Creamy stovetop mac and cheese is rich, flavorful, and filled with gruyere and cheddar cheeses. Use macaroni or shells to create this homemade comfort food side dish.
Creamy stovetop mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food side dish. It’s rich, cheesy, and filled with flavor. My mac and cheese recipe is filled with sharp cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese for maximum cheese flavor.
You’ll love this macaroni and cheese because it’s made on the stovetop only, so it comes together quickly. The sauce is creamy and smooth, not grainy or stringy. Once you try it, this will be your new go-to recipe.
Ingredients and substitutions
Macaroni can be substituted with shells or any other medium sized dried pasta.
This recipe can be made with all gruyere or all sharp cheddar cheese, but I enjoy the flavor from blending the two cheeses together.
I use and recommend whole milk for this recipe, but any milk you have on hand will work. Keep in mind that a lower fat % of milk (like 1% or skim) will make a thinner cheese sauce.
Freshly shredded cheese
The ingredient that I feel is most important in achieving a creamy and smooth macaroni and cheese is, of course, the cheese! Many pre-shredded bags of cheese are dusted with powder to prevent the cheese from clumping together.
Unfortunately, when you use this type of cheese to melt into a sauce, it can get grainy from the powder. Instead, I recommend grating your own cheese.
So, grab a block of cheddar and a block of gruyere and grate them down. I like to use the large grate on a box grater because it takes less time to grate and melts just as easily. Or, if you have a food processor with the correct attachment, grating a block of cheese can be done in seconds.
Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces macaroni uncooked
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 6 ounces gruyere cheese freshly shredded
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine, creating a paste. Cook for 1 minute. Add milk, salt, pepper, paprika, and ground mustard, and whisk constantly to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until mixture thickens slightly.
- Reduce heat to low. Add shredded cheeses and stir until cheese is melted and fully incorporated.
- Add drained macaroni and stir to combine. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Recipe can be made with all shredded cheddar, or all gruyere cheese if preferred.
- Cheese sauce too thick? Add a splash of milk.
- Recipe can be made with macaroni, shells, or your favorite medium sized pasta.
More mac and cheese recipes
- Loaded Mac and Cheese – with bacon!
- Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Stovetop Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese