This lusciously creamy mac and cheese is a family favorite! Made on the stove top in under 30 minutes, it’s the perfect side dish to any family dinner. And best of all, adult and kid approved!
The Idea Behind the Mac
Who doesn’t love the boxed macaroni and cheese? I grew up on the stuff and was absolutely obsessed!. In fact, when I was a ‘young adult’, I used to buy it and make it only for myself and eat it in one sitting. But as I got older, I realized how not great that was for me lol. So I set out to make the closest thing I could to the boxed mac and cheese without having to use processed cheese (I know, it’s nearly impossible to get an identical match without the use of it, but this is pretty darn close.)
The Cheese Sauce
Doesn’t, “Cheese Sauce” just sound mouthwatering?! To create this delectably smooth cheese sauce, you need to saute the grated onion and butter together. You can definitely use powdered onion if you’re in a rush, but I promise you, this extra step is worth the extra few minutes. It gives this nice ‘bite’ to it, which totally elevates this creamy mac and cheese to a whole other level. And why nutmeg? Just a dash of it will bring so much warmth to it. I actually use nutmeg in my Quick Alfredo Sauce recipe too.
When you add in your milk and cheese, make sure you’re whisking it over low heat until the cheese has completely melted. You don’t want lumpy mac and cheese. This recipe is called, “Creamy Mac and Cheese” after all haha!
Aside from the very important step of whisking the sauce till creamy and smooth, the next important step is making sure to save at least a cup of the salted and cooked pasta water. This is absolutely crucial if you’re not serving your creamy mac and cheese right away.
Let’s say, from experience, you’re about ready to serve this up with some yummy baked chicken drumsticks. But then you hear yelling from the other room and the kids are fighting over a toy, your little one needs a diaper change STAT, and your dog just threw up on your rug. When you go to serve what was once a creamy mac and cheese, has now turned into an immovable mac and cheese. The cheese has thickened up and now is hard to stir and separate. DO. NOT. PANIC. This is where your liquid gold comes in clutch! Adding a quarter cup at a time over low heat to your creamy stove-top macaroni and cheese, will bring your pasta back to life, and all is well in the world again.
Watch Me Make It!
If you want to watch me make this, check out my Home Alone Inspired Movie Night video on my YouTube channel. I feel like this is the closest thing you can get to Kevin McCallister’s, “highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese”.
Sneak in those veggies!
You can easily make this creamy mac and cheese into a full dinner bowl for your family! Add in some cubed grilled chicken and broccoli florets for a well-rounded meal. Or if you’re looking for a way to sneak in some veggies for your kiddos, add in some grated carrots and zucchini when you add the cheese sauce to your cooked pasta!
Want some other great meal ideas? Check these out next!
- Baked Creme Brulee French Toast
- Easy Shrimp Scampi with Linguine
- Albondigas Mexican Meatball Soup
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken
Pin it for later!
If you end up trying this Creamy Stove-Top Macaroni & Cheese recipe, leave me a comment down below, and let me know what you served it with!
Creamy Stove-top Macaroni & Cheese
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp onion grated with juices
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 pound elbow pasta
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 2 cups grated cheese whole block not pre-shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to pasta. Save 1 cup of the pasta water before draining*
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Grate the onion over the pot and add seasonings. Saute for 2 minutes. Add in the milk and heavy cream and bring to a simmer, allowing to thicken for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat and add in all the cheese, stirring frequently until cheese has melted.
- Add in your cooked pasta and stir until fully combined, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.