15 Minute Stove Top Mac and Cheese


Mac and cheese – comfort food at it’s finest and with this recipe at it’s fastest! I love how simple this recipe is. How could something so easy yield such rich, flavorful results? Who could ever make a box mix again after making it homemade?

When creating this recipe I added a few unusual ingredients because I love adding just a bit more excitement to food. The liquid smoke flavor, Dijon mustard, onion powder and garlic powder blend in so well you hardly know they are there. They just enhance the dish, not overpower it. I love the combination of Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese, they are my two favorite cheeses so of course they had to be the two cheeses I used to make this recipe. They both melt so smoothly to create a perfectly silky, decadent macaroni and cheese. Enjoy!

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15 Minute Stove Top Mac and Cheese

Rich and creamy super easy to make, deliciously cheesy mac and cheese!

Servings: 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 8 oz . elbow macaroni noodles
  • 3/4 cup milk (I'd recommend 1% or 2%, whole was too rich)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 drops hickory smoke flavor , such as Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (or 1 tsp if you like more mustard flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp salt , or to taste
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 oz . Medium or Sharp Cheddar cheese , grated
  • 3 oz . Monterrey Jack cheese , grated
  • Freshly cracked black pepper or cayenne , for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook pasta according to directions listed on package until cooked through (just past al dente), and drain.
  2. Meanwhile (in order to make this a 15 minute recipe I made the sauce as the noodles were cooking), in a medium saucepan combine 1% milk, butter, onion powder, garlic powder, liquid smoke, Dijon mustard and salt then scald mixture over medium heat.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks with 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Add 1/4 cup scalded milk mixture to egg yolk mixture and whisk, then pour and whisk mixture into saucepan. 
  4. Cook mixture over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 3 minutes. Add cheese and drained pasta to sauce mixture and gently toss mixture with a rubber spatula until cheese has melted. Serve immediately sprinkled with optional black pepper or cayenne pepper.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Quick Mac and Cheese
Author: Jaclyn


  • Sara: I wasn’t paying attention and accidently used sweetened condensed milk. Is there anything I can use to counteract the sweetness? May 3, 2019 at 12:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Not that I know of sorry! May 3, 2019 at 10:33am Reply

  • Mina: Can I use all evaporated milk instead of also using 2% milk? May 29, 2013 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that would be okay but I would probably reconstitute it with some water. June 1, 2013 at 10:09am Reply

  • Rachel: I made this tonight and don’t know what I did wrong…my sauce was gritty and gloppy and looked like greasy cottage cheese! Help! February 17, 2013 at 8:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It sounds like it may have been the eggs curdling perhaps. If that’s the case just make sure that you stir the mixture well the entire time once you’ve poured the egg mixture in so the eggs don’t scramble basically, and I’d recommend using a whisk to stir. Also, you could try pulling the pan off heat when adding the cheese, as cheese can separate if it’s melted at too high of a heat. I hope that helps. February 21, 2013 at 11:52am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – no the hickory smoke is not necessary, I just like the subtle added flavor it gives it but you could just as well leave it out. I hope you enjoy! June 11, 2012 at 4:45pm Reply

  • Anonymous: I’ve never used hickory smoke flavor…is it a necessary ingredient? June 11, 2012 at 2:26pm Reply

  • Carolyn Jung: That beats the stuff out of the box any ol’ day! Yum. May 15, 2012 at 9:19am Reply

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