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:
- 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