My mac and cheese obsession continues to grow every day.  Well okay, not every day, but at least every day that I make it, and some days when I just think about it a whole lot.  This recipe took the obsession to a whole new level.  Why?  Because it has all the amazing flavor of a really superb homemade mac and cheese but it’s made on the stovetop, eliminating the actually short but seemingly agonizing wait while other mac and cheese recipes bake in the oven.  Score.

See that?  It’s creamy, it’s ooey gooey, and it is ready in no time.  You can of course use whatever variety of cheese you prefer or what you might happen to have on hand.  That’s the beauty of a recipe like this – it’s so adaptable.  It took quite a bit of restraint not to sit over the pot and finish it off for dessert, but I was very glad to have the leftovers for lunches.  Some types of mac and cheese don’t reheat all that well but I thought this was actually very good in that regard.  Really I think the only bad thing about this meal is that it is so easy, I kind of want to make it all the time.  And that would be bad…but also so good.  Sigh.

Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
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12 oz. dried pasta (your preferred shape)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup shallot, finely minced
8 oz. gouda, shredded
2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan
¼ cup milk, half and half, or heavy cream
4 oz. low-fat Greek yogurt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions just until al dente.  Drain well, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Immediately return the pasta to the pot.  Add the garlic, shallot, and cheeses and stir briefly to combine.  Mix in the milk, Greek yogurt, and butter and stir until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the mixture is creamy.  If necessary add a small amount of the reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from The Curvy Carrot, originally from Macaroni and Cheese by Marlena Spieler

  • Okay. I was thinking about mac and cheese last night. No lie. And I was also thinking about topping some with some crisp bacon (diced) and some bread crumbs. Just a touch of each. And then you post this. Which basically means the universe WANTS me to eat mac and cheese tonight. Thank you, universe. Thank you, Annie!

  • I adore mac & cheese, and the addition of gouda sounds fabulous. I will definitely be making this soon!

  • I need to try this! It sounds so yummy!

  • Melissa

    That looks fantastic! I will be making it this weekend for sure!!

  • I love mac&cheese. In fact, it’s a family specialty–if it’s baked. I am a master of baked mac&cheese. I have not yet, however, mastered stovetop mac&cheese. I want to, though. This recipe might help me do that. Thanks!

  • I have been craving homemade mac and cheese like crazy. I can’t wait to give this a try. I swear a light bulb went off over my head when I read yogurt. That would help give the perfect texture! Score!

  • melody

    I love mac&cheese too. You can try with smoked dry mozzarella and parmesan, it’s delicious with a rustic taste and hearty smoked aroma. Thank you annie for this recipe !

  • Claire

    Looks yummy! I just happen to have all of these ingredients on hand. Sounds like a perfect dinner for tonight. :) I look forward to trying different cheeses in this recipe! Thanks for sharing!


  • Mac and cheese is probably my favorite thing :) Love this recipe!

  • I’ve tried a few baked mac and cheese recipes, but a stovetop version sounds great, I can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Belinda

    Looks yummy! I’ll be trying this soon.

  • I’m so happy to have a stovetop creamy mac & cheese recipe! I go through mac & cheese recipes like crazy. Our latest favorite has been your Fontina mac & cheese but I think this might be a new favorite! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Wow! I am so impressed. I am not even a huge mac and cheese person but this seems too easy not to try.

  • There are NEVER enough mac & cheese recipes out there! I am always a sucker for another post! Love love love the gooey-ness of this recipe! The picture of it coming out of the bowl on the fork is temptation itself!

  • Amanda V

    Greek yogurt?!? I am super intrigued!! Will be trying this ASAP :)

  • Heather W.

    I’ll have to try this one. I can not make baked mac and cheese to save my life! It always comes out kind of gritty. It tastes great but the texture is always a problem. No matter the recipe or the cheese. This looks so creamy I want to lick my computer screen!

