Herbed Stovetop Mac and Cheese

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!

a big pot of herbed mac and cheese being stirred with a wooden spoon

four bowls of herbed mac and cheese topped with black pepper

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.

a bowl of herbed mac and cheese topped with black pepper

a bowl of herbed mac and cheese topped with black pepper

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!


Herbed Stovetop Mac and Cheese

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a simple herbed stovetop mac and cheese with caramelized shallots, garlic, white cheddar, parmesan, and lots of savory herbs

servings: 4-6


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, drop the pasta into the boiling water, stir well, and cook for 1 minute less than the package’s instructions.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve the mac and cheese immediately and top with more freshly cracked black pepper.

579 thoughts on “Herbed Stovetop Mac and Cheese

  1. I’ve been looking for the perfect Mac and cheese recipe for Christmas this year and I think I just found it! Can’t wait to try. Will report back!

  2. I am so excited to have found your page I am going to start tonight making one of your recipes everything looks so good I’ll come back and let you know what I made!!!

  3. Looks yummy! Do you find that using only cheddar and Parmesan gives it a grainy texture? I ask because it’s happened to me in the past and I’m not sure how to avoid it! Usually I add some kind of semi soft cheese to make it creamier. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts ?

  4. I actually tried cooking Mac and cheese in my current Le Creuset model dutch oven (it’s a dual purpose one) for the first time for Thanksgiving. Now that I have discovered this recipe and your site, I will definitely be trying more!

  5. Wow! The addition of the herbs is such a new twist, my mouth is watering. My boyfriend claims to be a mac and cheese guru but he may have some competition ?

  6. Loving this cheesy goodness! I have dreamt of my very own Dutch oven for years now, and would most definitely fill it with cheesy things!

  7. Yumm, I may try this. I’m just learning to love to cook and one thing has taken a while for me to get is cookware matters! Sometimes it’s hard to splurge on good cookware, I plan on building a wonderful collection by the end of my days;)

  8. Brilliant! The flavor combo of shallots, garlic, herbs to a classic Mac n cheese??! Yes, please! Will definitely be making this.. and maybe eating the whole pot ?

  9. Umm yum!!! That looks super delish. I need to get a pot bigger than my pot-that-came-in-a-set-and-can-barely-hold-4qts . Can’t wait to try this!

  10. Holy moly this looks heavenly and is going on my recipe list ASAP to make this upcoming week!!! Can’t wait to try this deliciousness!!!

  11. Looks amazing! Can almost smell it through the phone. Would love to try this in a new Le Creuset, it would be my first!

  12. This Grandmommy is always looking for new pasta recipes for my grandchildren! They will love this one! Thank you @ TOD and LeCreuset

  13. This is probably the best stovetop mac and cheese I’ve ever made. Such an amazing depth of flavor and so simple too!!

  14. This sounds amazing – and like something the entire family will eat without someone complaining, lol! Such a easy, cozy, comfort meal.

  15. OMG, what a great spin with the shallot and herbs on Mac and cheese!! Can’t wait to try this!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  16. My go to Mac and cheese is Alex Guarnaschelli’s, but this looks amazing and I think I’m going to have to try it!

  17. I will definitely be delaying my low carb life until after I make this. I don’t own a Le Crueset Dutch oven yet, but, it’s going to happen! My Le Crueset braiser needs some company.

  18. The Mac and cheese sounds delicious!! In a Le Creuset Dutch oven, it sounds even better and easier!! I can’t wait to try! And even add and change a few things!

  19. My mouth is watering reading this! Definitely adding it to the menu for the week. Can’t wait to try it! Happy Holidays!

    1. This looks delicious! For pasta recipes I’ve been recently substituting with gluten free pasta to be healthier, and still get the same amazing taste !

  20. I don’t know WHY I’ve never considered putting sage & thyme in my Mac and cheese! This sounds and looks so yummy!

  21. This recipe is giving me the stay home and snuggle vibes while snacking on it all throughout the day and night. It’s a thing, I promise! ?

  22. This recipe looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to try this out!!!im so excited to try this I feel my taste buds watering!!!

  23. This looks delicious! Mac and cheese is my favorite food in the world. Definitely going to have to try this recipe before the year is upz

  24. This looks like the ultimate comfort food! I’d love to try a baked version with breadcrumbs on top too, and love that you can do that in the le creuset! I can’t wait to own one one day.

