Stove Top Mac & Cheese. Who doesn't love it? I love the kind that you bake in the oven with a crunchy topping. It's so delicious when you make it from scratch. But, my favourite way is on the stove, not in the oven.
Stove Top Vs Baked
Mac & Cheese on the stove is a different thing than mac & cheese baked. In the oven, the result is more casserole like. The texture is changed, and although it's still so damn good, I prefer mine to retain the distinct pasta shape and creamy sauce, that you get on the stove top. Like in the boxed stuff, only real.
Remember That Box?
Everyone knows, or remembers the boxes with the orange powder. After cooking the macaroni, you just put in some milk and some butter (or, more often than not, margarine, and then the orange powder. Stir it up and you had mac & cheese in just a couple of minutes. You liked it right? Everyone did. You didn't have to know how to cook. Even kids could make it. And heck, it was cheap.
I think we got so used to that dinner in a box that people didn't stop to wonder what they were really eating. What is that orange powder anyway? It doesn't look like cheese in any way. Eating the real thing is more expensive. But its real food. I think that should matter. And is it really more convenient to cook from a box? Nope, it isn't.
This simple recipe cooks up almost as fast as the box. And one bite of this cheesy, creamy comfort will keep the boxes out of your cupboard forever. Perfect all by itself, but macaroni and cheese is great for add ins. Especially if you want some veggies, too. Here are a few add in ideas:
Mac & Cheese Ad Ins:
- Broccoli and bacon (my fave) Tip: put the broccoli, in bite sized pieces, in with the pasta for the last three minutes of cooking time.
- Cubed ham and peas
- Halved cherry tomatoes and olives
- Baby spinach leaves
- Cooked chicken & mushrooms
There are no limits to the add in possibilities, and you can change the cheese varieties, too. A truly versatile dish, is mac & cheese.
Hungry For More Pasta Comfort?
Try Kale and Sausage Pasta, or Spinach & Salmon Pasta
Easy Stove Top Mac & Cheese – Creamy Mac & Cheese
- 1 lb package macaroni or other bite sized pasta
- ¼ cup butter NOT margarine
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk dairy or non-dairy
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese this is even quicker & easier if you use the pre-grated kind
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Once the water is boiling rapidly, add your pasta and stir to separate. Cook according to package directions until au dente, usually 8-10 minutes, meaning it will still have a slight chewiness.
- Meanwhile, In another large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter.
- Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking for another 2-3 minutes, letting it bubble and thicken. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue whisking and heating until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
- Add the cheese and stir until melted and you have a nice, cheesy sauce.
- Drain your pasta and immediately then add to the cheese sauce & toss together.
Mmmm, I love a good mac and cheese recipe. I'm also all about the add-ins, it can be a great way to clean out the fridge and still have a good plate of comfort food!
I agree, Jessica. And putting some broccoli in makes me feel better about the indulgence! 🙂
The Finer Cookie/Kim
We just had 35 centimeters of snow in the last 24 hours. Been shovelling this morning, and this just looks perfect. Want some.
Hi Kim! Oh my goodness, I saw your snowstorm on the news. We have had a long, cold, and snowy winter here in BC, too. Hurry up, spring!
I did not know about mac and cheese before coming to Canada but soon realized it is so loved, here, even the store bought version. My husband makes a wonderful mac and cheese, but always the baked version. I have to tell him to make it on the stove, for a change. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Nicoletta, that's so interesting that you didn't know about mac & cheese before coming to Canada. I love the baked version, too!
No better cure for the snowstorm blues like a big ol bowl of mac n cheese!! This looks like perfection!
I agree, Karly. Mac & Cheese makes everything better. I hope spring arrives soon, though!
Just made this! It's the perfect, easy recipe!
So glad it worked out for you Sarah!
awesome 🙂 I will make this ASAP!
Thanks, let me know how it turns out!