-2 tbsp of milk when re-heating it to make it nice and creamy.

If re-heating individual servings in the microwave, you can add just a tiny splash of milk and heat for 30 second intervals until warm.

Keywords: creamy mac and cheese, stovetop mac and cheese, easy mac and cheese, homemade mac and cheese, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, simple mac and cheese, southern mac and cheese, easy stovetop mac and cheese, mac and cheese no velveeta

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:

This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 


I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe for my Easy, Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese! Have you ever made homemade mac and cheese? What’s your favorite cheese combination in your mac and cheese? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

Thanks for stopping by! – Cara

 

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This Homemade Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is easy, delicious, and way better than a box! This easy mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to make on the stove with no baking required! 

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