When it comes to cheesy pasta goodness, this stovetop mac and cheese recipe delivers. It cooks on the stove like the box variety but has that unbeatable rich and creamy homemade flavor.
Today I’m thrilled to be sharing with you a special recipe from the ole Southern Plate Magazine: creamy stovetop mac and cheese! This rich and filling homemade mac and cheese recipe is truly out of this world. It features all the flavors you know and love, like butter, flour, milk, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese. But it also has a couple of secret additions to spice things up (literally): spicy brown mustard and paprika.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy mac and cheese recipe, this is the one for you. It’s homemade macaroni and cheese that’s ready to eat in 20 minutes. How good does that sound, especially when you’re hungry? Who needs takeout when it’s so easy to make a hearty comfort food main dish like this?
Now, seeing as we’re called Southern Plate, it’s safe to say we have a few mac and cheese recipes on our blog. We’ve got oven-baked macaroni and cheese, baked cauliflower mac and cheese, and one-pot mac and cheese. Do you think I’ve covered all the bases yet? Alright, let’s quickly make some easy stovetop mac and cheese!
- All-purpose flour
- Whole milk
- Ground black pepper
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Cream cheese (here’s our easy-peasy recipe for homemade cream cheese).
- Spicy brown mustard
- Elbow macaroni
- Paprika (optional)
How to Make Stovetop Macaroni Cheese
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and then whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly (about 2 to 3 minutes).
Remove from heat. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and mustard, stirring until cheese is melted and cheese sauce is smooth. Stir in the cooked macaroni and transfer to a serving dish.
Sprinkle your stovetop mac and cheese with paprika, if desired.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Briefly reheat on a stove set on low heat until warm.
- Don’t be afraid to use a mix of grated cheese in this stovetop mac and cheese. You can combine mozzarella and cheddar cheese or use a combination of gruyere, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, and provolone. On that note, I recommend not using pre-shredded cheese.
- If you want to bake this recipe instead and get that crispy topping, add some panko bread crumbs and pop it under the broil for a few minutes.
- Here are some other additions to stir into your stovetop mac and cheese.
- Cooked chicken or bacon bits.
- Roasted vegetables like broccoli florets and Brussel sprouts, baby spinach, grated zucchini, frozen peas, sundried tomatoes, or artichokes.
- Pine nuts or toasted almonds.
- Cajun seasoning or Italian seasoning.
- Instead of paprika, top mac and cheese with cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
- You can use any small pasta in this creamy mac and cheese recipe, like shells, farfalle, or penne.
Check out these other cheesy pasta recipes:
Cheese Stuffed Shells (3 Cheeses Included)
Slow Cooker Angel Chicken (Gluten-Free and Low-Carb Pasta Options)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- 5 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni about 2 1/2 cups uncooked
- paprika optional
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and then whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly (about 2 to 3 minutes).2 cups whole milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Remove from heat. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and mustard, stirring until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the cooked macaroni and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 2 ounces cream cheese, 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard, 5 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni, paprika
I am running behind! Thank you for the reminder! And the extra time!
I love my Southern Plate magazine! So glad I found your website. You are such an inspiration to me. There is nothing like good old-fashioned home cooking! My family enjoys sweet tea and yours is the best recipe! Continued blessings to you and your family, Christy.
Hi Christy! I bought your Southern Plate Classics at my local Sam’s Club, here in Williamstown NJ. I just made your Southern Tea recipe and my hubby and I and our 10 year-old daughter loved it. This tea will be making a regular appearance on our table from here on out. I will be checking my local bookstore for your cookbook. Although I wasn’t raised in the South, I have a sincere appreciation for traditional Southern cooking and love to try new recipes. Thanks for a good read.
Oh my goodness, I am so glad to hear that you liked the tea!! Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the magazine and the cookbook!
Got my Southern Plate magazine while driving to the beach in SOUTHERN Alabama!! Love that mag, and LOVE Christy Jordan, lots and LOTS!! WHOOO HOOOO!!! NOW that’s a winning combination, NO MATTER WHERE YOU’RE AT TOO!
Got my Southern Plate magazine while driving to the beach in SOUTHERN Alabama!! Love that mag, and LOVE Christy Jordan, lots and LOTS!! WHOOO HOOOO!!!
I love macaroni and cheese and am anxious to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us along with all the other delicious sounding recipes you tell us about. What would we do without you, Christy? God bless you!
I enjoyed your newsletter that I received this morning. I looked up the brownie pie ( never have a recipe that too easy. I love brownies & pie crust. I had always made chocolate cream pie in pie crust until I tried it once in Oreo crust when my kids were young. Then pie crust just wouldn’t work anymore. I’m going to make the brownie pie because it sounds good to me! I was reading some of the comments from people who had gotten their autographed magazine in the last few days. I hoped that meant I would get mine soon. About an hour later the mail came & there it was. I’m looking forward to reading it. I also subscribe to Southern Living & never miss your column. Thanks for all you do.