See why this Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese will become your family's new favorite cheesy pasta. This easy homemade mac and cheese is ready from start to finish in less than 20 minutes. Say goodby to the box mix and hello to the creamiest mac and cheese recipe ever!
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Growing up I ate my fair share of mac and cheese because the blue boxes of Kraft were a staple in my parent's kitchen. As parents, our kids grew up on the same boxes. It was just easy to make, and everyone loved it. When our kids got old I started making homemade mac and cheese, and we haven't looked back.
Normally, I make this Homemade Mac and Cheese recipe, but it takes a little longer to do because of the baking. I decided to solve that time issue by creating an easy and creamy stove top mac and cheese from a few different ingredients we had on hand.
Trust me when I say this will be your go-to mac and cheese recipe from now on. It's the perfect comfort food meal for chilly nights, or a delicious side dish for potlucks or cookouts.
Mac and Cheese Ingredients
Three kinds of cheese, Greek yogurt, and a béchamel sauce creates the smoothest and richest cheese sauce you can ever imagine. Get ready to dive into a pot of cheesy goodness.
- Pasta - We usually use elbow noodles to get that traditional mac and cheese look. Feel free to use any type of pasta that you have on hand or like.
- Butter and Flour - This combines together to create a roux that is used to thicken the liquid.
- Milk - Any variety of milk will work, just remember that the higher the fat content the creamier your mac and cheese will be.
- Greek Yogurt - the secret ingredient to the creamy cheese sauce. You can also use sour cream instead.
- Cheese - A combination of freshly shredded cheddar cheese, Velveeta, and Parmesan cheese makes this mac and cheese the creamiest and cheesiest pasta.
- Spices - Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground mustard
BRUCREW TIP: Pre-packaged shredded cheese has a coating on it to keep it from sticking. That coating can prevent it from melting very well and can add a graininess to the sauce. For best results, shred a block of quality cheese with a grater at home!!!
How to make Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
This creamy mac and cheese is easy to make with your favorite pasta and a homemade cheese sauce. Measure all your ingredients ahead of time, so you are ready to dump and stir quickly.
Step One: Cook the Pasta.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Add pasta and cook according to the package directions.
- Drain and set it aside.
Step Two: Make a Roux.
- Melt the butter in a large pot.
- Sprinkle the flour on top and stir it in. Cook the mixture for a minute.
Step Three: Make a Cheese Sauce.
- Whisk the milk slowly into the roux. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes until it thickens. Do not let it boil.
- Add the yogurt, cheeses, and seasonings and stir until melted and creamy.
Step Four: Add Noodles.
- Run hot water over the cooked noodles and drain again.
- Add to the cheese sauce and stir until coated.
- Let the homemade mac and cheese sit for a few minutes before serving.
Make it a Full Meal
This homemade creamy mac and cheese recipe can be served as a main course for dinner or as a side dish for cookouts and picnics. It also goes with any type of meat that you like. Here are a few of our favorites to serve with mac and cheese.
- Pulled Pork
- Chicken Sliders
- Honey Barbecue Meatballs
- Chicken - Baked, Grilled, Fried, Rotisserie
- Cajun Shrimp Burgers
- Hot Dogs and Hamburgers
- BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
- Pulled Pork Wrap
- Classic Green Bean Casserole
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you add to homemade mac and cheese?
- Feel free to use your favorite cheese in place of the cheddar cheese. Pepper jack or chipotle cheese will give it a spicy kick. Mozzarella cheese will add more cheesy strings.
- Stir in bacon, chicken, ham, or any other meat you love.
- You can also add different veggies to change it up. Peas, broccoli, peppers, or tomatoes are all delicious in it.
- Top it with extra shredded cheese and Panko or Ritz cracker crumbs and bake it for 20 minutes.
Can you make stove top mac and cheese ahead of time?
Yes. It reheats very well. You can place it in a covered dish and refrigerate it for up to 4 days. Spoon the pasta into a pot over low-medium heat and stir until creamy.
Or place it in an oven safe dish and bake until heated through. If you are making baked mac and cheese, make sure to undercook your pasta by one minute.
Can this creamy mac and cheese be frozen for later?
You can freeze this macaroni and cheese recipe. Spoon the cooled pasta into a disposable foil pan, add shredded cheese, and cover it. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight and bake until heated through.
Other Picnic Side Dishes
More Cheesy Pastas
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*The post for Creamy Stove Top Mac and Cheese was first published October 23, 2019. The post was updated and republished May 5, 2021.