Easy 30-Minute Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

My daughter, like most kids, would eat mac and cheese for every meal.

Homemade mac and cheese is her idea of pure comfort food, bliss, and happiness.

This is a basic, straight-forward, no-frills recipe the whole family will love. No breadcrumbs, no lobster, no bacon. Just classic macaroni and cheese.

It’s easy, ready in 30 minutes, and uses real cheese. No processed blocks of cheese or neon orange powder.

Nothing against those because I grew up on them, but this recipe uses a combination of extra sharp cheddar and parmesan. Grate your own cheddar rather than buying pre-grated because that cheese is resistant to melting.

Use your favorite shape of pasta. I like using medium shells but rotini or bowtie are fun, too.

I used Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk and it’s so irresistibly creamy and thick but with fewer calories than skim milk. Eating more plant-based protein is a great goal and Silk Cashewmilk or Silk Almond Milk are my milks of choice for baking and smoothies.

They’re so low in calories and fat, they’re vegan and dairy-free, and I always get impressive-tasting results. It’s the perfect match between tasty and guilt-free.

The recipe halves easily but I make it as written because I have a real mac and cheese fan. I freeze leftovers in single-serve portions and can pull them out and re-heat at a moment’s notice. I love planned leftovers.

Easy 30-Minute Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

This is a basic, straight-forward, no-frills recipe the whole family will love for classic macaroni and cheese. It’s easy, ready in 30 minutes, and uses real cheese. Grate your own cheddar rather than buying pre-grated because that cheese is resistant to melting. Use your favorite milk and shape of pasta. The recipe halves easily but I make it as written, freeze the planed leftovers in single-serve portions, and can pull them out and re-heat at a moment’s notice.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium-sized pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • scant 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk (or the milk of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry ground mustard, optional
  • 3 cups (about 12 ounces) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (grate your own because pre-grated cheese in bags doesn’t melt well)
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set pasta.
  2. To a large skillet, add the butter and heat over medium heat to melt.
  3. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown and has bubbled for about 2 minutes. Cook long enough to cook off the raw flour taste, but not so long it gets overly browned.
  4. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, making sure to smooth out any possible clumps that formed.
  5. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, optional dry mustard, and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Add the cheddar, parmesan, and whisk until melted and smooth.
  7. Add the pasta and stir to evenly coat. Depending on preference, if macaroni and cheese is on the thicker side, add a splash of water or milk to thin out to taste. I haven’t needed to do this, but it’s an option in case.
  8. Serve immediately. Recipe is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 4 months. Reheat very gently prior to serving leftovers so cheese doesn’t separate.

Adapted from Chow and Food

Only Eats

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