Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

The 30 days of macaroni and cheese are back! Every January for the last few years I have teamed up with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to share a new macaroni and cheese recipe with you in conjunction with their blog, 30 Days, 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese. No one needs to twist my arm to try new macaroni and cheese recipes and this year was no exception. I am typically a big fan of baked macaroni and cheese – the combination of ooey gooey mac and cheese and the crusty pieces on top and around the edges really is phenomenal. That being said, I realized recently that I was still lacking a recipe for a quick stove-top version. Up until this recipe, if I was craving mac & cheese and wasn’t up to putting together a whole baked recipe, I would run to the store for a box of the blue stuff to get my fix (hanging my foodie head in shame). No more!

Much like any other macaroni and cheese recipe, you can customize these cheeses to suit your tastes, but I really like the combination of mild cheeses here. I’ve played around with other cheese varieties in dishes such as Grown Up Mac and Cheese and Mushroom-Herb Macaroni and Cheese, but for this quick stove-top version I stuck with a mix of mild cheeses that created a familiar taste and texture to what most of us grew up eating as kids. When it comes to comfort food, simple is most often best :) You could always use all of one cheese if you’d like, or adjust the ratios. Enjoy and be creative!

What’s your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe?

Head over to the Macaroni and Cheese Blog and spend an entire month drooling over macaroni and cheese recipes. That’s my plan!

One year ago: Caramelized Onion, Mushroom & Gruyere Tartlets
Two years ago: English Muffins
Three years ago: Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk, divided
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon salt, plus additional 1½ teaspoons for pasta water
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces American cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

Directions:

1. In a small cup, dissolve the dry mustard in the water; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, dry mustard mixture, salt, and pepper; set aside.

3. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add the pasta and 1½ teaspoons salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot over low heat. Add the butter and stir until completely melted.

4. Add the egg mixture and three-quarters of the cheese mixture to the pasta and toss until thoroughly combined and the cheese starts to melt. Gradually add the remaining evaporated milk and remaining cheese mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

(Recipe adapted from The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook)

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75 Responses to “Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. CouponClippingCook on February 2, 2012 at 1:39 am

    oh no…I’m in big trouble. Now that I’ve seen this amazingly delicious picture of mac n cheese I won’t be able to get it off my mind until I make some. I’m so craving this now.

    Reply

  2. Choc Chip Uru on February 2, 2012 at 5:05 am

    This looks creamy, cheesy and delicious – the perfect Mac n cheese :D
    Though I often do add herbs and pasta sauce cause I’m weird like that :P

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply

  3. Kiri W. on February 2, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Now that looks yummy! Nothing like a perfect cup of comfort food :)

    Reply

  4. Allie on February 2, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Looks delicious! Can the dry mustard be omitted?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 2nd, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Hi Allie, Definitely! Just omit the dry mustard and the teaspoon of water.

      Reply

  5. movita beaucoup on February 2, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Dinner planned. Thanks!

    Reply

  6. Stephanie @ The Brunette Foodie on February 2, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I absolutely love mac & cheese. The best version I have ever had is a Paula Deen recipe that goes in the crock pot {it is somewhere on my blog from eons ago}, but I love quick stove top too. I keep a few bags of the necessary cheeses in my freezer so I can make it for lunch when necessary. Adding a little brie {if I have it around} is a great way to give it a different flavor.

    Reply

  7. Katrina on February 2, 2012 at 6:53 am

    This sounds mighty yummy. I’ve only ever made baked mac and cheese! Can’t wait to try this :)

    Reply

  8. Lori on February 2, 2012 at 7:17 am

    OMG…You just solved the what’s for dinner.

    Reply

  9. Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Looks fabulous! Funny growing up I hated homemade mac and cheese. Only ate the stuff in the blue box, what is that stuff? What is that powder? Now I only like homemade, funny how our tastes change. This recipe look super delsih!!

    Reply

  10. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on February 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Can’t remember the last time I made mac and cheese that wasn’t the instant you throw in a microwave (having a toddler will do that to ya!). This recipe looks great though!

    Reply

  11. Mariah on February 2, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Is it really so bad to love the blue box?? :)

    This looks great! I know the American will keep it creamy, and I can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  12. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on February 2, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Love it! Do you taste the mustard?

    p.s. Happy Groundhog Day!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 2nd, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Hi Ashley, No, it doesn’t really taste like mustard, just gives a very, very subtle punch of flavor. You can easily omit it though (along with the teaspoon of water).

