Tonight's Dinner: Stove-top mac & cheese

Oct 20, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Mac & cheese doesn't need to come from a box to make it on the stove-top. The right combination of cheeses and fat is all you need to make a luscious, creamy mac & cheese in no time flat.

Homemade stove-top mac & cheese with bacon

Macaroni and cheese is one of my all-time favorite dishes. It's the perfect end to a chilly day. It's pretty easy to make and that rich creamy pasta is unlike anything else. Oh, and my 2-year-old can never get enough. The only problem I have with mac & cheese is the number of bowls and pots it takes to make. You have to boil the pasta in one pot, melt the cheese in another and then pour everything into a baking dish to bake in the oven. That's at least three pots just to make one entree. But Carla Hall on The Chew with her mac & cheese recipe changed all that. She said you don't have to put the mac & cheese in the oven. You could still get a thick, rich, creamy macaroni from a couple pots on the stove. And you know what? She was right. This mac & cheese was everything I love about the dish in half the time and effort. And best of all, my son still cleaned his plate.

Stove-top mac & cheese


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 1 cup aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Boil the macaroni according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside the bacon but reserve the drippings. Reduce the heat to medium and add and melt two tablespoons of butter to the bacon drippings. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk until well combined and thick, about two minutes.
  3. Whisk in the jack and cheddar cheeses until combined. Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the reserved bacon, macaroni and caramelized onions until well combined. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer.
  4. Meanwhile in a large skillet, combine one tablespoon butter, breadcrumbs and garlic and allow to toast for about five minutes.
  5. Spoon the macaroni into bowls, top with the toasted breadcrumb mixture and serve immediately.

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