Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

from 10 votes

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe from justataste.com

Easy, cheesy recipes make many an appearance across these pages, from Raspberry Cream Cheese Pinwheel Pastries and Cheesy Chicken Pizza Pockets to Homemade Parmesan Hamburger Buns and Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes. It’s safe to say I’ve got all my fellow cheese lovers covered.

But that’s why I find it hard to believe that despite there being more than 500 recipes on this site, not a single one is for plain ol’ mac and cheese. Sure, the Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese is a fan favorite. But what about a quick, easy stovetop-only version of the most classic of all comfort foods?

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe from justataste.com

Now, the wait is finally over with this 30-minute homemade macaroni and cheese recipe starring sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, plus just a pinch of my secret ingredient.

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe from justataste.com

There’s no baking and no breadcrumbs. Just pure and simple the best, easiest, cheesiest macaroni and cheese to ever cross your lips.

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe from justataste.com

And for all those looking for an added kick to this comfort food favorite, don’t miss my crowd-friendly Roast Garlic Macaroni and Cheese that bakes up golden brown and bubbly in your oven!

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe from justataste.com

Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Main Course

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese will be on your dinner table in 30 minutes or less!
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.80 from 10 votes
Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe from justataste.com
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound uncooked pasta shells

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it just until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta then set it aside.
  • In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, warm the milk until it is simmering then set it aside.
  • In a large heavy-bottomed stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it turns light brown in color and has a slightly toasted aroma, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the dry mustard (optional).
  • Remove the pot from the heat then slowly whisk the warm milk into the flour mixture. Continue whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. (The mixture will become very thick and then thin out gradually until it is smooth.)
  • Return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat and cook the mixture while whisking constantly until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses until they are melted and the cheese sauce is smooth. Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed throughout. Serve immediately.

Kelly’s Notes:

  • I prefer shell-shaped pasta for macaroni and cheese, but you can use whatever shape you prefer. Elbow macaroni, orecchiette and cavatappi noodles also work well.
  • After stirring in the pasta, feel free to fold in any additional ingredients, including diced ham, chicken and lobster or blanched veggies, such as broccoli or squash.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 844kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 44g, Saturated Fat: 27g, Cholesterol: 127mg, Sodium: 825mg, Potassium: 465mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1425IU, Calcium: 809mg, Iron: 2mg


Did you try this recipe?

Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

Recipe adapted from Chow.

Feeling social?

Share this recipe!


Related Recipes

Check out more crave-worthy favorites

Kelly Senyei holding a copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook

love the recipes on just a taste?

Check out my cookbook!

Order your copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook featuring 125 brand-new family-friendly recipes with surprisingly tasty twists!

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    It is so rich and creamy! I ended up adding peas and tuna, which was also good. Saving the rest for lunch tomorrow!

  2. 5 stars
    This is great and so easy! When I change the recipe to x2, the amount of butter shows 16 T., but the quantity still shows one stick.

    1. Thanks, Elena! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe. We’re working on a fix for the sticks of butter issue. Stay tuned!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the BEST RECIPE for Mac and cheese that I have found! My family loves it! We make it all the time. Sometimes we bake it in the oven and sometimes we eat it as is. Either way, it is always cheesy and perfect. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! Last time I made it, the sauce was in excess so I decided to halve the sauce this time around. Perfect!! Very easy from start to finish and delicious! I left the mustard out and it still tasted great.

  5. I am going to make this recipe tonight to go with our fried rock fish dinner, I hope my son likes it. He is a mac and cheese fanatic. I DON’T like using box mac and cheese, so if i can do a homemade recipe for mac and cheese with out all all the processed stuff in it, I’d so rather do that for my son and husband. I just hope it turns out good!

  6. Hi Kelly.
    I’ve spotted some of your recipes and got to thinking “well That goes together well so I’m going to have a tryout with that!” I do quite a few things that’s been handed down in my family for years and I’ve never really needed to go much further than my little family’s hand down book of favourite’s but as I’m now retired from work I’be got time to to experiment with other things that others make and I’m enjoying the results of the new tastes and ideas that’s out there that others are making which are their family’s favourite’s! Keep Up the good wort you’re ideas work well and have a good spread of tasty treats! Regards. Tony.

  7. 5 stars
    This is my go-to Mac and cheese recipe!! I make it and then put it in a crockpot for picnics!! We love it!!

  8. How do you keep the milk from curdling? I made a different Mac and cheese tonight that is quite similar to this recipe. I followed the directions to the T but the milk curdled which gave the dish a disgusting look and a weird texture. It tasted good but I couldn’t get paste the look and texture. I would appreciate any advice anyone has to offer. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Kristie! Make sure you’re using whole milk, as lower fat milks are more likely to curdle, especially if the sauce is brought to a boil.

  9. 3 stars
    Makes quite a lot of sauce.

    Might be better if the the quantity of cheese was given in ounces instead of cups. Of course if you buy your cheese pre-grated in a package of X ounces instead of solid block by the pound then grate it yourself, that would make a difference.

See More Comments