Three Cheese Stovetop Macaroni

I’ve made it a goal of mine to start posting more savory recipes here on the blog. Believe it or not, we do eat actual food for dinner, and it’s usually pretty darn good! Today’s recipe is a new favorite of ours. This three cheese stovetop macaroni is absolutely to die for. How could it not be? Three cheese… enough said!

Three Cheese Stovetop MacaroniThere are a few other things (aside from all of the cheese) that I really love about this recipe. #1- it’s made with/in one pot. #2- it’s made on the stovetop. #3- it’s ready in less than 20 minutes. I don’t know about you, but that makes this recipe a keeper in my book! I’m all about as few dishes as possible, not having to turn the oven on during the summer, and whipping up a recipe in under 30 minutes. So let’s get started, shall we?!

Three Cheese Stovetop MacaroniStart by cooking ½ lb. of pasta (elbows, shells or rigatoni) in a dutch oven. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside in a large bowl. Next, turn the heat to low and add 2 tbsp. of butter to the dutch oven. Melt, then add 2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour. We’re making the base of a béchamel sauce. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture becomes bubbly, but do not let it brown! Slowly whisk in 1½ c. of whole milk and bring the mixture to a boil. The sauce should thicken up nicely. Add the blend of spices (salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, onion powder and ground mustard) and whisk to combine. Turn the heat down to low, sprinkle in the grated sharp cheddar, muenster and parmesan cheese. Things should thicken substantially and will probably get a little stringy. Keep mixing and add the cooked macaroni along with the remaining ½ c. of whole milk (which should help loosen things up).

Three Cheese Stovetop MacaroniRemove from the stovetop and garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan and minced parsley. We served this three cheese stovetop macaroni on the side of some spice-rubbed pork chops with a peach BBQ sauce. The only thing that was missing was a bowl full of baked beans! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try- it’s simple comfort food that will undoubtedly hit the spot!

Three Cheese Stovetop Macaroni Recipe

This three cheese stovetop macaroni is a quick, simple and comforting... it undoubtedly hit the spot!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Dishes, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 17 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 585kcal
Author: Life Made Simple Team
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  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni *
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk - warmed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese - grated
  • 1 cup muenster cheese - grated
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese - grated
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley - chopped


  • Fill a dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot with water, bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  • In a glass measuring cup heat the 2 c. of milk for 45 seconds on HIGH in the microwave, set aside.
  • Return the pot to low heat, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour. Bring the heat up to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble (but not brown). Add 1½ c. of the warm whole milk and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, it will thicken substantially.
  • Add the salt and spices, continue whisking. Turn the heat down to low and add the three kinds of grated cheese, stirring constantly until it has melted into the sauce. Stir in the remaining ½ c. of milk.
  • Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat. Remove from the heat and garnish with chopped parsley and additional parmesan cheese.


*Feel free to use any type of pasta you have on hand (we used whole wheat elbows).
-To take this recipe to the next level, turn your oven on to broil, place it in for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top (we put ours into a cast iron skillet).
-This recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd.


Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1144IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 607mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe source: adapted from Kelsey Nixon, Kitchen Confidence

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  1. Natalie,
    The use of the spices in this makes it intriguing. I plan to try it but my husband likes the crust so I will have to bake it.
    Since you posted this on my birthday, I am going to send you a recipe for the beans that you are missing. Everytime that I make them I get raves.