Extra Creamy Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese (Boiled in Milk)

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Macaroni and Cheese- , creamy and cheesy stove-top recipe made in one pot!

If you love rich and creamy Macaroni and Cheese then this homemade stovetop recipe is for you!!  When I saw this delicious concoction over at Plain Chicken, I knew I had to give it a try!  It’s very simple and although it takes a little time, it’s totally worth it! I really think it is the best macaroni and cheese recipe I’ve tried!

I used cheddar but feel free to play with the cheeses for different flavors or to use up what you have on hand!



This recipe is really easy to make yet we had a few comments that it was not coming out creamy like the photograph.  I work hard to make sure that every recipe on this site works well and comes out tasty and as expected.

I went ahead an made 3 batches of this recipe with different cheeses to try to see what the problem was.  As you can see from the photo below, I think I’ve figured it out!  When the macaroni is done cooking in the milk, you do not want it dry.  You may need to add more milk to the pot if it is mostly evaporated.  The macaroni noodles should be as moist as the photo above BEFORE you add in the cheese.  Once you add the cheese, remove it from the stove and stir until the cheese has melted (boiled cheese will take on a grainy texture).  I hope this helps you enjoy this delicious dish!

1. I used preshredded cheddar blend & added extra milk after noodles had cooked, delicious & creamy.

2. Shredded cheddar myself & added extra milk after noodles had cooked, delicious & creamy.

3. Shredded cheddar myself & DID NOT add extra milk.


Delicious Mac & Cheese on the stove top... here is some troubleshooting solutions!

Things You’ll Need For This Recipe:

*Macaroni Noodles  *Saucepan

Macaroni and Cheese- , creamy and cheesy stove-top recipe made in one pot!
4.43 from 7 votes
Review Recipe


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
If you love rich and creamy Macaroni and Cheese then this homemade stovetop recipe is for you!!


  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

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  1. In a saucepan combine milk, garlic powder, butter and water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add in macaroni noodles, reduce heat to low.
  3. Continue to simmer stirring frequently until noodles are cooked (about 20 minutes).
  4. Watch to make sure the liquid doesn’t completely evaporate. You can add extra milk 1/4 cup at a time if the liquid is low.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, ensure the noodles are not dry. They should be as moist as the photo above.
  6. Stir in remaining ingredients and cover for 3 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 360, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 228mg, Potassium: 154mg, Carbohydrates: 40g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 14g, Vitamin A: 9.4%, Calcium: 22.2%, Iron: 4.9%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword macaroni and cheese

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*Ultra Creamy Mac ‘n Cheese in the Slow Cooker  *Cheeseburger Macaroni *Chili Mac Skillet

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Made this tonight and we all loved it…I would like to take it for Thanksgiving for my kids but would need to have it in a crockpot…any thoughts as to how I could cook it in the crockpot???

  2. I will never use a roux again!  Great recipe EXCEPT….I used a whole box of corkscrew Mac and it needed way more than 3 cups of liquid.  Next time, I will do 2 3/4 cups of milk and 1 cup of chicken broth.  I also added more grated cheese after I mixed the cheese in and I browned it in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Yum Yum!

  3. Hello Holly,

    This is a good recipe. I followed the instructions and it came out exactly as you described it. I just need to keep an eye on the pot and keep stiring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pot nor the milk envaporates. I added different spices such as dry mustard and cayenne pepper for the kick. It was delcicous. I will use this recipe again.

    Thank You!

  4. Two observations:
    1) I think the reason some readers find it bland is because there is no salt. Pasta is typically cooked in rather heavily salted water. I would add some salt to the initial milk mixture.
    2) I believe that perhaps the reason you have better results when adding a bit of extra milk after cooking the pasta is because that extra milk cools the pasta down before adding the cheese. Just a thought.
    All that being said, the technique works well.

  5. I made the macaroni and cheese, and it turned out very grainy. I added the extra milk before adding the cheese, and I don’t know what went wrong! Do you have any ideas why?

    1. There are troubleshooting notes on the site that may help you find out what went wrong. I hope they help!

  6. I plan on making this tonight. I noticed there is no salt in the recipe…my culinary mind tells me there should be for the pasta to have flavor. What is the reason for no salt?

    1. I think it will be a little stringy with mozzarella, but in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with any cheese!

  7. This is a lovely approach! I made it with extra sauce, and tossed 3 of the kids little lunch packs of cheddar bunnies in with the cooked pasta. Then three little lunch packs of cheddar bunnies crumbled on the top. Then baked it in a deep dish @ 300 for 30 minutes. Perfect! And I used stale lunch snacks and milk close to due date…thrifty joy!

  8. Made this for thanksgiving and absolutely loved it! Used white cheddar and pepper jack cheese and everyone raved about it. Very delicious and I don’t think I’ll ever make another Mac n cheese recipie! Thanks for sharing!

  9. This looks amazing and exactly what my daughters and I are looking for, however, they are wanting the browned top of baked macaroni.. do you think if I were to make this then spread in a pan and add shredded cheese on top, it would hold up in the oven while being browned?

  10. I made this tonight.
    I just eye-balled the amount of milk because i was just doing a single portion.
    It was delicious! I used milk mixed with water because i did not have a lot.
    Instead of cream cheese, (didnt have any) i used a teaspoon of sour cream.
    i added mustard powder to the sauce.
    It was very creamy.
    I had no problems with the recipes.
    My boyfriend and i like it better than the old “roux” kind of mac n cheese

  11. I’m made this tonight, after seeing the recipe posted. Craving Canadian Mac n cheese, I was hopeful for this. I used Red Leicester cheese which is quite flavoursome, but not as punchy as cheddar. My batch also went curdly, I used full fat milk (uk blue top) so I’m thinking my milk was too hot? It was a bit bland for us as well, but I think it was my cheese choice. It’s my mission now to get this correct.

