Stovetop Mac and Cheese

This Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe will become a family favorite! An easy, 15-minute macaroni and cheese that’s amazingly creamy and satisfying.

We love making this cheesy pasta recipe for easy dinners and even parties! Try serving this with our oven roasted corn on the cob and a homemade caesar salad!

Easy Stove Top Mac and Cheese is an easy dinner recipe

15-Minute Mac & Cheese Recipe

We are a homemade family. Honestly, most things we put on the table for any meal are something that we made from scratch. A little help from the store here and there, of course.

Let’s talk for a sec about this Stovetop Mac and Cheese though, can we? What kid do you know that doesn’t ONLY love the blue macaroni and cheese that we all grew up with?

Our kids do, and honestly, and we do too. I’m not really a big fan of homemade mac and cheese, I have to admit. Often it tastes too bland to me, or to cheese pull-type cheese that’s great for pictures but not in my pasta bowl.

Easy Stove Top Mac and Cheese is a macaroni and cheese recipe made from scratch

For one, look at how super creamy that mac and cheese recipe is. LOOK AT IT. We kept taking turns stirring it in the pot just to hear that creamy, cheesy sound the noodles were making.

Yep, these are things that excite us. Cheesy, creamy pasta being stirred. But also look at that homemade mac and cheese recipe and tell me that it doesn’t look almost exactly like the kind you have been making form the box for so many years.

The big taste testers were the boys. Then it happened – both boys agreed that it was the best mac and cheese ever. AND it tasted just like the box “only better”.

Easy Stove Top Mac and Cheese is a kid friendly dinner recipe made with elbow macaroni and cheese

Huge win here guys, huge win. Best mac and cheese ever??? That took us only 15 minutes?

Because at least if we’re going to eat some sort of comfort food like macaroni and cheese at least it’s homemade and not from a package.

Now I know what you’re next question is going to be so here we go:

What Kind Of Cheese Do I Use For Homemade Macaroni and Cheese?

There are a few different options, it depends on your taste and your kids tastes. If you’re looking for something mild or sharp or even more adult like, the options can go on and on! You can also mix a couple or a few of the cheese together!

  • Sharp cheddar cheese (this is the option we used in this recipe that tasted the most similar to the blue box)
  • American Cheese
  • Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack
  • Gouda, Smoked Gouda
  • Havarti
  • Velveeta
  • Fontina
  • Gruyere
  • Parmesan
Easy Stove Top Mac and Cheese is a black bowl with a black and white napkin

What Can I Add To This Macaroni and Cheese?

Now here’s where we love to get creative with our cheesy pasta…our favorite mix in of all time is a can of tuna and peas. Like a cheesy, tuna casserole that you don’t have to bake and is done in 15 minutes.

Here’s some other ideas!

  • Diced Ham
  • Diced Hot Dogs
  • Broccoli
  • Ground Beef or Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Spinach
  • BACON!

PRO TIP! You can also make this macaroni and cheese recipe and keep it warm in a crock pot for a party or a holiday! Just double the sauce if you’re doing that so the pasta won’t dry out in the slow cooker!

Need More Easy Dinner Ideas?

Easy Stove Top Mac and Cheese is a macaroni and cheese recipe made from scratch

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

This macaroni and cheese recipe is on the table in 15 minutes from start to finish! If you’re looking for that kid friendly flavor, this is the recipe you’re looking for!



  • 1 pound elbows, shells or other small tube shaped pasta
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (see post above for some other cheese ideas)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup cream or whole milk, or a combination of both
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste (optional)


  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta well and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, bring the milk or cream to a simmer, the stir in cheese, seasonings and the pasta.
  3. Stir to combine and taste for seasonings, adding salt to taste.
  4. Pour the cooked pasta into the pot and toss to combine with the cheese sauce. Serve immediately or keep in a slow cooker on the warm or low setting.

Recipe Notes

See the post above for some delicious add ins for this mac and cheese! We love making this recipe for parties and keeping it warm in a slow cooker for serving.

If you are going to keep the mac and cheese in a slow cooker, try doubling the sauce first so that the pasta doesn’t dry out!

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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