Creamy stovetop mac and cheese is an easy crowd-pleasing dish. Whether a side dish or main meal, a bowl of cheesy pasta is always appreciated.
One of my favorite meals growing up was a barbeque chicken, macaroni and cheese, and spinach. Something about that combination made me glad. Seeing the blue box with the picture of drippy cheese elbow noodles let me know that either chicken or ribs were on the menu and a treat was on the way. Growing up, Kraft Deluxe was the starchy staple for big dinners. Baked macaroni and cheese was usually served at holidays.
This recipe is a copycat version of my childhood favorite. It’s 100% homemade nostalgia-inducing. The best part of this recipe is that it remains creamy! So many recipes promise a creaminess but turn to grit as it sits. Not this one. It stays the same consistency even as it sets. The cheese sauce will firm but it doesn’t become gritty. Add a tiny touch of milk or cream to reheat and it back to perfection.
It’s All About the Cheese
Of course, the most important ingredient in macaroni and cheese besides the macaroni is the cheese! The cheese plus cream make this stovetop mac the absolute best. But not just any cheese. Not a specialty cheese. Plain old American cheese is the secret. American cheese has a melting quality that other cheeses don’t have. So, if you want truly creamy macaroni and cheese, you will need to use a little American cheese.
How to Make Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
Making macaroni and cheese couldn’t be easier. Cook the elbow noodles according to the package direction then drain and return it to the pot. Add the butter and spices and stir to coat.
Turn the flame on to low and add the milk and cheese then stir well. Once the cheese starts to melt pour in the cream. Continue to stir making sure the noodles are covered well. When the cheese is fully melted, turn off the heat and serve immediately.
Recipes to Serve with Mac & Cheese
- 8 oz elbow noodles dry uncooked
- 1 1/2 c milk
- 1/4 c heavy cream
- 4 tbsp butter
- 8 oz sharp cheddar grated
- 4 oz American cheese chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Blend the sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard powder in a small bowl for later. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain, return to the pot and add the butter and spices.
- Turn the heat to low and pour in the milk and cheeses stirring constantly until it melts. Once the cheese starts to melt pour in the cream and whisk until smooth. Serve immediately.