  • Annie

    Heather, do you use pre-shredded cheese? If so, that could be the problem as those are typically coated in something like flour or cornstarch to prevent clumping in the package.

  • Liz N

    Annie, this looks so appetizing! You had me at the sight of that cheese pull. Mac & Cheese is the ultimate comfort food for me. My 5 year old would absolutely love this!

  • Crystal Power

    I can’t wait to try this. I have been looking for a good stove top version for so long. Also, I had Panera’s mac and cheese for the first time a few weeks ago and haven’t been able to get it off my brain. I’m making this soon!

  • Wow, this mac and cheese looks amazing! I’ve never found a recipe that was good re-heated, so I’ll definitely have to try this.

  • To me, there is really nothing better than mac & cheese! This looks perfectly cheesy and delicious!

  • My husband gently told me the other night that he thinks we have enough mac & cheese frozen right now and that I shouldn’t make more until we get through the dozen containers we already have. I disagree ;)

  • This looks so delicious. Your pictures are so inviting.

    I love making this for my boys. Its so much healthier than the orange stuff in a box. I use homemade yogurt or even cream cheese if I’m in a pinch. Its great to add steamed vegetables and leftover cooked chicken or sausage. A complete meal in no time!

  • Quality of cheese varies from one company to another. Sometimes the cheese is a processed cheese, sometimes its real cheese that’s been coated in an anti-clumping & anti-fungal agent. Makes it more difficult to melt evenly. (or sometimes it doesn’t melt at all)

  • LOVE those plates..I almost bought them myself. I had them in my basket but then I decided I shouldn’t be shopping haha!

  • Heather W.

    I’m not a big fan of the pre-shredded cheese so I grate my own. I just can’t bake mac and cheese! :) At least my husband supports me in my continued practice!

  • Stephanie

    I checked your blog this morning before heading out to go grocery shopping and am so glad that I did! I made this for my family for lunch and everyone loved the garlic/shallot kick. Thanks!

  • Oh this looks so delicious. Mac n Cheese in any form is my favorite comfort food right now. Dying for a big heaping bowl just like this one.

  • T

    Which do you think is a better way to heat it up – stovetop or microwave?

  • Annie

    I haven’t tried stovetop to reheat, only the microwave.

  • oh my goodness, this looks heavenly! I haven’t had mac & cheese in such a long time! I think that means I have the right to make this for dinner tomorrow! :D
    also, thanks for the comment on my blog! I was so excited when I saw it, b/c i am a big fan of yours :)

  • This is like fate! I made a cake which only needed 4 tbsp of low-fat greek yoghurt in but decided to buy a big tub so I’d be forced to experiment with it and now you post this recipe which uses it! Taking it as a sign, this is on my “to-make” list for the coming week :)

  • Wow this looks delicious! My fiancé loves Mac n’ cheese, I’ll have to try this! :)

  • T

    Sorry I have one more question: does this recipe freeze well? I’m so excited to try it!

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Annie

    Aw, you are too sweet! You are very welcome.

  • Oooh. On the stove mac and cheese? I have to admit I’m partial to Annie’s mac and cheese (and when I’m feeling very homesick, Kraft.), but this I have to try! So glad autumn is quickly approaching!

  • I shared this in my Friday Five too – I can’t wait to make it!

  • Kate A.

    Thanks for the stovetop recipe, great idea. I am surprised the garlic and shallot are added raw – do they stay crunchy? I am tempted to cook them first to mellow the flavor and texture.

  • Annie

    I obviously loved them this way, but you could cook them if you’re worried about it.

  • Mindy

    This looks incredibly good! It’s on my list to try this next week. I would LOVE to know where you got the white bowl that you put it in. I think I need to get those bowls, since we’re coming into the soup and comfort food season.

  • Gotta love a good recipe of mac&cheese. Trying this one soon :)

  • Annie

    I think they’re from Bed Bath and Beyond.

  • Irene L.

