Stovetop Mac and Cheese

A quick and easy, no-fuss mac and cheese made in less than 30 min. Comfort food never tasted so good!

Stovetop Mac and Cheese - A quick and easy, no-fuss mac and cheese made in less than 30 min. Comfort food never tasted so good!

About 90% of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant, and I’ve been incredibly blessed to not be included in this percentage. As you could imagine, dairy is a huge part of our diet, loaded with calcium, potassium, protein, and vitamin A among many other important nutrients that keep the body in optimum health. And when purchasing dairy products, I only buy products with the REAL® Seal, which lets me know that I am buying products with the wholesome goodness of the U.S.-produced cow’s milk.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese - A quick and easy, no-fuss mac and cheese made in less than 30 min. Comfort food never tasted so good!

So in an effort to incorporate real dairy products into my diet, that’s how this mac and cheese was born. But this isn’t your ordinary mac and cheese. It’s a mac and cheese that will blow. your. mind. And it comes together in 30 minutes. Yeah, it’s that easy. Topped with a super crunchy bread crumb topping tossed with fresh herbs, you’ll have a light, cheesy mac and cheese with a spicy, Creole kick. I honestly can’t get over that batch of Emeril’s Creole seasoning and I’ve been adding it to everything. And you know what – it works! Creole spiciness in mac and cheese is the absolute best, and such a fun spin on the traditional version!

Stovetop Mac and Cheese - A quick and easy, no-fuss mac and cheese made in less than 30 min. Comfort food never tasted so good!

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Yield 4 servings

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

A quick and easy, no-fuss mac and cheese made in less than 30 min. Comfort food never tasted so good!


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add Panko and cook, stirring, until browned and toasted, about 3 minutes; stir in thyme and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine cheeses and cornstarch; set aside.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter until well combined. Stir in cheese mixture, evaporated milk and Emeril's Essence until cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately, topped with toasted Panko.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by REAL® Seal. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. says

    90%? Really? That makes me wonder about the percentage of Asians in Asia itself! We’re not very good at getting ourselves diagnosed with allergies and intolerance (I can make a joke here about so many things but I’ll leave it there). I’m loving every single skillet Mac & Cheese recipe I’m seeing these days.

    • amanda says

      You are thinking about this concept backwards. Lactose intollerance is the natural state for all humans who are grown adults. We loose the ability to produce lactase-the enzyme that breaks down the bonds in lactose- after we reach an age where we would naturally stop breastfeeding. People who can consume and still breakdown lactose reflect the evolutionary jump that is present in their dna. The have evolved with the ability to continue lactase production into adulthood by no switching off the genes that produe lactase.
      This is not an allergy or intollerance as we think of it now days. Some DNA lines just haven’t evolved.

  2. says

    One of my favorite meals of all time! I LOVE THIS! 30 minutes with a spicy kick… delicious!!

    90%?! WOW! This is only Asian Americans? Or Asians in general? I’m shocked! I love my dairy!! :-)

    • Chung-Ah says

      I couldn’t believe the percentage either! And the 90% refers to Asian Americans. I can’t even imagine what the percentage would be in Asia!

  3. says

    I really under stand the problem of lactose in Asian families. I do not have one, but my sister, mother and grandmother are all lactose sensitive. I could not live without cheese and milk but maybe because I got my dads genes.
    So great and love the addition of creole

  4. Gianna says

    One of my kids favorite ways to make this.. heavy cream and shredded cheddar with pasta. Couldn’t be any easier. The breadcrumbs are a nice touch!

  5. josh says

    Recipe was great and super creamy! One suggestion for those reading – don’t use pre-shredded cheese as it has anti-clumping additives which you can taste quite a bit in the end…

  6. Vee says

    I served this minus the breadcrumbs (my kiddos don’t like the breadcrumbs (yet;0) aside some honey butter chicken and it was fabulous and so easy to prepare. Will use again! Thank you !

  7. says

    We loved this stovetop mac and cheese! It was probably the creamiest I’ve ever had, and so simple to make! Cornstarch! Who knew?! Thanks for the delicious recipe. It was a hit and now my go to stovetop version. 😉 – Justine

  8. Caleb says

    I made this Mac and cheese with a few changes of my own but it turned out great absolutely the best home made Mac and cheese I’ve ever had. My kids also loved it.

  9. olivia says

    is the evaporated milk a key ingredient, or do you think i could substitute with something else? what could i use? i don’t like to use something canned if i can help it. thanks!

  10. Jackie says

    This recipe looks delicious! What do you think would be a better addition? Cooked diced bacon or some jalapeno sausage? I like the texture of bacon but think it might taste different in a spicy sauce. Jalapeno sausage seems like a good taste choice but I want it to be crisp.

    • Chung-Ah says

      Oh I don’t know – they both sound amazing! I honestly don’t think you could go wrong with either of them.

  11. Kasuni says

    Hi, this Mac and Cheese looks amazing! I live in Australia and i have no idea where i cand find Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning. Is there a substitute i can use?

  12. Michelle says

    Just made this!!! OH MY GOODNESS!! This is the best Mac and cheese Of my life!!! Make it, pin it, tell a friend. This will change your world!!!

  13. Debra D. says

    SUPER quick and EASY!! SO delicious! It was a huge hit with the kiddo’s! I needed it to serve 6, so I doubled the pasta, and 1.5 almost everything else. I think next time, I won’t double the cheese & just stick with the 4 serving amount for that part. Be sure to save some pasta water to thin out the sauce if it’s too thick!

  14. Becky says

    This is amazing! Just made it for dinner tonight, and everyone loved it! Another recipe of yours that is wonderful!!!

  15. Chelsea dahm says

    This looks great! But I’m confused about the cooking? It says cook time is 20 minutes? Is that just mainly the boiling? Or does it cook on stovetop for 20 minutes?

    • Chungah says

      Chelsea, the 20 minute time frame is a rough estimate. Specific cook time is indicated in the recipe.

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