      Reply

  13. Erin on February 2, 2012 at 9:06 am

    See I love stove top mac and cheese because it is always creamier than any baked version I’ve ever had.

    Reply

  14. Cookbook Queen on February 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

    This looks like macaroni perfection!! My husband prefers the cheddarey baked stuff with crumbs on top, but my son loves the creamy stovetop kind like this. I’ll take any of it!!

    Reply

  15. Christy on February 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I am a mac n cheese nut!!! It’s my favorite meal. I grew up with stove top mac n cheese (not the blue box). Nothing fancy, just elbows, cheese and milk. I still make it for just myself today. This recipe looks and sounds yummy, I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!

    Reply

  16. Courtney on February 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I’m actually not the biggest fan of baked mac n cheese (I have a bit of an issue with the texture combo of the crusty top and the gooey cheese underneath…), so this recipe sounds delicious!

    Reply

  17. Kacey @ Kacey's Kitchen on February 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I’m game for any home made mac and cheese. It’s so dreamy!

    Reply

  18. Lauren from Lauren's Latest on February 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

    This looks so creamy and dreamy! Mmmm….

    Reply

  19. Jane L on February 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

    My only concern is the eggs…. is the last step enough to fully cook them? Or is the point for them to be runny?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 2nd, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Hi Jane, Yes, they will be fully cooked, not runny.

      Reply

  20. Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} on February 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

    this recipe is going to haunt me until I make it! Just like you, I love the baked version but from time to time I have to have some right that moment and have no patience for the oven version! This recipe is a saver!

    Reply

  21. Jessie on February 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Oh man, this is motivation to unpack my kitchen. My favorite mac & cheese has cheddar, Monterrey jack, a touch of blue cheese and you top it with French’s onions. Dangerous!

    Reply

  22. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on February 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I don’t eat macaroni and cheese often, but it definitely makes me think of childhood. I remember Kraft used to have the rugrat shaped ones and I thought they were just about the greatest food invention ever.

    Reply

  23. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite on February 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    YUM! I am a sucker for Velveeta mac & cheese. I know it’s horrible for me and chemical-laden, but it’s just so good. Love this version as a real-ingredient alternate!

    Reply

  24. Lacy @ NYCityEats on February 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    OMG YUM! It’s hard to resist just buying a box of the Kraft if you’re in a hurry but your mac n cheese looks super ooey gooey! I absolutely have to try this, I love the cheese combos you used. Awesome!

    Reply

  25. Rin on February 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Ahh! As ALWAYS, this looks freaking delicious! And I’m fasting this morning to take the gestational diabetes test… Eeeek. If I do have it, would switching to whole wheat noodles do the trick? Because I absolutely must have this… =D

    Reply

  26. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on February 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    This looks so creamy and gooey! Who needs the oven?! Going to have to try this for my family soon!

    Reply

  27. Jenny F. on February 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I’ll definely have to try this stove top recipe. My favorite mac n cheese is the standard make a rue, add milk and cheddar cheese and bake – no fancy frills and it goes as a side dish with so many things. Next to that, we love Emeril Lagasse’s Kicked Up Mac N Cheese; it has ham, peas, his creole seasoning, and a bread crumb/cheese topping. This one we eat as a meal, not as a side dish. Yum!

    Reply

    • Jenny F. on July 5th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Normally I bake mac n cheese. We also keep some of those blue boxes in the house for a quick side dish on busy nights (but we always add extra sharp cheedar to it to give it some oomph). It was a hot day yesterday and I didin’t have much time to make supper and I didin’t have a blue box on hand. So I finally gave this recipe a try. I love that it only dirties one pan, and love that I didn’t have to turn the oven on. It had a nice creaminess to it. While I prefer the regular baked mac n cheese, this was still a hit with my kids, and will go into my recipe box. Thanks!

      Reply

  28. Kaitlin on February 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    This looks SO creamy and delicious! Macaroni and Cheese is a vice of mine. Mmm.

    Reply

  29. Jany@SuperCuteCookies on February 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    It looks so creamy and delicious, it will defiantly be my next dinner! Can I use 2% milk instead?

    Reply

  30. Abby on February 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    30 days of Mac N Cheese? Heaven!! Can’t wait to see more!

    Reply

  31. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on February 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I’m always game for another mac n cheese recipe – always!

    Reply

  32. Winelady Cooks on February 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Oh, my, I’m a BIG mac and cheese fan, stove top, baked, as long as it’s homemade I LUV it. This recipe looks yummy and of course I will have to make it.

