Stove Top Mac and Cheese

No need for box mac and cheese when making it from scratch it this easy! This Stove Top Mac and Cheese is ready in under 20 minutes, creamy, cheesy and downright delicious. 

Is there a more kid-friendly recipe that mac and cheese? Pasta enveloped in an ooey gooey cheese sauce? I mean, what's not to love? This Stove Top Mac and Cheese requires very little effort and since the flavors are super simple and comforting, kids go absolutely crazy for it. Mine included! 

I've been making this Stove Top Mac and Cheese recipe for years and years and figured it was time to share it with you all! I love this one because even thought it's not reinventing the wheel, it's still downright delicious. An added bonus is that I can get it on the dinner table for everyone in no time! It's rich, creamy and obviously cheesy and everyone loves it!

If you wanted to spruce this recipe up a bit and add a little something extra, you can make this into a spring vegetable version of mac and cheese by adding fresh or frozen peas, cauliflower florets, sautéed leeks or chopped asparagus to the mixture. It's a great way to get an extra vegetable in and since they're covered in the delicious cheese sauce, kids will love it too!

If you're looking for more pasta recipes that can be ready super quickly like this one, try out my Pasta MamaChicken Pesto PastaWild Mushroom Pasta or Fresh Herb Pasta with Garlic Lemon Sauce. And if you want more mac and cheese inspiration try Classic Macaroni and CheeseVegan Mac & CheeseMug Pumpkin Mac and Cheese and Green Mac and Cheese! There's so many ways to do macaroni and cheese which makes it that much more fun!

Gone are the days of boxed macaroni and cheese! Try this one out and let me know what you think by tagging me on social media!

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Stove Top Mac and Cheese (4-6 servings)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 15 mins


  • 1 pound pasta of choice (ziti, elbow, rigatoni or penne work great)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup spring vegetable of choice: fresh or frozen peas, cauliflower florets, sautéed leeks or chopped asparagus.


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tbsp salt, add pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. 

2. Melt the butter in a separate large pot over medium heat and immediately sprinkle in the flour. Whisk vigorously for 3 minutes or until the butter and flour make a paste. 

3. Add the milk, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and whisk 3-4 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

4. Add the grated cheese and whisk until melted. Stir in the pasta and spring vegetable and coat the pasta throughly. The vegetables will warm during this process. If sauce is too thick add a little pasta water to loosen.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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