Best Stovetop Mac and Cheese

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What are the keys to the best stovetop mac and cheese? A little spice, perfectly cooked pasta and lots of cheese!

What are the keys to the best stovetop mac and cheese? A little spice, perfectly cooked pasta, and lots of cheese!

Flavor: There are two small additions to mac and cheese that provide a lot of flavor and a little something extra. What are they? Garlic powder and mustard powder. We just use a touch of both, so neither of them are very strong or powerful in the overall dish but they help add a little bit more depth to the flavor of this mac and cheese. Don’t skip them!

Perfectly Cooked Pasta: This is important because no one likes mushy pasta. Set a timer so that you’re sure to cook it until it’s just right. We know you know this, but it’s worth repeating.

Cheese: Ahhhh. The most important component. A common question is, “Should I use shredded or block cheese?” Many recipes online will tell you that you absolutely have to use freshly shredded cheese. So we tried both shredded and block and guess what? Both turn out well. But we do have a tip if you are using pre-shredded cheese: make sure that it is fresh and preferably from an un-opened bag. When we used pre-shredded cheese that had been open for a while, the cheese didn’t melt as creamy as you want it to be.  And as for the variety of cheese, we love using a sharp cheddar for the perfect balance of flavor and meltability.

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Best Stovetop Mac and Cheese

What are the keys to the best stovetop mac and cheese? A little spice, perfectly cooked pasta and lots of cheese!

  • Author: Emily Dingmann
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. mustard powder
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni noodles to al dente, according to package instructions.
  2. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. Add half & half, garlic powder, salt and mustard powder to pan. Whisk together and bring to a boil. Stir in cheese, and once it starts to melt a bit, add pasta. Stir until cheese has melted.
  4. Serve immediately.