An Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a classic for every cook. It goes great with almost every main dish and there's no oven baking required.
Isn't macaroni and cheese just one of the all-time ultimate comfort foods? I know it is for me.
All that cheesy, creamy goodness wrapped around soft pasta. What more could you want?
Of course, there are multitudes of recipes for mac and cheese. Everything from the ordinary to the sublime. But this Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese is one for days when you're in a hurry to get dinner on the table.
It's really quick. It can be ready in little more than the time it takes to boil the macaroni and it's very satisfying. Plus, it's great for hot days when you just don't want to turn on the oven.
How to Make Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
Start by Cooking the Macaroni
Cook the elbow macaroni according to its package directions. The brand I normally use says that it should be cooked for 7 minutes, but I like mine a little more tender than al dente so I cook mine at least 8 minutes. But you do whatever you like.
Prep the Cheeses
Meanwhile, grate the cheddar and Parmesan and tear the American cheese into pieces to help it melt faster.
Drain the Macaroni
When the macaroni is cooked, drain it briefly in a colander and then return it to the pan.
Melt the Butter and Cheese
Add the butter and the cheese, put the lid on the pan, and sit it back on the still warm burner (the burner should be turned off but will still be warm from cooking the macaroni). Let it sit for about 5 minutes or so until the cheese starts to melt a little.
Add Milk and Seasoning
Add the milk and stir until all the cheese and butter have melted adding more milk if needed to get the consistency you want. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.
Want to Make this for a Crowd?
Sure thing! If you have more people coming for dinner, this recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled. No problem.
Can I Make it in Advance?
Yep. You can make your macaroni and cheese earlier in the day or even the day before. Just be sure to store it covered in the fridge. Take it out an hour or so before serving and gently reheat it, covered with foil, in a low oven (about 250 degrees) for 30 minutes.
What About Leftovers?
We eat leftover macaroni and cheese all the time. Believe me. It can be reheated as I described above, or just pop individual leftover servings in the microwave for a bit to rewarm. As with any leftover food, though, about three days storage time is the absolute maximum.
What if I Don't Have the Same Kinds of Cheese?
No problem. This recipe is so easy to adapt. I often use up some of those little leftover bits of cheese that seem to gather in my fridge. Got a little Gruyere? Grate it up and throw it in. Swiss is also fantastic. Even a little blue cheese is great in this recipe. Use whatever you have or your family likes.
Make it Fancy
As I've said, this is a very easy, classic stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe. But you don't have to stop there! You can always take it a step further by placing the mac and cheese in individual gratin dishes (or one big casserole dish for that matter), adding bread crumbs on the top, dotting it all over with butter and placing it under the broiler until the butter has melted and the bread crumbs are toasted.
Or take it even further by adding cooked veggies (peas and carrots are great) or a protein to the mixture. I've stirred in spicy cooked ground beef and made a tex-mex style mac and cheese out of this that was fantastic! Leftover roasted chicken mixed in is perfect. You could even adapt it to your favorite seafood - just think of shrimp or lobster mac and cheese!
More Easy Side Dishes on Never Enough Thyme:
- Potato Salad
- Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes
- Peas with Lettuce
- Fried Tomatoes with Garlic
- Green Beans Caesar
- Roasted Asparagus
Macaroni and Cheese Recipes from Other Bloggers:
- The Best Stovetop Mac and Cheese from Gimme Some Oven
- Macaroni and Cheese from The Pioneer Woman
- The Cheese-Maker's Mac and Cheese from Half Baked Harvest
- Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese from Tastes Better from Scratch
- Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese from SkinnyTaste
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Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 7 oz. sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 4 oz. processed American cheese
- 3 oz. parmesan cheese grated
- 2 tblsp. butter
- 2 tblsp. or more milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.
- While the macaroni is cooking, grate the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and tear the American cheese into pieces to help it melt faster.
- When the macaroni is cooked, drain it briefly in a colander and then return it to the pan.
- Add the butter and the cheese put the lid on and set the pan back on the burner which should be still warm but switched off.
- Let the pan sit for about 5 minutes until the cheeses start to melt.
- Add the milk and stir until all the cheese and butter have melted. Add more milk if needed to get the consistency you like.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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