Stovetop Mac and Cheese

A simple and delicious recipe for our creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese! There’s no roux needed in our recipe, which produces a silky smooth cheese sauce!

Stovetop mac and cheese in a pot with a wooden spoon in it.

Is there anyone that doesn’t love a creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese? If there is, we’ve never met them. Seriously though, we LOVE an extra creamy mac and cheese!

Our recipe today is so simple and it’s a little special bc it doesn’t involve a roux! That’s right! No roux needed for the silkiest, smoothest, creamiest stovetop mac and cheese ever!

How to Make Our Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

Ingredients to make stovetop mac and cheese on a kitchen counter.

Process

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and stir in the pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally, until pasta is fully cooked, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water. Set aside.
Pasta  for stovetop mac and cheese in a colander drained.
  1. Combine evaporated milk, pasta water, egg, dry mustard, salt, and pepper.
  2. Whisk together.
  1. Place a large saucepan over low heat and melt butter.
  2. Stir in milk mixture and bring to a gentle simmer. Whisk together for about 2 minutes.
  1. Whisk in small handfuls of the cheese mixture at a time, making sure not to add more cheese until the previous addition had been fully incorporated to the sauce.
  2. Continue to whisk and add cheese over low heat until all the cheese has been added and a creamy and smooth sauce forms (make sure not to rush this process or your cheese sauce will be gritty).
  1. Once the sauce has been made, stir in cooked pasta.
  2. Add more salt and pepper as needed and serve.
Close up on stovetop mac and cheese.

Tools You Will Need

Variations

  • We use a blend of white cheddar and Oaxaca cheeses because they’re both great melting cheeses with a nice flavor that isn’t too strong or overwhelming. Use other great melting cheeses to mix things up or based on preference! Some of our other favorites are: sharp cheddar cheese, fontina, gruyere, gouda, provolone, manchego, asiago, and havarti.
  • Add some vegetables! We like to stir in wilted spinach (or kale), steamed broccoli florets, and peas to bulk the mac and cheese up a bit and to sneak some extra greens into our meal. This is especially great to do with kids!
  • Use a different shaped pasta! We love using the pipe rigate, because the ‘snail’ shaped pasta maximizes the amount of cheese sauce that fills each piece. If you can’t find it or prefer to use another shape, go for it! There are so many amazing pasta shapes that would work perfectly for this stovetop mac and cheese! Some of our other favorites are: fusilli, rigatoni, elbow macaroni, and shells.
  • If you want to spice things up, add some extra ingredients to your cheese sauce! On occasion we like to add a couple dashes of hot sauce for a kick. We also like adding a pinch of cumin and smoked paprika to the sauce for a slightly smoky and earthy flavor.
Stovetop mac and cheese in a pot with a spoon in it.

Tips and Tricks for Success

  • Low heat is key for making the cheese sauce. The egg in this recipe really helps to thicken the sauce, so you want to make sure not to scramble it to too high heat.
  • Use evaporated milk! Evaporated milk contains protein micelles, which help to keep the cheese sauce silky smooth and creamy!
  • Only stir small amounts of shredded cheese to the sauce at a time – and make sure the added cheese is fully melted and incorporated before stirring more cheese into the sauce. This will help prevent the sauce from becoming gritty.
  • Shred your own cheese! Although this adds an extra step, it’s totally worth it! Pre-shredded cheese packs have anti-caking agents in them (like potato starch), which aren’t great for creating a smooth sauce. It really does make a world of difference in the quality of this stovetop mac and cheese, we promise!
Two bowls of stovetop mac and cheese.

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Stovetop mac and cheese recipe in a pot.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

PRINT RECIPE Pin Recipe

A simple and delicious recipe for our creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese! There’s no roux needed in our recipe, which produces a silky smooth cheese sauce!

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Servings: 4

  INGREDIENTS  

  INSTRUCTIONS  

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and stir in the pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally, until pasta is fully cooked, 7 to 8 minutes.. Drain pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water. Set aside.

  • Combine evaporated milk, pasta water, egg, dry mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk together.

  • Place a large saucepan over low heat and melt butter.

  • Stir in milk mixture and bring to a gently simmer. Whisk together for about 2 minutes.

  • Whisk in small handfuls of the cheese mixture at a time, making sure not to add more cheese until the previous addition had been fully incorporated to the sauce.

  • Continue to whisk and add cheese over low heat until all the cheese has been added and a creamy and smooth sauce forms (make sure not to rush this process or your cheese sauce will be gritty).

  • Once the sauce has been made, stir in cooked pasta. Add more salt and pepper as needed and serve.

  NOTES  

Tips and Tricks for Success
  • Low heat is key for making the cheese sauce. The egg in this recipe really helps to thicken the sauce, so you want to make sure not to scramble it to too high heat.
  • Use evaporated milk! Evaporated milk contains protein micelles, which help to keep the cheese sauce silky smooth and creamy!
  • Only stir small amounts of shredded cheese to the sauce at a time – and make sure the added cheese is fully melted and incorporated before stirring more cheese into the sauce. This will help prevent the sauce from becoming gritty.
  • Shred your own cheese! Although this adds an extra step, it’s totally worth it! Pre-shredded cheese packs have anti-caking agents in them (like potato starch), which aren’t great for creating a smooth sauce. It really does make a world of difference in the quality of this stovetop mac and cheese, we promise!

Calories: 940kcal Carbohydrates: 73g Protein: 46g Fat: 51g Saturated Fat: 32g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 217mg Sodium: 1475mg Potassium: 527mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 10g Vitamin A: 1323IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 848mg Iron: 2mg

CUISINE: Amercian

KEYWORD: mac and cheese, no roux mac and cheese, stovetop mac and cheese

COURSE: dinner, lunch

About Jenny Park

Jenny Park is half of Spoon Fork Bacon. She is also a food stylist and recipe developer. One of her favorite foods is donuts. #sfbJENNY

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