Comfort food at its finest, this homemade stovetop mac and cheese is easy, creamy, and always a family favorite.

Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese

During the cold months, nothing is better than a warm bowl of pasta smothered in a cheesy sauce. And this quick stovetop recipe can be ready in under 30 minutes—perfect for a fast weeknight dinner.

Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese

I have to admit, I used to love the blue-boxed mac and cheese as a kid. This homemade recipe is definitely more of an adult version with three types of cheese. You can substitute other types of pasta, but I love using the elbow macaroni because it reminds me of the classic childhood version.

To make the macaroni and cheese, Cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese are melted into a thick milk mixture to form a creamy and cheesy pasta sauce. The best part about this mac and cheese is that no baking is required—it’s made completely on the stove.

Homemade Stovetop Mac and CheeseHomemade Stovetop Mac and CheeseHomemade Stovetop Mac and CheeseHomemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Cooking Tip:

To make a cheese sauce, you first need to start with a roux. Cook the roux over low heat and you will know it is ready when it is a light golden color and has a nutty and toasty aroma.

When you add milk, you make a béchamel sauce, which is one of the mother sauces. The roux will thicken the milk, creating a creamy sauce that will coat the back of a spoon. Melting the cheese into the thick milk mixture makes a creamy cheese sauce for the pasta.

Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese

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Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese


  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in the elbow macaroni and cook for about 7 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until the mixture looks lightly golden and has a nutty aroma, about 3-5 minutes. Whisk in the dry mustard.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the Cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add in the cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook until the pasta is heated through. Serve immediately.