The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

My stovetop macaroni and cheese features a velvety cheese sauce and crispy Panko bread crumb topping. It’s the ultimate comfort food!

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The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

Ahh, macaroni and cheese…why must you be so delicious?!  If there’s one comfort food that calls my name (constantly), it’s this ultimate stovetop macaroni and cheese.  I didn’t grow up eating macaroni and cheese, it’s definitely something I grew to love as an adult.  It’s really the perfect dish for so many occasions, and best of all, it’s easy to make.  This recipe features a creamy cheese sauce that hugs the tender pasta noodles, and if you’re feeling extra scandalous, a buttered Panko bread crumb coating.  Whatever the reason,

ingredients

Serves 8-10

1 pound pipette or other elbow pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

directions

First things first, macaroni and cheese is as much about the pasta as it is about the sauce.  I love pipette pasta for this application.  It looks like macaroni but it’s wider and ridged, with one open end and one slightly cinched end.  This is perfect for a saucy recipe, since the sauce gets caught inside the pasta.

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

So, bring a large pot to a boil with plenty of water and salt, and cook your pasta to “al dente” per the instructions on the box.  Drain, then set aside.

To make the cheese sauce, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan.  Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until it’s smooth, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.  Pour in the milk while whisking, to prevent lumps.  Bring your bechamel to a bubble, and once it’s thickened, add all the cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.  Stir in the Dijon, and season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

The sauce should be thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.  Another good sign is that you can draw a line on the spoon with your finger and the line stays put.

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni and stir to coat.

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

At this point, my stovetop macaroni and cheese is ready to serve.  However…

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

…If you want to kick it up a notch, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and combine it with 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs.

Top the macaroni and cheese with this mixture, then broil at 375F for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

The crunch factor of this extra step really takes this dish over the top.  So if you have the time, go for it!

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese | Delish D'Lites

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Course Entree
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 -10
Author Delish D'Lites

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pipette or other elbow pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot to a boil with plenty of water and salt, and cook your pasta to "al dente" per the instructions on the box. Drain, then set aside.
  2. To make the cheese sauce, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan.
  3. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until it's smooth, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
  4. Pour in the milk while whisking, to prevent lumps.
  5. Bring your bechamel to a bubble, and once it's thickened, add all the cheese.
  6. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  7. Stir in the Dijon, and season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni and stir to coat.
  9. At this point you can serve, or add the Panko breadcrumb topping.

For the Panko breadcrumb topping

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and combine it with 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs.
  2. Top the macaroni and cheese with this mixture, then broil at 375F for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Serve warm.

 

The Ultimate Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

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Hola

I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.