The easiest upgraded herbed stovetop mac and cheese full of rich flavor from caramelized shallots, lots of garlic, and savory herbs. Plus, lots of white cheddar and parmesan cheese melted in. It comes together in just 20 minutes and could not be dreamier. Perfect as a dinner party side dish or a comforting weeknight meal!
herbed stovetop mac and cheese – the details
This herbed stovetop mac and cheese is a simple process to make, but the recipe packs in so much good flavor. The secret touch is letting the milk simmer with fresh sprigs of herbs as it thickens. The herbs infuse all of their warm, intoxicating flavor and really makes this a special mac and cheese.
Since it’s such a fast recipe, you’ll want to have everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking – shallots chopped, garlic minced, cheddar shredded, etc. It’s one of those recipes that moves quickly from step to step, so having everything measured out is a big help.
You’ll start by quickly sauteing the shallots and garlic, melting in the butter, and thickening it with flour. Then, the milk and herbs go in. The sauce will simmer and thicken while the pasta cooks. Finally, everything gets combined with lots of cheddar, parmesan, and parsley.
The finished result? A big pot of very creamy, very cheesy, very herby mac and cheese that’d be best served simply with some roast chicken or a steak and maybe a big salad alongside!Print
Herbed Stovetop Mac and Cheese
a simple herbed stovetop mac and cheese with caramelized shallots, garlic, white cheddar, parmesan, and lots of savory herbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large shallots, finely diced
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 qt whole milk
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 lb short pasta (i used “pipe rigate”)
- 1 lb white cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a 5 ½ qt Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes or so until softened, stirring often. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Add the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk for 30 seconds to cook out the flour. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously. Add the herb sprigs and more black pepper. Bring the milk to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 6-8 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring often.
- Meanwhile, drop the pasta into the boiling water, stir well, and cook for 1 minute less than the package’s instructions.
- Remove the herb sprigs. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir well to coat. Add the cheddar and parmesan cheeses. Stir over low heat until all of the cheese has melted and the sauce is super creamy. Lastly, stir in the parsley. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
- Serve the mac and cheese immediately and top with more freshly cracked black pepper.