stovetop mac & cheese

i've had a couple requests for commentary from jason. i'll do you one better - here's a post directly from him. his thoughts, unedited. my photos.

Kate has been cooking everything and having all the fun. So, when I saw that she found a really easy recipe from Amanda's Cookin' for stovetop macaroni and cheese I decided that I, the husband, should try it out.

Kate told me that the sauce was basically a bechamel. I didn't know much about cooking until I met Kate and I certainly didn't know what a bechamel was, but I knew every time I had it I loved it. I was also scared about keeping it whisked and not burning because I know how milk and flour can be.

So I set out for my first trial on bechamel. Without Kate's help. Will it be a success or an error?

Turns out, it was really easy, or I just got real lucky. And I can tell you the result is probably one of the best mac and cheeses I have ever had. In fact, it is easy enough I'm not sure I can ever go back to the box ever again, and it barely takes any more time than it takes for the "blue box". By the time the elbows are cooked, the sauce is done.

The only surprising thing about making the bechamel is that it seems like it will never thicken and you are doing it wrong. Then all of a sudden you look away for an instance and the whole thing thickens up. So don't give up on the sauce until it's done! I used a silicone spatula occasionally in addition to the whisk to keep the flour from building up on the bottom in the corners of the pot where the whisk couldn't go.

The result, nearly perfect mac and cheese. I say nearly perfect because all mac and cheese should have HAM! So I warmed up some leftover Easter ham, cut it up and put it in. Ham always adds a nice saltiness.

If you don't have ham, the result will be great but you might find that it needs just a little kick. The perfect topper is to add a few generous turns of freshly ground black pepper. The pepper honestly does need to be freshly ground for this to work right; the pre-ground pepper just doesn't work. I'm sure there are other alternatives as well worth exploring. I've heard of using but never tried hot sauce in a mac and cheese.

While I made the food, I left the photography to the professional, Kate.

stovetop macaroni & cheese

find the recipe at amanda's cookin' here


  1. Nice job Jason! And I agree about the ham in mac and cheese.

  2. That looks fabulous Jason! Thanks so much, I am so happy to hear you loved it as much as we do here. :) :)

  3. I like to use white pepper with my mac & cheese...

  4. The best thing about this mac and cheese recipe is that it's not BAKED! I love mac and cheese, but I can't stand homemade versions that are baked and have a crust. Can't wait to try this one out!

  5. Try some Montreal Spicy Steak seasoning on your next serving of mac n cheese. Soooo good!

  6. This is my mac and cheese as well! We top our mac & cheese with crumbled kale chips, deeeeelish!


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