Classic Mac & Cheese (Stovetop Version)

Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 45 mins
Cook 20 mins

In 'Mac & Cheese, Please!' by Laura Werlin

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fill a 4- to 5-quart pot about 3/4 full of water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and add the pasta.
  3. Cook, stirring once or twice, until tender but firm, about 4-6 minutes, and drain; reserve the pot.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano and cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are a deep golden brown, 8-10 minutes.
  6. Watch carefully because they can burn easily; the crumbs will continue to crisp as they cool.
  7. Remove immediately from the heat and set aside.
  8. Using the same pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  9. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  10. Slowly whisk in the flour and stir constantly until the onion is coated with the flour, 30-45 seconds.
  11. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes more, or until the mixture starts to darken slightly and smell a bit nutty.
  12. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream, and remaining 1 tsp salt and cook until the mixture is just beginning to thicken and bubble around the edges, 5-7 minutes.
  13. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  14. Add the Gruyere, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and nutmeg and cook until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth but not too runny.
  15. It should be similar in texture to cake batter; continue cooking if too soupy, until it thickens.
  16. Add the pasta and stir to combine.
  17. Ladle the mixture into individual bowls and sprinkle with the toasted bread crumbs; serve right away.