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stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeI don’t love making the kid’s lunch every day. If left to their own devices, they would eat PBJ every single day. As easy as that is for me to make, I want them to have a varied lunch. They are really picky, and especially so about their school lunch. Now that it is getting colder here in the Northeast, I like to send them with a thermos of warm comfort. And just maybe because I go eat lunch with my little guy sometimes and am way impressed with the lunches that the other moms send. Seriously, these moms are rocking the school lunch. Homemade soups, roasted salmon, fancy wraps, and little Cuties made to look like pumpkins. Clay has really been into mac and cheese these days, and this stovetop recipe is really easy, and can be made before you send the littles off to school.

Mightynest sent me these cute thermals called Lunchbots to try out. I feel really silly, I did not know that you are supposed to preheat the thermos before you put hot food into it. It makes so much sense. I tested this container out, and not only does it not leak and BPA-free, but it was still warm 4 hours later. Now I look forward to sending them with soups, spaghetti and meatballs, and all kinds of warm lunches. Check down at the bottom of the post to win a great prize from Mightynest.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe

1 pound pasta (elbows, penne, rigatoni, whatever you like)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons flour
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Freshly grated nutmeg

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeI feel sort of silly, but I never knew that you were supposed to heat the thermos before you put food into it. But it makes total sense. Pour hot water into the thermos for 15 minutes to get it hot.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeCook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Warm 1 cup of milk over medium heat.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeWhisk together the remaining milk and flour until there are no lumps.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeWhen the milk begins to steam, whisk in the flour mixture. Whisk until it begins to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes. It will be the consistency of heavy cream. Gradually whisk in the cheese.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeAdd salt, pepper, dry mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeWhen the cheese has completely melted, add the pasta.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeCoat the pasta completely in cheese sauce.

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipeAdd to thermos or serve immediately. I also like to bake this mac and cheese. I put it into a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and more cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Warm 1 cup of milk over medium heat. Whisk together the remaining milk and flour until there are no lumps. When the milk begins to steam, whisk in the flour mixture. Whisk until it begins to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes. It will be the consistency of heavy cream. Gradually whisk in the cheese. Add salt, pepper, dry mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg. When the cheese has completely melted, add the pasta.
  3. Coat the pasta completely in cheese sauce. Serve immediately.
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15 Responses to Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Mac and cheese on the stove is soooo good! Love this!

  2. I’d love a Lunchbot for myself!

  3. kristin says:

    My fav school lunch was always bkfast for lunch day.

  4. Claire says:

    My lunch consists of pb&j normally. Not my favorite, but I’m lazy :-)

  5. M. says:

    I used to love a homemade ham and swiss sandwich from my Dad :)

  6. JP says:

    We are about to enter the lunch making “fun”. Thanks for the idea!

  7. Kari M says:

    Taco Tuesday was my favorite lunch at school!

  8. bit.ly says:

    […] moved here […]

  9. ADeaton says:

    I used to love the school pizza and tater tots! Yuck, can;t imagine eating it now. This Mac n cheese sounds much better!

  10. lori says:

    I loved pizza sticks in school!

  11. Jaclyn says:

    My favorite school lunch was a turkey sandwich on wheat and an apple. I’ve gotten more adventurous in my old age.

  12. Rachel Summers says:

    As great as this recipe is, I found it odd that you automatically assume that all kids’ lunches are made by moms. My husband and I alternate between making lunches, and I know plenty of stay-at-home dads who do the lunch duties. Please don’t reinforce decades-old gender stereotypes on everyone!

    • bakedbree says:

      I am sorry if you are offended, but that is quite obviously not what I was saying, especially since the post is about my husband’s lunch making.

  13. Samantha C. says:

    This is one of my boyfriend’s favorite dishes… it’s one of the few things he asks for :) I just had to share how much we love this simple dish. I think you’ve gotten the spice blend just right… even when I make other variations on mac & cheese (like “healthy” ones incorporating butternut squash), I still use the mix of spices and seasonings from this recipe. Who knew that nutmeg can make or break mac & cheese? :D

    • bakedbree says:

      Thank you! I am glad that you like it so much. Nutmeg is everything when it comes to mac and cheese. Any white sauce really.

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