This creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe requires no oven time at all. It's the kind of comfort food you can make and have on the table in no time flat.
Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
It would be difficult to find a hungry eater who doesn't light up when you mention mac and cheese. It's consummate side dish that goes with a myriad of entrees. It can be made fancy like my crab macaroni and cheese, or 5 cheese holiday mac and cheese or simple baked southern style macaroni and cheese. I've even been known to make a macaroni and cheese pie topped with tomatoes and crispy panko breadcrumbs. It's versatility knows no end and it rotates regularly in some form, on our favorites menu.
How to Make the Best Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
This easy mac and cheese recipe variation is my answer to boxed macaroni and cheese. It's so much more delicious and made with real ingredients. My sons love it as much as they do classic baked macaroni and cheese, so that's a win for me.
- How do you make Southern macaroni and cheese on the stovetop? It's a different technique than preparing baked macaroni and cheese. You'll note that this recipe uses equal parts milk and water to cook the elbow macaroni. Once the macaroni is added and it comes to a boil, immediately lower the heat to allow it to simmer to avoid boiling over. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from burning and pasta from sticking to the bottom. This is the beginning of the cheese sauce.
- How does the sauce for creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese thicken? The starch from the macaroni combines with the cooking liquid and becomes the sauce. While cooking, if more evaporates than expected, don't sweat it, you can always adjust the amount adding more later.
- How do I make the cheese sauce? If after adding the cream cheese, butter and shredded cheese to the cooked macaroni you can adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding more cream cheese in small amounts, if it's too thin.
- Are there eggs in macaroni and cheese? While I do use eggs in baked macaroni and cheese recipes there are no eggs in this recipe made on the stovetop.
- Is there flour in the sauce for Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese? Apart from the starch from the cooked macaroni, the cream cheese is what thickens the cheese sauce, no flour needed.
- The hot sauce is completely optional and may be omitted without any other adjustments.
Other Ways to Make Macaroni and Cheese
If you'd like to add a little kick to your macaroni menu, checkout my recipe for Nacho Beef and Macaroni and delicious BLT Macaroni Salad. You may also enjoy this Italian Sausage Macaroni and Cheese from Eating on a Dime.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
- 3 cups milk
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 16 oz box elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 2 oz plain cream cheese plus additional as needed
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- few dashes hot sauce optional
- 2 cups shredded colby cheese or a blend of cheddar cheese
- 1 cup easy melt creamy cheese such as monterey jack, fontina, queso quesadilla
- In a large deep pot, heat milk, water and salt until steaming, just before boil. Watch carefully so it doesn't boil over. Add macaroni, stir to prevent sticking to bottom.
- Cook over medium- high bubbling for 12-15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Do not drain. Turn heat to low.
- To the pot add butter, cream cheese, pepper, mustard, hot sauce (if using). Mix until fully combined and melted. Add shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese, mix again until cheese has completely melted.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- If you need to thicken further, add 1 oz of cream cheese at a time.
- If you need to thin, add more milk in small amounts mixing until desired consistency is reached.