    1. I used whole milk to make this and had no issue. What I did was bring my milk to a boil, added my noodles then brought it back to a boil. Once it was boiling again, I turned the heat down to low and covered my pot to let it simmer for 20 minutes. The milk sauce it created was thick and creamy. :)

    2. A bit of ground mustard would significantly enhance the flavor of the cheese and take it from bland to sharper flavor. I also add salt as the pasta is cooking for fuller flavor.

  12. Can you sub anything in for the cream cheese, we don’t happen to have that on hand and were wanting to make Mac and cheese for a BBQ.

  13. I plan on making this for dinner tonight. Does it matter if I use sharp or mild cheddar or is it just personal preference?

  14. For those of you who want to use GF pasta, it works very well. I just made this with brown rice pasta and it was delish. I used 2 3/4 C of skim milk and a little less than 2 T of cream cheese. I probably would have been ok with just 2 1/2 C of milk. The pre shredded cheddar mix was good, but, I think Sharp cheddar or another cheese added in would have been better.

    The only problem I had was that the milk scalded the bottom of the pan, so, I had to pick out the scalded pieces. Otherwise it was really good! Very creamy!!

  15. Amazing… Who would have thought about cooking noodles-macaroni-pasta-spaghetti with milk? What a wonderful concept. And here I am thinking of myself as educated. :)

  16. Best Mac recipe I’ve tried. I trippled the recipe, subbed in 2/3rd sharp white cheddar and 1/3 greyere n Pinch of salt, so creamy! Great recipe, fed 5 and everyone loved it. Thank you again for this recipe.

  17. I was looking for a quick and easy creamy mac and cheese. I had all the ingredients in my house already and didn’t have to run out to the store which was even better. The mac and cheese came out delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  18. This recipe sounds so amazing, I’m even thinking of making it for Thanksgiving! :) Can you tell me how many servings this makes?

  19. I am going to be the Debbie Downer here – sorry. First, my milk (1% – an I used 3 cups and omitted the water) boiled down and noodles were soft on a medium low heat after 10 minutes. Although creamy, it didn’t taste cheese enough so I tossed in a whole other cup of cheese – and yet it lacked flavor for me. I don’t know, it just was pretty bland for my taste. Maybe I need to jazz it up with some additional spices or something because although it was rich and creamy – it was a rich and creamy ‘nothingness’. Great base recipe to start with – I shall tweak to my liking :)

  20. I’m so disappointed!! This looks so great and I have been craving home made Mac and Chesse. I’m not sure what I did wrong but my cheese turned into a clumpy, chewy mess! :( Any ideas why?

    1. Hi Chrissy! Thank you so much for your feedback. You are not the first to let me know that you had trouble with this recipe so I knew I had to take another look at it.

      I remade the recipe 3 different ways today and have added the troubleshooting to the page. Hopefully this helps!

      A couple things to note, I used regular macaroni noodles (not whole wheat/gluten free etc). Pre-shredded cheese worked just as well for me.

    1. I have never cooked with gluten free noodles so I’m not sure if it would work or not! If you give it a try, please let us know what you think!! :)

  21. This was one of the best and easiest recipes I’ve found…Wondering what the nutrional content per service of this recipe is?


  22. I just made this and the sauce is delicious! However, my sauce came out thin and not very creamy. I added about 1/2-1 cup more of shredded cheddar, hoping it would thicken up. It stayed the same thin consistency. Any ideas why? I did use almond milk instead of cows milk. Would that make a difference? This is still an amazing recipe that I’d like to try again. Maybe with different milk to see if that had anything to do with the consistency. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Ashley! How much milk did you add? Was there a lot of milk left in the bottom of the pot once the pasta was cooked? Did you use standard macaroni (not gluten free etc)?

      I haven’t tried it with almond milk, so I can’t say for sure if that was what caused your sauce to be thinner.

      1. There was a bit of milk left over after boiling, and I used whole wheat macaroni. After sitting overnight, the sauce thickened up beautifully! Since I added the extra cheese to try and make it thicker, it was a bit rich for my taste so I went ahead and cooked up some more macaroni noodles and added them in. It is now perfect! Thanks again for the recipe, and the feedback!

        1. Yummy! I’m so glad it worked out for you! I wonder if the whole wheat macaroni didn’t absorb as much of the milk? Either way, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing with us!

  23. I made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! Made it exactly as directions stated. Used 2% milk and no curdling. This is a keeper!

    1. Hmm. I’m not sure why that happened, mine has never curdled before. I generally use 2% milk. Did you simmer it on low heat?

      1. I thought maybe it was too hot? But it didnt curdle until I added thecshredded cheddar. Perhaps I’ll try simmering it a little more gently.

        1. Did you just use regular cheddar cheese (or light?)? I did a little bit of reading online and found that it could be the type of cheese or too high a temperature when the cheese was added.

          If you do try it again, I’d suggest to grate the cheese as finely as possible and be sure to remove from the heat once you add the additional ingredients. I hope this helps!

  24. The picture looks so good, but I was wondering if the recipe would be the same if I used already cooked noodles instead?

    1. Hmm… I think it’s the starch from the noodles that makes it rich and creamy. If you did use already cooked noodles it may not thicken up and I’d worry that the noodles would get mushy.

  25. Mmmmm, this was so good! I’ve been craving mac ‘n’ cheese but without all the chemicals and having a hard time finding a good recipe. This is definately the new favorite!