Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese

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Macaroni and Cheese-- that universal comfort food for kids and adults alike.  The problem is I think too many people are easily tempted to buy the stuff in the blue box for obvious convenience reasons.  Take a few extra simple steps and create a meal that you can really call comfort food.  

This is my quick version of macaroni and cheese that is easily done on the stove top.  It is so creamy and so cheesy that you won't want to buy the box stuff again.  Make sure you buy a good quality cheese (I like Cabot Vermont Extra Sharp White Cheddar) and grate it yourself.  It really does make all the difference.  The pre-grated cheese has stabilizers in it and it just doesn't melt as nicely.  

Enjoy it as a side to your dinner, as a meal buy itself with a simple salad (we enjoy our mac-n-cheese with buttered bread crumbs and slow cooked tomatoes), or pack it in a thermos for those school lunches.  It is a real crowd pleaser!  So, give it try.

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese
serves 4-6 as a main dish 
*recipe can easily be doubled 

1/2 pound elbow macaroni (or pasta of your choice)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 extra large egg yolk
6 oz (about 3/4 cup) evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 ounces good sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
freshly ground black pepper
ground cayenne pepper (optional)

In large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions.  Drain the pasta thoroughly.  Return the pot to the stove and over medium heat melt the butter.  In a separate bowl whisk together the yolk, evaporated milk and salt.  Reduce the heat to low.  Pour the mixture into the pot and stir.  Add the cheese and continue to stir until it has completely melted.  Add the drained pasta and stir to combine.  Continue to cook over low heat until good and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.    
Spoon into a bowl and season with freshly ground black pepper or cayenne pepper if using.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Alton Brown, Food Network


  1. Mmmmmmm! Looks delish :P love that you can do it on the stovetop with out so much fuss...will definitely be trying this one! -Rachel

  2. looks amazing! I am definitely a fan of the creamy sauce vs. the baked mac and cheese. I've used an egg yolk before, but I think I might have to try :)

  3. Rachel-
    Definitely not much fuss and so good!
    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Rachel-
    I do enjoy the baked mac version, but you can get equally great results with this stove-top recipe. I do hope you give it a try.

  5. This recipe definitely needs to be on everyone's rotation! How simple, but it looks so delicious. Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing your recipe. The farm families who own Cabot appreciate your recommendation!

  6. Jacquelyn-
    Thanks for stopping by! I do hope you try the mac-n-cheese. When it comes to food, I try to recommend the highest quality ingredients because it really does make a difference. And as for Cabot, I just can't say enough. We love it!! In fact, I just picked up 2 lbs of the Vintage Choice Extra Sharp Cheddar (our favorite) from our local warehouse retail chain.

  7. Mac~n~cheese is a weekly staple in our home and thanks for sharing such a delicious, healthier, and EASY recipe. My 3 yr old thanks you and so do I!!!

  8. Mac-n-cheese is one of my all time favorite comfort foods, so I was super excited to try this recipe out. Boy am I glad I didn't wait too long to try it! This is by far the best mac-n-cheese my mouth has ever tasted! It is creamy and fulfilling with each and every bit. Thank you for sharing this gem of a recipe!

  9. I brought this mac and cheese as my dish to pass to our extended family's Christmas dinner. It was gobbled up with no leftovers. Good thing I doubled the recipe! I used Barilla's Cellentani noodles (corkscrew), which really held onto the sauce. What an easy, crowd-pleasing dish; kid-friendly but gourmet enough to please adults with finer palettes. I'll definitely make it again!

  10. AnonymousMay 07, 2011

    This is my first experience in †he world of mac and cheese cooking, and mine tasted kind of weird >_< I think it might be because I couldn't find the cheese you recommended at my grocery store so I settled for regular sharp orange cheddar. I'm not a cheese connoisseur or anything so I thought that would be fine...
    Anyway, where can you find your cheese? (:

  11. Anon-
    I buy the Cabot at my local warehouse retail chain, Sam's Club. I can also find good aged white cheddar in the gourmet cheese section of my local grocery store. Here is a link to the store finder from Cabot http://www.cabotcheese.coop/store-finder/ that will help you find cheese near you.

  12. I attempted to make macaroni and cheese with a recipe similar to this last night, with evaporated milk and cheddar cheese, but the cheese completely curdled while cooking on the stovetop. Do you know why this is?
    P.S. I came across your blog yesterday and have been reading through it this morning. Can't wait to try some of your recipes!

  13. JennetteQ-
    I don't have a strong answer on why the cheese would have curdled, but I have a some possibilities. The temperature could have been too high which would cause not only the cheese to break, but the egg (if your recipe used one) to curdle as well. Also, using pre-grated cheese has stabilizers in it to prevent it from melting properly. Low heat and freshly grated cheese should make for one creamy bowl. Glad you found my blog and thanks for stopping by!


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