Recipes » Side Dishes » Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

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5 from 2 votes
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.
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
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. https://www.lanascooking.com/easy-cheesy-mac/

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.

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. https://www.lanascooking.com/easy-cheesy-mac/

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.

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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.

Grating and preparing cheese.

Prep the Cheeses

Meanwhile, grate the cheddar and Parmesan and tear the American cheese into pieces to help it melt faster.

Cook and drain the macaroni.

Drain the Macaroni

When the macaroni is cooked, drain it briefly in a colander and then return it to the pan.

Add butter and cheese to warm macaroni.

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! 

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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. https://www.lanascooking.com/easy-cheesy-mac/

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

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.
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It Text It
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 432kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 7 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 4 ounces processed American cheese
  • 3 ounces parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk (may need more)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 559IU | Calcium: 470mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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20 Comments

  1. Mac & cheese has always been a favorite at our household.
    I do add a small handful of Bacon Bits in my mac& cheese @ the same time I put in the cheese.

  2. This one is another keeper. I only had American sliced cheese, Sharp Cheddar and the Parmesan in shaker like I use on Spaghetti but it still got two thumbs up from DH. Thanks Lana!

  3. Hi Linda! Thanks for visiting. This recipe is nothing fancy, but it is so quick and easy and good! You may like more milk and/or butter. Just keep adjusting until you get the creaminess that you want.

  4. Thanks, Calamity! Well, around here I’m Nana and my husband is BeeBop. BeeBop came from our oldest grandson trying to say “Pop” which came out as “Bop”. Then one day we asked him, “what is Bop’s real name?” and he says, “BeeBop!!” It stuck. And now all the nieces call him Uncle BeeBop :-)

  5. I found your blog over at Tasty Kitchen, and now my mouth is watering with all your tasty recipes…and your photos are beautiful too. By the way, my grandmother name is Bebop!

  6. That looks fabulous. If you just don’t feel good, there is nothing like something with melted cheese to make you feel better. Thanks for an easy, quick method, that does not come out of a blue box.

    Miss P

  7. I have been looking for a receipe that does not require making a cheese sauce. This is great and looks soooo easy.

  8. Comfort food for summer. Sounds good to me. I’ll take a big serving of that. Looks at the cheesy goodness!!!