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+ servings
Stovetop mac and cheese recipe in a pot.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Teri & Jenny
A simple and delicious recipe for our creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese! There's no roux needed in our recipe, which produces a silky smooth cheese sauce!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Amercian
Servings 4
Calories 940 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces pipe rigate

silky cheese sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 12 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded Oaxaca cheese

Instructions
 

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and stir in the pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally, until pasta is fully cooked, 7 to 8 minutes.. Drain pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water. Set aside.
    Pasta for stovetop mac and cheese in a colander drained.
  • Combine evaporated milk, pasta water, egg, dry mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk together.
    Cheese sauce ingredients mixed in a bowl.
  • Place a large saucepan over low heat and melt butter.
    Butter melted in a skillet to make stovetop mac and cheese.
  • Stir in milk mixture and bring to a gently simmer. Whisk together for about 2 minutes.
    The start of cheese sauce for stovetop mac and cheese.
  • Whisk in small handfuls of the cheese mixture at a time, making sure not to add more cheese until the previous addition had been fully incorporated to the sauce.
    Melting cheese in a sauce for stovetop mac and cheese.
  • Continue to whisk and add cheese over low heat until all the cheese has been added and a creamy and smooth sauce forms (make sure not to rush this process or your cheese sauce will be gritty).
    Cooking a cheese sauce in a skillet for stovetop mac and cheese.
  • Once the sauce has been made, stir in cooked pasta. Add more salt and pepper as needed and serve.
    Stovetop mac and cheese in a skillet with wooden spoon.

Notes

Variations

  • We use a blend of white cheddar and Oaxaca cheeses because they're both great melting cheeses with a nice flavor that isn't too strong or overwhelming. Use other great melting cheeses to mix things up or based on preference! Some of our other favorites are: fontina, gruyere, gouda, provolone, manchego, asiago, and havarti.
  • Add some vegetables! We like to stir in wilted spinach (or kale), steamed broccoli florets, and peas to bulk the mac and cheese up a bit and to sneak some extra greens into our meal. This is especially great to do with kids!
  • Use a different shaped pasta! We love using the pipe rigate, because the 'snail' shaped pasta maximizes the amount of cheese sauce that fills each piece. If you can't find it or prefer to use another shape, go for it! There are so many amazing pasta shapes perfect for this creamy stovetop mac and cheese! Some of our other favorites are: fusilli, rigatoni, and elbow macaroni, shells.
  • If you want to spice things up, add some extra ingredients to your cheese sauce! On occasion we like to add a couple dashes of hot sauce for a kick. We also like adding a pinch of cumin and smoked paprika to the sauce for a slightly smoky and earthy flavor.

Tips and Tricks for Success

  • Low heat is key for making the cheese sauce. The egg in this recipe really helps to thicken the sauce, so you want to make sure not to scramble it to too high heat.
  • Use evaporated milk! Evaporated milk contains protein micelles, which help to keep the cheese sauce silky smooth and creamy!
  • Only stir small amounts of shredded cheese to the sauce at a time - and make sure the added cheese is fully melted and incorporated before stirring more cheese into the sauce. This will help prevent the sauce from becoming gritty.
  • Shred your own cheese! Although this adds an extra step, it's totally worth it! Pre-shredded cheese packs have anti-caking agents in them (like potato starch), which aren't great for creating a smooth sauce. It really does make a world of difference in the quality of this stovetop mac and cheese, we promise!

Nutrition

Calories: 940kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 46gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 217mgSodium: 1475mgPotassium: 527mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1323IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 848mgIron: 2mg
Keyword mac and cheese, no roux mac and cheese, stovetop mac and cheese
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