    Hi Kate,
    I have to tell you I had the same concern, but Annie has never let me down with one of her recipes, so I decided to give it a try, and I am so glad I did! If you didn’t know the garlic and shallot was in there (raw) you would never know by tasting it. It tastes very well seasoned with a lot of zing. I hope that helps! Please make it though, its delish and takes no time to put together, perfect for a week night!

  • Jenn

    Just made this and it was excellent! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • You had me at that picture! Heavenly food in motion with that string of cheesy goodness. THEN, you had me at gouda. This must be made STAT. Thank you another take on my favorite meal of all time!


  • I am a lover of mac and cheese too! Cheese and pasta are a girls best friend! YUM!

  • Sophie

    I made this last night, and cheese did not fully melt, and just remained in clumps. I used fresh gouda and parmesan, so I am a bit puzzled. What did I do wrong?

  • Annie

    I would guess you just needed to wait longer for it to melt.

  • Patti T,

    When I was on vacation with friends they were amazed that you could make home made mac and cheese on the stove top. Sure wish I would have thought of the Greek yogurt that would be an awesome addition. Oh and we think the garlic is essential to any mac and cheese.

  • Jayme

    My hubby made this last night for Halloween with some fun halloween shaped pasta and everyone loved the flavor!

  • Dawn

    I’ve never met a Mac and Cheese I didn’t like! I can’t wait to try this! What did you use for this-milk, cream or half and half? Does the percentage of milk matter? I tend to buy skim but that isnt always great in recipes.

  • Annie

    I used milk (2% because it’s what we have on hand). I tend to agree that I don’t really like skim in recipes (well, at all actually) but everyone seems to have different preferences. Enjoy!

  • ella

    I used to have the same exact problem! The issue is usually the roux (butter/flour mixture). Make sure you let that cook out and bubble a little bit, whisking constantly so there are lumps. Then add the milk in two additions, medium low heat, WHISKING AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. turn up the heat to medium. After the first addition is starting to get a little thick, add the second, and again, WHISK LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. should end up with a very smooth and creamy white sauce, then you can take it off the heat or put it on very low heat and add your shredded cheese. but this time, don’t whisk too much. just let the heat melt the cheese then mix gently to incorporate.

  • Annie

    Just to clarify, I never whisk quite this much and have never had issues with the cheese not melting or the texture of the sauce. I just stir occasionally to keep it even and it’s fine.

  • Lisa

    I just made this for dinner…and LOVE it. This will make me much more conscious of my cheese choices for mac and cheese. The gouda is a really delicious addition to a classic.

  • You may be a *little* shocked when I say this, so I’ll whisper it
    …I’ve never had homemade mac and cheese before!…

    But this will be my first!

  • You should submit that as part of the Ellie Kreiger live twitter thing this Saturday since they are doing stove top mac and cheese and asking for people to submit photos of their best for copies of her book.

    I’m sure you got the email from the PR firm, but if not and you’re interested, let me know and I’ll forward it.

  • Loni

    Wow! I’m definitely going to try this. I have a baked version that I love, but temporarily without an oven, plus I live in Belgium so finding regular Cheddar is not always easy. These cheeses I can easily find at my local grocery store. I’m also happy this recipe does not include flour-I’m convinced that any mac and cheese with flour cannot be good and I can always taste it! Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Rachel

    Wow – so very easy, and so very cheesy! Who woulda thunk you could skip the baking part of homemade mac n cheese? Better – WAY better – than boxed, and just as quick. Thank you!

  • found this on pinterest, and made it tonight! i waited too long to shred cheese so it wasn’t melting very fast, so i put it in a dish, added breadcrumbs and threw it in the oven! can’t wait to try the results

  • UPDATE: THIS DISH BAKED IS AMAZING, and dare i say better than the stovetop! baked for about 20 minutes at 375º and it really brought the flavors out!

