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Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese: A Comforting Classic without the Roux or Egg

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Macaroni and cheese, a beloved comfort food cherished by all ages, gets a creamy makeover in this stovetop version that requires no roux or eggs. Say goodbye to the fuss of making a roux or worrying about tempering eggs—this recipe delivers a velvety, cheesy sauce that coats each noodle in pure bliss. Whether you’re craving a comforting weeknight dinner or preparing for a cozy gathering, this creamy stovetop mac & cheese is sure to become a household favorite. Let’s dive into the ingredients and steps to create this indulgent dish!

Ingredients

  • Produce:
    • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • Canned Goods:
    • 1 tsp Adobo
    • 2 tsp Chicken bouillon
  • Condiments:
    • 1 tsp Mustard, ground
  • Pasta & Grains:
    • 1 1/2 box Macaroni noodles
  • Baking & Spices:
    • 2 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp White pepper
  • Dairy:
    • 4 tbsp Butter, salted
    • 16 oz Cheddar, sharp
    • 16 oz Colby jack cheese
    • 4 oz Cream cheese
    • 8 oz Gouda
    • 6 cups Heavy cream
    • 8 oz Mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the Macaroni: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni noodles and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the noodles and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Cheese Sauce: In the same pot used to cook the noodles, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion powder, adobo seasoning, chicken bouillon, and ground mustard. Stir until the seasonings are fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the Cream Cheese: Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and add them to the pot with the seasoned butter. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated into the mixture.
  4. Incorporate the Heavy Cream: Gradually pour in the heavy cream, stirring continuously to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
  5. Add the Cheeses: Gradually add the sharp cheddar, Colby jack, Gouda, and mozzarella cheeses to the pot, stirring until each addition is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  6. Season and Finish: Season the cheese sauce with salt and white pepper to taste. Continue to cook the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with additional heavy cream.
  7. Combine with Noodles: Once the cheese sauce is ready, add the cooked macaroni noodles to the pot. Stir until the noodles are evenly coated with the creamy cheese sauce.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Transfer the stovetop mac & cheese to a serving dish or individual bowls. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or additional shredded cheese, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Bake for a Crispy Topping: For an extra layer of texture and flavor, transfer the mac & cheese to a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs or crushed crackers, and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown and bubbly.
  • Add Bacon or Ham: Enhance the flavor of the mac & cheese by adding crispy bacon pieces or diced ham to the cheese sauce before combining it with the noodles.
  • Experiment with Cheese: Feel free to customize the cheese blend to your preference. Try incorporating different cheeses such as gruyere, fontina, or pepper jack for unique flavor profiles.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

  • Keto Version: To make a keto-friendly version of stovetop mac & cheese, replace the macaroni noodles with cooked cauliflower florets or zucchini noodles. Use heavy cream and full-fat cheeses to keep the dish keto-friendly.
  • Low-Carb Version: For a lower-carb option, reduce the amount of pasta used in the recipe and increase the proportion of cheese and heavy cream. You can also add vegetables such as broccoli or spinach to bulk up the dish while keeping the carb count low.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe? A: While pre-shredded cheese can be convenient, it may contain anti-caking agents that can affect the texture of the sauce. For the creamiest results, I recommend shredding the cheese from a block yourself.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the cheese sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce gently on the stovetop and toss with freshly cooked noodles.

Q: Can I freeze leftover mac & cheese? A: While mac & cheese can be frozen, the texture may change slightly upon thawing. To freeze, transfer the cooled mac & cheese to a freezer-safe container and store for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: Can I make this recipe gluten-free? A: Yes, you can use gluten-free macaroni noodles to make this recipe gluten-free. Be sure to check the labels on all other ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free as well.

Q: Can I add vegetables to the mac & cheese? A: Absolutely! Feel free to add diced vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, or broccoli to the cheese sauce for added flavor and nutrition.

Creamy stovetop mac & cheese is the ultimate comfort food that never fails to satisfy. With its rich and velvety cheese sauce enveloping tender macaroni noodles, this dish is a crowd-pleaser for all occasions. Whether enjoyed as a hearty dinner or a comforting side dish, this recipe delivers pure cheesy bliss in every bite. So grab your ingredients and get ready to indulge in the creamy goodness of homemade mac & cheese—it’s sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire!

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