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a spoonful of easy Velveeta mac and cheese
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5 from 7 votes

Easy Mac and Cheese Recipe Stovetop

This super creamy Easy Mac and Cheese recipe is made on the stovetop in one pot! You don't need an extra pot to boil the noodles, hallelujah. The recipe is SO cheesy and flavorful. It's got the nostalgic texture of the blue-box mac and cheese, except it's a lot richer. It's done in 30 minutes. It's the recipe you need for a busy weeknight!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 1356kcal
Author: Karen


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 pound dry elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces American cheese or Velveeta
  • 3-4 cups sharp cheddar cheese about 18 ounces, shredded
  • 1/2 cup additional milk as needed


  • Make the roux/boil the pasta. In a 3-quart saucepan or a 12-inch high sided skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Use a whisk to stir in 2 tablespoons flour to form a loose roux.
  • Moving very slowly at first, and whisking constantly to not break the roux, very gradually add in 3 cups water, 2 cups milk, and 1 can evaporated milk. When you first start adding the liquid, stop every little bit to whisk it and smooth it out before adding more.
  •  Add in 1 pound dry elbow macaroni. Turn the heat up to medium high. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring every minute or so to make sure the noodles don't stick. After a few minutes, you will see slow bubbles coming up from the center of the pan (not just the edges). Turn the heat back down to medium low. Continue cooking and stirring on medium low for about 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Be sure to stir every 1-2 minutes so that your pasta doesn't stick, and so the sauce remains creamy.
  • Do not drain! Turn your heat to low.
  • Meanwhile, get your cheese ready. Chop your American or Velveeta cheese into 1-inch chunks for easier melting. Shred 3-4 packed cups of sharp cheddar cheese. (I do not recommend pre-shredded cheddar because it does not melt smoothly and you will end up with slightly grainy mac and cheese. But sometimes convenience beats perfection, I get it. Do what you gotta do.)
  • Turn the heat to low as soon as your pasta is al dente. Add in about 1/3 of the cheese. Stir it well and make sure all the cheese melts before adding another bunch of cheese. Adding in batches ensures that the mac and cheese doesn't get lumpy or grainy.
  • Serve immediately. If you have to wait a period of time before serving, add in about a half cup of milk and stir it over low heat to loosen it up a bit. The mac and cheese will thicken as it cools.
  • Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove on low. Add in a little milk and stir as it heats up, to make it creamy again.


Calories: 1356kcal | Carbohydrates: 107g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 75g | Saturated Fat: 44g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 258mg | Sodium: 1795mg | Potassium: 2061mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 2335IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 2208mg | Iron: 2mg