  • Kate N

    I was a little nervous about adding the raw shallot and garlic – I may have put a little much, mine did have a bit of a raw flavor, and I made sure to mix it in with the hot pasta really well. Next time I’ll be cooking it a little first, or using a bit less. If anyone is interested, I made it with Gluten Free pasta and it was great! (Annie – I’ve adapted lots of your recipes to be celiac-friendly with good success! You’re awesome ;-) )

  • Loni

    Update: This turned out wonderfully! I used heavy cream and regular plain yogurt since that’s what was on hand. I did saute the onions and garlic a little bit, still with a bite but not completely raw. I also used “young gouda” since that’s what the store had at the time. It was delicious and we used it as a side dish so we have plenty leftover for tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • This recipe is amazing! I meant to share it but it *mysteriously* all disappeared ;)

  • Cheryl

    I’ve made this mac and cheese 3 times since you’ve posted it. It’s simply delicious…thank you for sharing!

  • Carolyn McCambridge

    Glad someone else had the same problem! We tried making this tonight for my daughter’s birthday. The cheese immediately seized and was clumpy and stringy. We tried cooking it longer, adding more milk, etc… but nothing worked. Maybe we’ll get it right next time.

  • Connie

    This looks delicious!

  • Connie

    This looks delicious!

  • I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!

  • Lola

    Hi, this mac and cheese looks amazing, but do you think that there are any ingredients I could exclude without affecting the taste? Like perhaps the Greek yoghurt? If I don’t add it will the mac and cheese still have the same taste? Thanks in advance!

  • Anonymous

    No. Recipes are designed with certain ingredients because they work. If you omit ingredients or make substitutions, you can expect the results to vary.

  • Jgroeder

    This macaroni and cheese is awesome! My kids love it! It tastes even better reheated the next day!

  • iamroco

    This looks so delicious. Never used greek yogurt in any of my mac&cheese variations yet! And might add in a bit of truffle oil and basil–excited to try!

  • melissa

    Oh wow! I made this last night! Sooo delicious! I just love the tanginess of the greek yogyrt and the zip from the shallot and garlic! I used a mix of gouda and havarti, next time I will play around with different cheeses. I can’t wait to eat this for lunch today! My husband loved it as well!

  • John

    Sorry Annie, but this recipe cannot be correct. The shallot is way too overpowing and the cheese does not melt as others have pointed out. I had to throw everything away, it was really disgusting. I love your classic Mac & Cheese recipe so I thought I would try this, and needless to say I was extremely disappointed. I will continue to try your other recipes, but this one is a clunker.

  • Jennifer

    Agreed. I can’t stand any mac-n-cheese with flour!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you, but we make it all the time and love it, and many readers have given rave reviews. Likely more an issue of personal taste or a very strong shallot.

  • John

    Actually Annie, most readers say they will “try” the recipe, but haven’t actually attempted cooking the recipe. Several other posts below who have tried it, including Kate N., Sophie, and Carolyn McCambridge have had problems with this recipe. All same complaints, shallot too strong and cheese didn’t melt. I found your reply dismissive. This a horrendeous recipe, do not attempt, it a waste of time, money, and food.

  • Anonymous

    Please see below: Melissa, jgroeder, Elizabeth, Cheryl, Alex, Rachel, Loni, and Lisa for just a few who made it and loved it. (I don’t care to look through all the comments to justify my point.) So no, not horrendous.

  • Tiffany

    I came here tonight to grab this recipe to make in a last-minute dinner emergency or I wouldn’t likely have seen this comment. The mac and cheese turned out awesome for me and I even had to substitute cheddar for the called for gouda which should have only made it even harder to get melted and to come together. It was perfect and the whole family licked their bowls. You can see a photo of how creamy and perfect it was here:!/pages/Annies-Eats/156695557708253?sk=wall&filter=12

    It’s ok to not like a recipe or to have one not work out for you, but don’t immediately blame the source. Lots of things can go wrong in anyone’s kitchen. This will be a staple in mine from now on.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Tiffany. So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Colette

    This was the first time that I’ve ever eaten home-made mac n cheese… I was very impressed! I definitely will be taking this to lunch and making it again! So much cheese!!

