This creamy macaroni and cheese is made in a skillet for a quick and easy dinner! You only need 6 ingredients to make this classic comfort food!

skillet macaroni and cheese
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I’m from the midwest which means I grew up on macaroni and cheese. Well, the kind from a blue box. But these days, if I’m eating macaroni and cheese it’s gotta be the good stuff. I love the combination of sharp cheddar and gouda cheese because it gives this dish tons of flavor. The sauce comes together quickly so once your noodles are cooked, you’ll have dinner on the table!

skillet macaroni and cheese ingredients

Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients

  • Macaroni– I like classic elbow macaroni but any short pasta shape will work just fine! Feel free to substitute with whole wheat pasta, chickpea pasta, or gluten-free pasta.
  • Butter– A little butter is the key to a perfect roux. Don’t skimp on this!
  • Flour– This thickens the the sauce to make it extra rich and creamy.
  • Milk– I used whole milk but you can use 2% milk.
  • Sharp Cheddar– I used extra sharp cheddar cheese because I love that flavor! I recommend buying a block of cheese and grating it. It melts better than pre-shredded cheese.
  • Gouda– I used a regular gouda cheese but smoked gouda can work, too!

Substitution Ideas

  • Feel free to use any type of pasta. I like using chickpea pasta because it has a lot more protein and fiber.
  • Add more veggies to your plate by stirring in 1 cup of cooked peas or 2 cups of steamed broccoli.
  • Looking for a vegan option? Try my Vegan Macaroni and Cheese!
  • If you want to try something new, make this smoked mac and cheese for something different!
  • Need to use the Instant Pot instead of the stovetop? Try my Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese!

The Best Cheese for Macaroni and Cheese

I like the combination of extra sharp cheddar and gouda but there are plenty of options! You can use all sharp cheddar or try a combination of cheddar and gruyere or fontina for something different! Adding a sprinkle of Parmesan can add a deliciously salty bite, although I don’t recommend substituting a lot of Parmesan for cheddar or gouda. Softer cheeses the melt are a better base for macaroni and cheese.

melted cheese in a skillet

What to Serve with Macaroni and Cheese

I usually like to pair macaroni and cheese with something lighter. I recommend serving it with a salad like this Avocado and Orange Salad or this Spicy Kale Salad. It’s also delicious with a bowl of Creamy Tomato Soup or a side of crispy Air Fryer Broccoli. Pairing it with a salad or a roasted vegetable is a great way to round out your plate!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Keep leftover macaroni and cheese in the fridge in an airtight container. To reheat, divide into servings and microwave on 50% power, stirring at 1-minute intervals. If the macaroni and cheese dries out when reheating, add a splash of milk or sprinkle a few tablespoons of shredded cheese on top and stir. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.

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skillet macaroni and cheese

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This creamy macaroni and cheese is made in a skillet for a quick and easy dinner! You only need 6 ingredients to make this classic comfort food!


Units Scale
  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups warm milk (see note)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded gouda


  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions and set aside.
  2. While the macaroni is cooking, heat the butter in a large skillet, over medium heat.
  3. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook over medium-low heat for one minute.
  4. Add the warm milk and whisk until combined. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese.
  6. Once the cheese is melted, mix in the cooked pasta. Serve immediately.