stovetop mac & cheese in a blue bowl

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

When I’m craving Mac & Cheese, I don’t want to wait over an hour for it to bake in the oven or simmer in a crockpot. Neither does my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love those versions too, but this recipe is for Stovetop Mac & Cheese emergencies.

You know what I’m talking about. Mac & Cheese makes everything better. If you’re having a bad day…you want Mac & Cheese. Heck, there’s not a single day that a bowl of creamy Mac & Cheese can’t fix.

My mom knew about its healing powers. She was a Master of the Mac. There’s no strange orange powder, eggs or flour in her recipe…just good quality cheddar cheese with butter and cream. Instant happiness. 🙂

The secret to excellent Mac & Cheese is in the cheese of course. You must grate the cheese by hand, because the shredded version has a powdered coating which prevents it from melting properly. However, you can sprinkle shredded cheese over the top if you need extra for garnish (as I did in the pic). Either way, it’s delicious.

I don’t care how old you are, a warm bowl of creamy Mac & Cheese will melt your cares away. Try Mom’s recipe and let me know what you think!

stovetop mac & cheese in a blue bowl

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

  • Author: Debi ~ QuicheMyGrits
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Stovetop Mac & Cheese is ready in a snap when you have one of those cravings for creamy, cheesy goodness.  



  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded by hand
  • 1/2 cup half & half cream
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter


  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add pasta and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain pasta and place back in pot. 
  4. Add butter and allow to melt into pasta.  
  5. Add cheese and cream, stirring constantly over medium-low heat until melted and creamy (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add garlic salt and pepper, stir well.
  7. Mix bread crumbs with butter and broil in oven for 5 minutes on a sheet pan until golden brown.
  8. Serve mac & cheese in bowls, and sprinkle toasted bread crumbs and extra cheese on top.


Shredding the cheese by hand makes a difference in the texture and taste.

  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop

Keywords: mac & cheese, macaroni and cheese, stovetop mac and cheese, sides

Stovetop Mac & Cheese tastes great with my Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Taylor’s Collard Greens.

View this recipe and more on Meal Plan Monday!


  1. Dorris Sherman

    This sounds easy. What brand cheese do you use?

  2. Tina Harkey

    So for me I would saute’ some onion and celery cut very fine, a little beef broth, add some hamburger, a 1/2 a can of fire roasted tomatoes, some more cheese, and Vic’s garlic from the spice and tea exchange. Voila hamburger helper.

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