    Thanks so much for sharing,
    Joanne

    Reply

  33. Arlene on February 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Just tried this recipe. Delish!! I reduced the portions because I made for myself, but wow! Much better than the blue box stuff

    Reply

  34. Alice on February 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    This looks so good – I could have a bowl right now! My favorite basic baked macaroni and cheese is the original Fannie Farmer version. You can mix up the cheeses, but it’s a classic as is. My favorite newer recipe is Evil Shenanigans’ Bock Macaroni and Cheese which has a bacon bread crumb topping and you can really taste the beer. It’s amazing served along any smoked meat or BBQ.

    Reply

  35. Kim on February 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    This looks amazingly wonderful! I too love baked mac and cheese but I have to try this recipe it looks so good! This is a stupid question I suppose, but the American cheese in this recipe – is this the sliced cheese American singles? I don’t normally buy American cheese, but didn’t know if another cheese could be substituted for it or if it was important for the texture. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 3rd, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Kim, I buy American cheese at the deli (and I like Land o’ Lakes brand the best) – I actually hate the packaged, slice-in-plastic American. It does melt well so it gives the mac n’ cheese a creamy consistency. That being said, you could just increase the amounts of cheddar and Monterey Jack if you wish to substitute for it.

      Reply

  36. Cathy @ Savory Notes on February 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I love making stovetop mac ‘n cheese! This version sounds yummy!

    Reply

  37. Chandra@the plaid and paisley kitchen on February 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    ok one word…. YUM!!!!

    Reply

  38. Anna on February 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Oh man, I can never get enough of mac ‘n’ cheese, I never knew it had it’s own month, what a pleasant surprise :)

    Reply

  39. Amy's Cooking Adventures on February 2, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    This looks divine! I wish my kids would eat homemade mac & cheese!

    Reply

  40. Ally on February 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    The chilly temperatures have got me craving comfort foods like never before… this recipe couldn’t have come at a better time!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  41. Karen Thompson on February 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I’m going to try this. I’ll take Mac & Cheese anyway it comes but my daughter (33) insist that it can only be the “real deal” – with baked crunchies on top…she gives her little one blue box – so maybe I can fix this and see if quicker will fill the both girls requests. THANKS for sharing!!

    Reply

  42. Dede on February 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I made this last night and just had some for lunch (at work). Not only was it easy to make but it tastes great. I really think it tasted better today than last night. I love all of your recipes…you’ve never let me down :- ) Keep them coming, my husband loves them ;- )

    Reply

  43. Carolyn on February 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Congrats! I saw the article and your picture in the PGH paper yesterday about celebration of 30 days of mac & cheese . Publicity much deserved. Love your blog.

    Reply

  44. RisaG on February 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    This looks so good. I haven’t found a stovetop version that I like. Not fond of The Ladys Mac & Cheese from Paula Deen (don’t like m&c without a roux and a white sauce) so I will have to try this.

    Reply

  45. Barbie on February 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    OH MY!!! This Mac and Cheese ROCKS!! I made this for dinner tonight and everyone thought it was amazing! Four thumbs up!! Loooove your recipes :)

    Reply

  46. Sarah on February 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Michelle
    Thank you so much for posting the yummy stuff that you post. Our family moved to South Africa about a month ago and it has been hard on the cooking front. The spices that I am used to aren’t as available and just food in general is a little different, not bad, just takes some getting used to. I made this tonight b/c I remembered seeing it in my email and just had to substitute some cheeses. I ended up using cheddar, aged cheddar and gouda. Oddly enough, there is no American cheese in South Africa. Thanks again for making home cooking a little more attainable so far from home.

    Reply

  47. Sarah on February 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    By the way…everyone LOVED the macaroni and cheese. We had grilled chicken and zucchini and this macaroni and cheese. It was like grilling in the backyard in the middle of summer. Oh yeah…it is summer here…Thanks again :)

    Reply

  48. Liza on February 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Can’t wait to make this mac and cheese!! One question, with my limited college student kitchen supply I just realized I don’t own a grater. To maintain the creamy texture of the recipe is it bad to use pre-shredded cheese bags or should I just thinly cut the cheese blocks with a knife?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 23rd, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Hi Liza, I would do the thinly sliced cheese if you can; I have done that in the past when I didn’t have access to a grater. It really does make a difference if you can avoid the pre-shredded. Enjoy the mac n’ cheese!

