I have been trying to perfect an easy stovetop Mac and cheese recipe for a while now, and friends I finally did it!
This one has only four simple ingredients and has that cheesy ooey gooey creaminess that we all crave in Mac and cheese.
It takes just a bit longer than a box Mac and cheese, but it’s just as simple as long as you’re patient on the timing.
I pinky promise you it is well worth the wait!
How to make stove top Mac and cheese
First boil a pound of shortcut pasta according to the package directions.
I went with traditional elbow macaroni, but you could do penne, cavatappi, or even shells.
Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain and rinse very well with cold water to prevent it from becoming mushy.
Then set the same large pasta pot over high heat and add a quart of heavy cream, kosher salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
This is very likely to bubble up so watch carefully, and if it does bubble simply remove from the heat for a moment then reduce the heat to medium low.
The cream will simmer for about 30 minutes.
While it is simmering grate 12 ounces of Colby Jack cheese with a box grater.
Also remember to stir the cream a few times throughout.
After 30 minutes the cream will have reduced by half creating a thick sauce for the macaroni and cheese.
To the pot with the cream add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the shredded Colby Jack cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and cooked macaroni noodles.
Stir until the macaroni and cheese becomes nice and melty and all combined together.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of pasta water if you prefer a creamier mac and cheese.
I added a little extra cheese over top of the stove top Mac and cheese when serving!
Cheesy, creamy, comfort food goodness all in one dish for the best Mac and cheese of all time!
If you are bringing this to a holiday or special occasion simply transfer to a casserole dish and warm before serving.
And let me warn you… if you have leftovers it’s even more amazing the next day 🙂
If you like stovetop Mac and cheese, you might also like…
Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Stovetop Mac and Cheese has just a few simple ingredients to make the cheesiest, creamiest mac and cheese without using a roux!
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 quart heavy cream
- kosher salt, pepper
- 12 oz block Colby jack cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Boil the elbow macaroni in a large pot in salted water according to package directions. Save a half cup of the starchy pasta water and set aside. Pour the macaroni into a pasta strainer and rinse very well with cold water so it doesn't become mushy.
Set the same large pot over high heat and add the quart of heavy cream, kosher salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, watching carefully as it will bubble up (if bubbles too much remove from heat for a moment).
Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and cook 30 minutes, stirring several times and scraping the sides a few times.
Use a box grater to shred the cheese. Once the cream has cooked for 30 minutes it should be reduced by half. Add the cooked pasta, shredded Colby jack cheese and parmesan cheese, stir until melted.
Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir until combined. Taste for seasoning and add more kosher salt and pepper as needed. Add more of the reserved pasta water if you prefer a creamier mac and cheese.