This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my boring disclaimer here.
Let me start by saying this is my all time favorite stove top macaroni and cheese recipe. We make it about twice a month and it makes enough for two nights with our family of 3.
I always dreamed about creating a homemade stove top macaroni and cheese recipe my entire family loves. My 2 year old eats every single noodle on her plate and my husband always goes back for seconds. When that happens, I call that a win in my book!
This recipe was inspired by Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe, but we didn’t want to use Velveeta cheese. We turned this dish into a healthier-ish version opting out of the Velveeta and keeping it a stove top variety.
I love to make this recipe to use up the extra shredded cheddar cheese we have to avoid throwing it out. That is just one of my tips of overlapping ingredients in my 30 Minute Meal Planning for the Busy Mama post.
Start by boiling a pot of water and cook pasta until al dente. We like to use wagon wheel pasta (rotelle), but any pasta that will allow the cheese to cling to it will work (think shells, elbow, etc.). Strain the pasta.
You can either do this next part while you’re making the pasta or while it’s draining. I personally love to do it while the pasta is sitting in the colander. Less dishes and only takes about 7 minutes more.
Even doing them one after another, dinner will still be on the table within 25 minutes. If you don’t mind the extra pot being used or are in a rush, go right ahead and do everything at the same time.
Melt the butter in the pot on med/low heat. Add flour and mix. Stir in salt and pepper until combined to make a roux. A roux is basically a thickening agent to help make a sauce.
Increase to medium heat. Gradually add in 1 1/2 cups milk. I will usually add half of the milk, mix it, then add the rest and mix again.
Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, usually 3-4 minutes. The first time I made this recipe I was amazed with how it already looked like a creamy cheese without any actual cheese in it yet! Once thickened, remove from heat and add in cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.
Pour in pasta and mix well to combine. Serve immediately. I enjoy pairing this stove top macaroni and cheese with a healthy side like Air Fried Roasted Carrots and some dinner rolls. Doesn’t that look delicious?
Easy Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese
30 Minute Meal, Kid Approved
An easy creamy stove top macaroni and cheese your whole family will love!
- 12 oz pasta (such as wagon wheels, shells, elbows, etc.)
- 4 TBSP butter
- 3 TBSP flour
- 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Boil a pot of water and cook pasta per directions on box until al dente. Strain pasta.
Melt butter in pan on med/low heat. Add in flour and mix. Stir is salt and pepper until combined to make a roux.
Increase to medium heat. Gradually add in 1 1/2 cups milk.
Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, usually 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and add in cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.
Pour in pasta and mix well to combine. Serve immediately.
Pairs perfectly with Air Fried Roasted Carrots and dinner rolls.