  • Madonna

    I also make this recipe weekly. We use all different kinds of cheeses for variety. It is a fabulous recipe! My husband loves it because we now get mac & cheese all the time, which is his fav! I’m wondering if people are using pre-shredded bagged cheeses. This can cause melting issues.

  • Samir

    Wow the shallots and garlic totally transform this into something beyond just mac & cheese!

  • Rebecca

    For a college student on a limited time schedule and budget, this meal was AMAZING. I literally could not stop eating it. I halved the recipe and I still have plenty for days of leftovers. I will definitely be making this again in the future! Another great mac & cheese recipe to add to my collection :) thanks!

  • Pictaker9

    Found this recipe on pinterest and made it. So yummy although I waited to long to grate the cheese so I had trouble getting to melt right. So I just turned the stove back on and added a lid and in a minute or two it was perfect! YUM! :) Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • It’s Love!

  • Jroeder

    Made this for the 5th time today! In the future, I plan to double the recipe, so that we can have some leftovers! I did leave the shallot out today, and it was just as yummy! Thanks!

  • I made this tonight and it was awesome! Annie the recipe was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. I have tasted “horrendous” and this was definitely not it! Some people have nothing to do but complain.

  • I just tried this and it’s perfect just the way it’s: simple and delicious. Thank you Annie!

  • Greg PR

    My wife made this the other night. After the first bite I could not find that familiar comfort of Mac ‘n Cheese. All I thought was that this is the exact dish I would expect my garlic obsessed uncle to enjoy. In my opinion, Mac ‘n Cheese does not need onions and garlic. You may need them to entice your palate, but try feeding this to some hungry kids and you may get a fist to the face.
    This is my opinion…and I am very surprised since I have enjoyed other recipes from Annie’s Eats.

  • annieseats

    Sorry to hear that, but we love it. Everyone has different palates, even kids. My kids gobble this up on a regular basis, but then again, we eat plenty of onions and garlic so they enjoy the added flavor.

  • Meghan K.

    We (hubs and I) made this for dinner last night and I felt compelled to stop by and tell you how much we enjoyed it – the garlic and shallot flavors, along with the gouda and parmesan – were what made the dish for us. I did have some trouble getting my freshly-grated cheese to melt and form a sauce (perhaps I was just too excited about actually eating this meal and rushed it) but setting the pot over low heat while stirring everything together helped immensely. Thanks for bringing yet another yummy mac and cheese variation to our repertoire!

  • Jennifer

    I made this tonight for dinner, and it was delicious. So easy to put together. I like that the recipe is so adaptable and look forward go trying the recipe again with all different cheeses. The only adjustment I made this time was to sauté the garlic and shallots because my husband doesn’t like raw onions. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing, Annie!

  • Stacy

    Hi Annie, I made this for dinner last night and it was sooo good! I sautéed the shallot and garlic for a minute, turned out perfect! Reheated great today for lunch. Thanks so much!

  • Jackie

    I have a question about the cheese Does Gouda come in 1 flavor? Or are there more then 1 I only found smoked Gouda is that the same? I know it’s a stupid question but wanna make sure I get the right cheese. Thank you.

  • annieseats

    There are probably multiple types – regular and smoked are the two most common I would think, but there could also be some with other things mixed in (garlic, herbs, etc.) Smoked just means it will have a smokier flavor. You can use whatever you prefer. This recipe is very adaptable to the types of cheese you like and what you have on hand.

  • Heather w

    I LOVE this recipe! It’s come out perfect almost every-time even when I sub sharp white cheddar! It’s my favorite Mac and cheese recipe. The only time it didn’t melt right was when I substituted sharp orange cheddar. If clumped up. (Which I see is a common issue with traditional cheddar) … Your recipes are always fantastic I always know to count on your taste!