Extra Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese is quick, easy, and always a crowd-pleaser! Ready in less than 30 minutes, this is a recipe you’ll find yourself turning to again and again! Use traditional macaroni noodles or get fancy and use shells or shellbows!
Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
And I’m back! Well, kind of. I officially gave birth to our baby boy a little over two weeks ago… and have been in a love bubble ever since! And I plan on keeping things that way! I’m taking the spring and summer off to soak up every second with our sweet little guy. But don’t fret! Because that doesn’t mean I won’t be sharing brand new recipes with you I planned ahead and perfected over 65 NEW recipes while I was pregnant. And I’ll be rolling them out over the next few months! Yay!
The first recipe I’m sharing is one near and dear to my heart: mac n cheese, baby!!! When I was pregnant with Remi, all I wanted was carbs and cheese! So I made it my mission to create the worlds best mac and cheese recipe! And to me, this is it!
Let’s Talk CHEESE
My favorite macaroni and cheese recipe calls for: extra sharp cheddar cheese, gruyere, fontina, and cream cheese! Yes, 4 cheeses! Plus, milk and heavy cream for good measure! This is not the recipe to try and skimp on the saturated fat lol. But this combination creates the perfect creamy texture… and is so SO flavorful! I know gruyere and fontina can be expensive and/or hard to find, so feel free to sub in monterey jack, gouda, or just more sharp cheddar! But making this as written will yield the absolute BEST results!
Moving on to FLAVOR
A lot of mac and cheese recipes are pretty bland! And if you know me, you know I’m not about that! So to ensure this macaroni and cheese recipe was bursting with flavor, I added salt and pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and a touch of dijon mustard to the cheese sauce! This might sound like a lot, but I promise, it adds just the right amount of spice and flavor! I also love to top each bowl off with a crack or two of freshly ground black pepper, but that’s totally optional!
Don’t overcook your pasta…
The biggest mac and cheese no no? Overcooking your pasta! So instead of cooking your macaroni according to package instructions, only cook it for 7 minutes! This will yield a very al dente pasta that won’t get mushy when you add the cheese sauce. Even overcooking your pasta 1-2 minutes can make it soggy and unappealing, so really keep an eye here!
The key to creamy cheese sauce?
Stirring constantly!!!! Seriously, you’ll want to be whisking and stirring at almost every step. Stirring constantly, and adding the ingredients slowly, is the secret to a silky smooth (not clumpy) cheese sauce everyone will love! And while this requires a little patience and elbow grease, it’s less than 15 minutes and totally worth it!
More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes:
- Creamy Alfredo Mac and Cheese with Spring Peas and Asparagus
- Elevated Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Gruyere (AKA the best baked mac and cheese ever)
- Sriracha Mac and Cheese
Extra Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb macaroni pasta
- 5 Tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (681 ml) whole milk
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup (113 ml) heavy cream
- 8 ounces (226 g) extra sharp cheddar grated
- 6 ounces (170 g) Gruyere cheese grated
- 4 ounces (113 g) Fontina cheese grated
- 4 ounces (113 g) full-fat cream cheese room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- freshly cracked black pepper for serving, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a dash of salt and the macaroni and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-heat. Sprinkle in the flour, and whisking constantly, and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly as you add.
- Cook over medium-high heat, whisking almost constantly, until the mixture bubbles up and thickens, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the dijon, salt, sugar, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
- Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the heavy cream. Then stir in all of the cheeses. Fold in the pasta and mix well. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes if it looks like it needs to thicken up. Then remove from heat and serve warm, with black pepper, if desired.