Recipe: Stove Top (Not from the Box) Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Hey everyone! Hope everyone is doing well!

It’s been a while since I posted on food so I thought I would post about my favourite go-to dish for crazy weeknights: Stove Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese!

See, there’s background to this: See, I didn’t know that Macaroni and Cheese was a baked good until I started dating the Boy. Seriously. For my entire childhood, macaroni and cheese was sold in the bright blue boxes at the grocery store with the powdered “cheese” in those dense foil packages. It was cooked with water, butter and milk on top of our stove and with any luck, when done, it would have the consistency of a macaroni salad.

And then I met the Boy.

The Boy’s family is WASP – white, anglo-saxen and protestant. They do all those things I saw on television – like dutch apple pie and meatloaf. Things that we Portuguese-Canadians have never really interacted with. One of the things his Mom made once while I was around was macaroni and cheese.

But differently.

First she cooked the pasta. Added the cheese, did all those things I would have done. Then she put it into a baking dish, covered it in bread crumbs and … put it in the oven.

Naturally, I was very confused. But more so, I finally understood the distinction that my Boy made over “Macaroni and Cheese” (i.e. baked pasta with cheese) and “KD” (i.e. the stuff in the boxes I made).

But … it never caught on with me.

I like stove top – it’s fast, it works out well. And so, to get away from the boxes, I looked online for a stovetop recipe that was more natural (i.e. with real cheese). I found a few, and experimented and below is the recipe I use most, with great fanfare, whenever we have a lazy night.

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Stove Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese

  • 2 cups raw elbow Macaroni
  • 2 cups Milk (I have tried with coconut milk, which also works)
  • 1 tbsp Butter (preferably unsalted)
  • 1/2 tsp each of Mustard powder and Nutmeg
  • generous pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup grated Cheese of your choice (my favourite combination is cheddar and goat cheese)
  • black pepper to taste


1. Rinse elbow macaroni, drain and put into a medium sized saucepan.

2. Add the milk, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg and then your salt.

3. Turn on Medium heat. Stir, stir and keep stirring, so that the pasta doesn’t stick to itself or the bottom.

4. Once simmering, turn heat to Low, but keep an eye on it, stirring still, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook for about 15 minutes, give or take. The milk ought to be completely absorbed, and the macaroni did that thing were it fluffs up when fully cooked.

5. Stir in your grated cheeses, a little bit at a time to ensure proper coverage.

6. Turn off heat and leave pot, covered, on the burner for a couple of minutes to finish absorbing any liquid.

Serve immediately. Seriously – once it starts cooling, the cheese gets flaky, so as soon as it’s cool enough to eat – chow down!









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