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Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

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This is the creamiest stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe ever! It is good on it’s own or stir in some ham for a simple family pleasing dinner.    

spoonful of mac and cheese being lifted out of bowl

This macaroni and cheese is comfort food at it’s finest. It is quick to put together and makes the creamiest macaroni and cheese you’ve ever had.  

In the time it takes to boil the noodles, you can throw together the sauce and chop the ham.  Then all you have to do is toss it together and dinner is served.

If your family is anything like mine, creamy and cheesy are crowd pleasing words and this recipe is sure to get two thumbs up.

Macaroni and cheese is a staple at our dinner table. We love it in all of its forms.

Sometimes it is the boxed stuff with the powdered cheese. Lately we have been on a kick of making no boil baked macaroni and cheese

That recipe is super simple and can quickly be thrown in the oven along with whatever else you are making. It really doesn’t get much easier.

pot filled with creamy stovetop mac and cheese.

We also really love making shells and cheese in the instant pot.  That is another easy and delicious side dish that is loaded with cheesy goodness.

But I know not everyone has an instant pot. Luckily lack of an appliance doesn’t have to keep you from good food.

We have been enjoying this yummy stovetop recipe for five or six years now and it doesn’t disappoint. It is easy. It is beyond creamy. It is super good.

Large serving bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese with chunks of ham in it.

Generally we toss in some diced ham to make an easy meal out of it. Making it the entrée instead of a side dish means you can take an extra big helping after all!

Of course, you can make it without the ham and serve it as a side as well. Maybe with some chicken or even some braised pork chops.

 But when I am in a hurry, I like to throw as much as I can into that one pot. It makes cooking it so much easier, not to mention fewer dishes!

white serving bowl filled with creamy cheesy mac and cheese.

This is not a recipe that you want to break out the extra sharp cheddar for. It is too strong and will overpower you.

You want to think a nice mild cheese. I’ve used Colby, co-jack or a mix of mozzarella and something else.

And be sure to head the warning about tasting before salting. There is plenty of salt in the ingredients and you don’t want to overdo it.

Ok.  So break out the pot and get to work.  Your family will thank you!

spoonful of mac and cheese being lifted out of bowl

Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Carlee
This is the creamiest stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe ever! It is good on it's own or stir in some ham for a simple family pleasing dinner. 
4.95 from 17 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 12 oz box pasta*
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz shredded cheese*
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • cups cubed ham optional


  • Boil pasta in salted water until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
    12 oz box pasta*
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the cream of chicken soup.
    3 Tablespoons butter, 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • Add cheese, a little at a time. Stir until smooth and then add more until all cheese has been added.
    8 oz shredded cheese*
  • Stir in milk until incorporated. Add in sour cream, pasta, and ham (if using). Mix until completely coated.
    ½ cup milk, ½ cup sour cream, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1½ cups cubed ham
  • Put on your comfy pants, fill up a big old bowl and get a spoon. This is going to be good!


For the creamiest mac and cheese, use a 12 ounce box of pasta.
However, we have used a 16 ounce box several times with great
A mild melting cheese is great for this recipe. Co-jack or
Monterey Jack work great. We also like a mix of half mozzarella
and half cheddar. We find using all sharp cheddar to be too strong
in this recipe.



Serving: 1servingCalories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 16gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 745mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.95 from 17 votes (13 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Andrea Nine

Friday 18th of December 2020

OK, funny story, one night this week I did not feel like cooking because I’ve been doing it so much so I went to Chick-fil-A and decided to get Mr. Nine the mac & cheese because I heard it was delicious and it was but I said to him, you know I can make it way better, lol! AND with your recipe I think I definitely can! Have a great weekend my friend!


Saturday 9th of January 2021

To funny! There are so many great ways to make mac and cheese, it's almost endless!

Brenda Sue

Tuesday 18th of September 2018

This sounds delicious! I am going to try this version tonight and add some diced steamed broccoli and cauliflower to make it a complete meal.


Wednesday 19th of September 2018

That is a great idea! I hope you enjoy =)


Monday 17th of April 2017

This is very creamy! My kids love mac and cheese and I love to throw a meat into it to make in more of a complete meal.


Wednesday 19th of September 2018

It is the creamiest we've ever tried and so good!


Tuesday 7th of February 2017

Very clever! Cream base soup,makes this nice and creamy. Ham and cheese, is perfect! Thanks for the great recipe. This beat regular mac and cheese hands down.


Thursday 9th of February 2017

Thank you! It is definitely the creamiest we've ever had and soooo good!


Sunday 25th of September 2016

This sounds like a good recipe for leftover ham after Thanksgiving! So glad you party with us at Merry Monday so we get these good recipes!


Monday 26th of September 2016

It is a great way to use up some leftovers!