Wednesday, March 13, 2019


Leaving this post up another day...

OK, sorry for delay.  At long last here is the stove top mac and cheese recipe we use.  It's not entirely ours, we found it online a while ago (Martha Stewart?) but we have tweaked it and adjusted over time.  It's a permanent addition to our recipe box now!

Cheese for mac and cheese
It takes three kinds of cheese.  Nothing like the ones that have five or six or even eight kinds and you have to break the bank buying exotic cheeses.  This comes out just like old fashioned simple creamy mac and cheese.  This is American yellow cheese (from the deli, not Velveeta), Parmesan and sharp cheddar.

Mac and cheese ingredients
Here are the other ingredients (amounts listed at end of post).  Mustard powder, milk, 1 lb dried pasta, butter, and flour, along with the cheeses shredded up (to make them melt easier and quicker).

Here is where I missed a photo (and the reason I had held off on posting but darn if I didn't forget again the last time we made it, ha). 

(next time we make this, I'll take a picture of this step and add it to this spot in the post)

Over medium heat, add butter and let it melt.  As soon as it starts to foam, add flour and whisk it until slightly darkened (about 2 minutes).  Add the mustard powder and whisk again to combine.

Slowly whisk in warmed milk.  You can warm the milk in the microwave for about 2 or 3 minutes.  It helps it come to temperature in the pan much quicker.

Heat the milk to boiling and then reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring often until it is thick enough to coat a spoon.  This takes about 4 minutes.

Boiling pasta
Boil the pasta according to package directions and after it is done, drain and set aside but keep about one cup of pasta water in case you need to thin it down when it is all done.

*you should always do this with any pasta sauce to give you a back up way to thin sauces that are too thick.  An easy way to add some starchy thickening.  

Adding American cheese
Turn the heat down to low/simmer and add the cheese in batches.  First up, the American cheese.  Stir until melted into sauce...

Adding sharp cheddar
Add the sharp cheddar next and stir until melted and incorporated as well...

Adding Parmesan
Lastly, add the Parmesan and stir it until melted...

Add the cooked and drained pasta and stir...

Add salt and pepper to taste.  At this point you could also modify it any way you desire, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, etc.  Whatever flavors you like.  We keep ours just old school mac and cheese. 

Old fashioned stove top mac and cheese
Stir to combine it all.  If it seems too thick, you can add a bit of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up. This also works if it has to sit for a bit while other food is prepared.

Macaroni and cheese
Here it is on the plate.  It's just so creamy and tastes like a good old fashioned macaroni and cheese.


  • 1 lb pasta 
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) American cheese (chopped)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) sharp cheddar (grated)
  • Salt/pepper/other spices to taste
See step by step instructions in photos above.



  1. Ha; how about that, it's the same recipe that I use only I do add some fresh bacon bits or diced ham or Spam to the mixture.

    1. Oh that sounds wonderful. Bacon AND cheese you can't go wrong with that.

  2. a make a very similar one too. i usually add poblanos to mine.

    1. Oh I love poblanos! That would be good. Thanks!

  3. Very close to my recipe too. I make the white sauce in the microwave and then stir in the cheese once it thickens. Mix pasta and sauce in a casserole and then heat through one more time in microwave with sprinkle of bread crumbs and cheese on top. I like the idea of three cheeses. Never have tried that.
    Hey, are you watching the Democrat candidates? Have you heard of Pete Buttigieg? You should check him out.

    1. Awesome idea for the microwave sauce first. Oh and breadcrumbs would be nice.

      Mayor Pete! Yes, wow he is crazy intelligent isn't he? And is a refreshing candidate, he actually answers questions at townhall type settings instead of pivoting to another topic. He comes across as a regular guy who just happens to be married to a guy. Who would have thought we'd have a candidate like that running? It's nice to see. Thanks for mentioning him!!

  4. Yum! I like every one of those cheeses, so combined they’ll be great! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. They really work well together, still very cheddar-y but with layers of flavor.

  5. Oh my gosh, that looks like heaven. Real comfort food!

    1. I think mac and cheese is the very definition of comfort food huh?

  6. Long time since I have had mac and cheese. This looks yummy!
    I shall have to look for a substitute for American cheese.

    1. Hmm, it's an important ingredient because of the way it melts, it is a processed cheese. Not sure what would be a good substitute. Maybe just extra of the other two, ha.

  7. Very similar to my recipe originally from Good Housekeeping cookbook. I now add smoked gruyere. I also saute panko bread crumbs in a little (okay, a lot of) butter & stick under the broiler for a few mins.

    1. Oooh smoked gruyere would be good too. And bread crumbs and butter, um, YES! ;-)

  8. I made the recipe with all of those cheeses one time. It was tasty, but very, very expensive!

    1. I think we spent about about $15 the first time we made it and then we were able to find some cheese varieties where we spend about $10 each time now. I see someone below commented and gave some similar advice. Shop around you should be able to get the cost down.

  9. Hello! I love this recipe, thank you. I used a similar one a few years ago and lost it. This looks better. Someone above mentioned the expense, I worked in a deli for a few years. Just shop around, don't get "Boars Head" or an expensive brand. Since it is melting, you don't need the best you can find, you need the flavor profile. You can get sharp cheddar for about $6/lb, so 8 oz would be about $3, the American cheese is about $7/pound so another $3.50 or so and the parmesan is most expensive but a cup shredded you'd be at about $5, maybe $6. All total about $12 or so. Not too bad. As I said, stick to the regular brands at the deli and you'll save a lot. Hope that helps.

    Brian V

    1. We had just commented to the person above something similar though we don't have deli experience ha. Thanks for the info, it has indeed helped. Thanks for stopping by and come back with more good advice.

  10. Oh

    Thank you for this. I know what a side dish will be having this weekend.


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