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Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese

posted in Lunch, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
difficulty rating

There are three ways to make macaroni and cheese:

  1. The Box Mix - 2 minutes preparation after cooking the macaroni
  2. The Stove-Top Version - 10 Minutes preparation time
  3. Oven-Baked - 20 minutes preparation, 45 minutes baking in the oven

The box mix has been around forever and a box will indeed last forever! The intense chemical flavor which allows it sit in your cupboard for generations screams out with every bite.

The stove-top version is made from “real” ingredients and is very tasty. Plus, it’s a snap to prepare.

My favorite is actually the Oven-baked Mac & Cheese made from scratch starting off with a white sauce. It tastes fabulous and, while baking, it develops a crusty top that is to die for. Today we are going to tackle the Stove-Top Version, which as noted above, is a little quicker to prepare.

You will need eight ingredients:

  1. Butter
  2. Hot Sauce
  3. Eggs
  4. Salt
  5. Dry Mustard (found in the Spice section of the grocery store)
  6. Evaporated Milk (usually found next to Baking supplies like flour and sugar)
  7. Elbow Macaroni
  8. Mild Cheddar Cheese


Evaporated milk should NOT to be confused with sweetened condensed milk (on right in photo below), which comes in similar cans.

Let’s startcooking!

Measure out 2 cups of the dry Macaroni

Cook it according to the directions on the package.

Get all your ingredients measured while the macaroni is cooking.

  • 4 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2/3 cup (5 oz. can) evaporated milk
  • ¾ teaspoon of dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

Once the macaroni is cooked, drain it in a colander.

Melt the butter in the same pot you cooked the macaroni in.

Remove the pot from the heat and using a whisk or large spoon, mix in the evaporated milk first.

Now mix in the eggs

And the salt

Dry mustard

and the hot pepper sauce.

Put the pot back on the stove top on low heat and add the pasta to the pot.

And the cheese

Cook over low heat stirring constantly for about 4 minutes,

or until the cheese is melted

and the mac and cheese is thick and creamy.

Serve the mac and cheese immediately and…Enjoy!

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Kathy Maister said:

Hi Adam, I have just about given up on using any wooden spoons. I think these silicone spatulas are fabulous! Plus they are dishwasher safe.


adam said:

I have that exact silicone spatula!

Kathy Maister said:

Last night I made this macaroni and cheese recipe with Monterey Jack cheese instead of mild cheddar. It was fantastic!

unique said:

very nice

Valerie said:

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for all of your recipes and pictures. Do you think a co-jack cheese would substitute well for this? Does the hot sauce make it spicy; I am thinking of leaving it out


Kathy Maister said:

The co-jack should be fine. It is a milder cheese than the cheddar so I would still add the hot sauce. It does not make it hot. It just sort of lifts the flavors and makes them a bit brighter. With out it and with a milder cheese, the dish may taste “flat”. (I hope that makes sense to you!!!??)

Valerie said:

Thanks Kathy,

It turned out pretty good – but I think next time I will try it with the cheddar. Thank you again; I really enjoy your website.

Twinkle said:

Hi, Kathy aunty

Well thanks for your all receipes.

I would request you to please give some good indian and mughlai receipies.



Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Twinkle, I’ll keep that in mind. Meanwhile you might like to take a look at my Curried Rice Salad or this Mixed Bean Soup recipe!


Maytag Parts said:

I love macaroni and they way you just cooked them is fabulous! Mmm, I’ll have to convince my mom to prepare me something like this.

jennifer said:

Dear Kathy,

I am a 13 year old girl and i discovered your website. I love your website it teaches me to cook and bake. I am going to a culinary high school because of this website. Thanks keep doing what you do best!!!

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Jennifer,

I am so very pleased to have received your comment!

My love of cooking began at about your age and has continued to grow over the years. The best part of cooking is the joy of sharing with friends and family all your creations! was and is a “dream come true” for me. I do hope you find the passion in whatever you choose to do.

Best of Luck!


Amy said:

Made this for dinner tonight. It was so good and just as quick and easy as the boxed stuff.

I had to add a little more salt, but I think it was because the butter I used was unsalted. I will be using the french fried onions next time, yum! This will be my new mac and cheese recipe.

Kathy Maister said:

That’s great Amy!
If there are any leftovers, you can re-heat them in the microwave. You may have to add a few drops of milk if it seems too dry.

Natasha said:

How many grams would 2 cup of macaroni be?

Anne said:

I’m a working mom in the data entry outsourcing industry and have little time to cook for my kids. Thanks for posting this recipe. I am so proud I made them mac and cheese that didn’t come from a box.

startcooking said:

Natasha – 2 Cups of Macaroni = 231 grams
Anne – My web site is filled with basic recipes that kids love!

NIKKI said:

Hi K,

Why do you need to use eggs for this recipe? Is it necessary?

startcooking said:

Hi Nikki,
Adding the egg gives the Mac and Cheese a velvety smooth finish. If you prefer, you can skip adding the egg.

Good Eats Fan said:

This looks like Alton Browns form “Good Eats” stovetop mac and cheese. I haven’t tried it yet but your pictures make it easy to understand more clearly! Thanks!

startcooking said:


You are so right!

But, as it says on the recipe card, I actually adapted it from


Tyler said:

Sooooooo delicious! I made this once with white cheddar and Swiss cheese, once with half mozzarella and half sharp cheddar, and made it again today with all sharp cheddar (I prefer this over milk). The best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. My fave version is all cheddar. It is to DIE for.. So good. And I love how the mustard makes it taste more cheesey almost..

startcooking said:

WOW! You really do know your mac and cheese!

I too love experimenting with different cheeses. As the say…Variety is the spice of life!


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