The world doesn’t *need* another mac and cheese recipe. I know that. The thing is, I’m particular about my mac and cheese. I want the sauce to be more cheesy than creamy The dish isn’t called “mac and cream,” yet so many recipes have cream or half and half with a soupy sauce! So while the world doesn’t need a 100,000th recipe, I still needed one that was cheesy, structured, and thick. So, without further ado, I present my extra cheesy stovetop monster mac and cheese.
I grew up on Kraft mac ‘n cheese. My Persian mother never once made a homemade version. So for me, the boxed stuff cooked stovetop has the kind of flavor and texture I crave because that’s the closest to homemade I got. The superior variety? The shaped noodle. Not the classic elbow noodle, but the noodles shaped like characters from Sponge Bob, Rugrats, Star Wars, or other pop culture icons. The noodles have more of a bite, and the cheese gets wrapped up in all the crevices. I can’t get enough.
I’m older now. I try to avoid boxed mixes of… anything really. Anyway, back to the topic us not needing a new recipe. Well, I found some festive noodles at HomeGoods (duh), shaped like bats, pumpkins and ghosts. So I had no choice. I *had* to make stovetop mac and cheese for these noodles. I wanted the feel of the Kraft Mac ‘n cheese: structured, cheesy, and stovetop. Not with fussy ingredients or a long baking time. So, here is my favorite mac ‘n cheese recipe out there!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Made stovetop in 30 minutes.
- One-pot, that’s it.
- Extra cheesy, as the name implies!
- Super delicious
- Fun to eat
- Easy to store and reheat
Cheeses used in this extra cheesy stovetop monster mac and cheese:
- Muenster: Given the Halloween theme, I knew I wanted to include muenster cheese. First, the word sounds like “monster.” Fitting. I also love how when muenster melts, the cheese gets stringy and lacey, just like a spider web. Fitting, again. Of course, the taste is also great, almost buttery and melts so softly.
- Sharp Cheddar: To me, mac and cheese cannot exist without cheddar. There isn’t a question. It’s the quintessential cheese for this dish. The hue resembling hte powdered stuff doesnt hurt.
- Gruyere: I tried the sauce with just the two above cheeses. I like recipes to be simple, less is more. But there was something missing. A sharp tang of sorts. I added gruyere and it did the trick, making this the PERFECT mac and cheese blend.
- Note: Shred the cheeses yourself! This will result in better melting and really does not take much effort. You can shred the cheese while the pasta boils. Do not buy pre-shredded cheese.
Let’s talk spices. Garlic and onion powders to me are a no brainer. They make cheesy pasta dishes better. Additionally, I have grown to love how turmeric compliments cheese in general. Just a light ½ teaspoon is enough to get that extra oomph without a real turmeric taste. Feel free to skip it if you don’t have, or don’t like it. You can leave the spices at garlic and onion, include pepper or cayenne for a kick, grate a smidge of nutmeg, or just include salt. Freedom of seasonings!
Lastly, If you do make this stovetop extra cheesy monster mac and cheese recipe (first of all, thank you!), be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! It would mean the world to me if you tagged me on Instagram and through social media so I can be sure to see what you’re making!
As always, you can find me making this recipe on my TikTok! If you like this, you may also like my pesto ricotta pasta.
Extra Cheesy Stovetop Monster Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb short noodle of choice
- ½ – 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup whole milk (8 oz)
- 6 oz shredded muenster cheese (1 ½ cups)
- 6 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (1 ½ cups)
- 4 oz shredded gruyere cheese (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric optional, to make it extra orange!
- Boil the pasta in salted water according to instructions. When al dente, separate out 1 cup of pasta water using a mug or glass measuring cup, then drain and set aside.
- In the same pot the pasta was boiling in, add the 4 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoon flour and whisk to combine over a medium-low heat. Whisk for 1-2 minutes. Once combined, add in the milk and whisk.
- Add the cheese to the pot, about half at a time. Whisk to combine. Add ½ cup reserved pasta water. If you want the sauce a little looser, add additional pasta water.
- Add spices to the cheese sauce. I like to add garlic salt, onion powder, and turmeric. Before adding all of the noodles in, combine a small spoonful of sauce and noodles and give it a taste. Adjust until you like.
- Add the cooked noodles into the cheese sauce and mix until combined
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[…] Might I add these are a perfect way to make use of any left over goodies after trick or treating. If you want something savory for Halloween, check out my extra cheesy monster mac and cheese! […]