      Reply

  49. Sarah on March 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I made this last night alongside some roasted brussel sprouts and corn. SO SO SO GOOD. Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

  50. Sandy on May 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Made this just now. It’s rainy and chilly and this was perfect. The only thing I added was 5 dashes of Tabasco. I like a tiny bit of heat. It tightened up well, not runny but not stiff either. Just right.

    Reply

  51. Sharon on May 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Made this tonight, it was great! I didn’t quite need all the evap milk.

    For all you moms out there who try and get their kids to eat more veggies, I always add steamed and puréed carrots and tan to my sons mac n cheese. It does not affect the taste an actually will help make the Mac n cheese a nice richer color. I learned this from The Sneaky Chef cookbook. I freeze the purée in ice cube trays and then just defrost for 30 seconds and add to the Mac n cheese.

    Reply

  52. Sharon on May 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Oops that should say carrots and yams* above.

    Reply

  53. Amanda on May 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I make this for my college roommates and they are in loveeee thanks for making me feel domestic at even 22!

    Reply

  54. Sasha on July 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    we made myron mixon’s spare ribs, Paula Deens Collard greens and this mac and cheese for dinner tonight. It is on the stove now and is lookin’ good!! Only thing i did was added some freshly grated onion – yum.. Husband and kids took a taste and love it. I tried it, it is very rich and creamy, will probably make again…Thanks!! My guess is that this will freeze well?!?

    Reply

  55. Quicha on August 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Made this last night. So yummy! Who knew you could make macaroni casserole without the casserole? I didn’t have macaroni noodles so I used some organic whole wheat spiral pasta I had and substituted the evap milk with heavy whipping cream. Came out delish! A hit with the family.

    Reply

  56. melissa on September 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Can i use regular mustard or does it have to be dry mustard? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 25th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Melissa, Dry mustard is a spice, so substituting regular mustard wouldn’t work here, but if you don’t care for it or don’t have any handy, you can just omit it.

      Reply

  57. Samantha Shah on November 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I don’t eat eggs, what do I substitute them with and what quantity?
    it looks really delicious!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 15th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Samantha, I am honestly not sure about an appropriate substitute here. You could try eliminating the eggs and evaporated milk and make a basic white sauce with butter, flour and milk instead.

      Reply

      • Samantha Shah on November 16th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

        Thank you so much Michelle!

        Reply

  58. Heather on January 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Hi Michelle!
    I know that in response to another comment you said you use Land O Lakes American cheese from the deli, but in Canada you can’t get anything like that! So would you recommend Velveeta? I don’t even think I KNOW what American cheese is!
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 19th, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Hi Heather, Kraft is also a very popular brand of American cheese, they sell slices in the dairy aisle (see here: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/kraftcheese/singles.aspx). If you can’t find American cheese, yes you could substitute Velveeta. Enjoy!

      Reply

      • Heather on February 16th, 2013 at 9:41 pm

        Thanks Michelle! I made this for supper tonight and it was really, REALLY, good!!!

        Reply

  59. Emily on March 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Just made it and it was absolutely delish with stewed tomatoes on top!!! Yum will definately be making this kind from now on. Thank you for the recipe :)

    Reply

  60. Ashleigh on April 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I have been looking for a homemade mac n cheese recipe for a while. My husband and I are trying to get away from box mixes and processed junk like Velveeta. I was also drawn to this recipe because it doesn’t call for flour. In other recipes I have found that flour makes for bland, gritty mac n cheese. I made this last night and it was perfect! Very creamy and tasty. This one is definitely going in my recipe box!

    Reply

  61. Michelle on June 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Hi Michelle~
    Such a tough Pens loss we had against Boston :( But, here’s my question on this recipe: what is the purpose of the eggs? Do they make it creamier? Just wondering because I’ve never seen eggs in a Mac & Cheese recipe. This looks delicious & I plan on trying it just as you have it, eggs included – I’ll broaden my food horizon:)

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      I know, it was heartbreaking! Eggs are called for in a lot of stovetop mac and cheese recipes for creaminess. I think you could omit them if you like, but try it with first and see what you think!

      Reply

  62. Sarah on October 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Just made it! Best Mac and cheese ever!

    Reply

  63. Allison on June 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I know this post is 2 years old… but I have been searching for the perfect mac and cheese for a couple years. THIS IS IT!! I omitted the mustard because I’ve never liked the taste of mustard in other recipes. Added a sprinkle of cayenne at the end. Absolutely delicious!

    Reply

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