Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

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An easy and delicious Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe that cooks in one pot and is ready in under 30 minutes.

Macaroni & Cheese Recipe Fork Bowl

If you love mac and cheese, you are going to love this easy recipe for Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese.  Not only is this the easiest way to make mac and cheese but it’s cheesy and full of flavor – which is what we all want in a great mac and cheese recipe.

And, I can promise you one thing – once you make this recipe, you’ll never make mac and cheese any other way!

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients Needed to Make Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

  • Macaroni – I usually use elbow noodles or cavatappi noodles. Shells, bow tie pasta, and rotini will work too.  I think any small noodle works great with this recipe.  You can also use gluten-free pasta, whole wheat pasta, and chickpea pasta with this recipe. 
  • Milk – I recommend using 2% milk, whole milk, or half and half.  The higher the fat content, the creamier the mac and cheese will be and we all want creamy, cheesy mac and cheese:)
  • Butter – Salt or unsalted butter works with this recipe
  • Flour – I recommend using all-purpose flour.  If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free flour or almond flour. 
  • Cheese – I like to use both sharp cheddar and white cheddar cheese when making mac and cheese.
  • Seasonings – Adding a little garlic powder, onion powder, Dijon mustard, and paprika gives this recipe lots of flavor making it the best mac and cheese recipe.
  • Hot Sauce – The secret ingredient to macaroni and cheese!  This ingredient is optional if you don’t have hot sauce.  It won’t cause the mac and cheese to be spicy because you only use a little.
  • Salt and Pepper – Add to taste.

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

How to Make Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Want to know what make this recipe so awesome? There is no need to cook and drain the noodles ahead of time.  Everything cooks in one pot and it only takes about 25 minutes to prepare and cook this creamy, cheesy mac and cheese recipe.

It really doesn’t get any easier than this!

Step 1: Make Roux

Melt butter in a large pot and add flour.  Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes to make a roux.  Add water to pot and continue to mix until mixture thickens.

Step 2: Cook Noodles

Add remaining water, milk and pasta to pot.  Stir in seasonings and cook until liquid starts to simmer. Reduce heat and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.

Step 3: Add Cheese

Now, it’s time for the best part – cheese!  Dump all that cheese right into the pot with the cooked pasta.  Stir until all the cheese has melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and your mac and cheese is ready to eat.

Macaroni & Cheese in Pot Vertical

Stovetop mac and cheese Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to use pre-shredded cheese?

Yes you can use pre-shredded cheese but I highly recommend shredding the cheese yourself.  Not only does it taste better but it’s cheaper and melts better.

How do you store leftover mac and cheese?

Store leftover macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How to do you reheat leftover mac and cheese?

To reheat, add leftover mac and cheese to microwave safe bowl.  Add a few tablespoons of milk to bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds.  Stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.  Repeat until warm throughout.

What can I add to this mac and cheese recipe?

Lots of fun additions can be added to this delicious mac and cheese recipe.  We’ve added bacon, broccoli, ham, sausage, and chicken in the past. Feel free to get creative and turn this delicious side dish into an easy one pot dinner by adding your favorite protein and veggie.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe

Looking for more easy pasta dishes?


Easy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

An easy and delicious Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe that cooks in one pot and is ready in under 30 minutes.


  • Author: Kara


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add flour and whisk until well combined.  Pour in 1 cup of water and continue to whisk until mixture begins to thicken.
  2. Stir in remaining water, milk, and pasta.
  3. Add in garlic powder. onion powder, hot sauce, paprika, and dijon mustard.  Continue to stir until well combined.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium- high heat, until mixture reaches a simmer.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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