  25. Omg this looks delicious! Actually just discovered this shape of pasta yesterday! Also entering the giveaway!! Fingers crossed ??

  26. This looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it. I also sent it to all my friends. Thank you for a recipe for an old favorite.

  27. Just need to pick up the fresh herbs and then I’ll have all the ingredients on hand. I’m going to Love digging into this dish!!!

  28. Mac and cheese was never something we ate during the holidays growing up. My mom always used to make from scratch Mac and cheese when we did eat it though so that’s the only way I’ll have it now! Love how elevated but simple this recipe is- YUM!

  29. This looks amazing! I bet it’s even better cooked in the Dutch oven.
    Thanks for sharing your recipes. I’ve cooked quite a few!

  30. Looks amazing! But I’m allergic to cow dairy ;(
    I’m going to use your recipe and hack it with pea milk (makes everything thick and creamy) goat gouda instead of cheddar and pecorino romano. ?? Can’t wait! But first I need this dutch oven. . .

  31. Wow, the photos are making me want this for breakfast right now! I confess to making an occasional box of Annie’s mac ‘n cheese when I want some in a hurry, but this recipe looks to be just as fast and far superior. Will definitely make this soon.

  32. This dish looks absolutely amazing!! I feel like it’s always hard to find a GOOD mac and cheese, so I can’t wait to try this one!! My mom and I like to try new dishes together when we can, so I’m very excited to try it. Thank you so much for sharing it!! :))

  33. I have only melty cheesy thoughts now…and that pot was just the perfect vessel of cozy. I would love to own one someday. #christmaswishes

  34. I love the idea of garlic in mec and cheese!! This looks creamy and delicious. Looking forward to trying out another one of your fab recipes!

  35. Omg childhood memories gushing over here!!! But elevated to the most exquisite way possible. Mac n cheese is definitely a dish that transports me back to my childhood, and to be able to find this amazing recepie is thrilling!!! It’s a shame I didn’t know about this one before as I could’ve done it for thanksgiving and wowed the in laws (lol) but I’m without a doubt going to do it for Xmas day with the family!!! CAN’T WAIT
    Lots of love
    – @cr.ii.s.de

  36. Have loved trying your recipes! The latest one was the French onion pizza and we absolutely loved it! Reading this mac and cheese recipe at 5:30 am and wishing I could make it now!

  37. I love that you used whole milk in your recipe! The dish looks so creamy and delicious with all that herby punch from the fresh parsley, thyme, oregano and sage! Can’t wait to make it!

  38. My family absolutely loved this Mac n cheese! I can’t wait to make it again…. and again! xx
    Thank you for sharing

  39. Once again, an impressive!!! The use of the herbs and shallots! Looking forward to giving this a try on a cold winter’s day!

  40. Ngl i originally came over from IG to get an extra entry into the giveaway but all things being honest this mac sounds absolutely killer! I’ve forwarded it to my SO, who is the household mac connoisseur.

  41. Really love infusing the bechamel with herbs – never thought to do this but SUCH a smart and easy way to build flavor from the ground up. Can’t wait to try this!

  42. Just bought ingredients of what I thought would make a good Mac and cheese recipe. Now I know I have them all and going to make this! Comfort for the soul! In winter!! In a pandemic!!!

  43. This is looks like such a gouda use of fresh herbs. Would be a gruyerey cozy winter dish. Brie what I did there? Can’t wait to try.

  44. I love that this doesn’t require any crazy ingredients! Can’t wait to try this especially with how cold it’s getting in nyc!

  45. 11:09pm on a Wednesday is a really inconvenient time for my stomach to suddenly start growling..! This looks absolutely diviiiiine!

  46. This on a Sunday with football on the TV, the tree up, fireplace going…Amidst a tough year, it’s hard to complain in that setting. Delicious dish!

  47. Oh my gosh this looks drool worthy! ?Totally down for some comforting Mac n cheese in the middle of winter!

  48. I’ve never cooked with a pan like that but I really want to someday!! This looks awesome. Can use it for so many things!

    1. This looks incredible! I love Mac’n’cheese so much. This is definitely a step up from the boxed kind I often make. Can’t wait to try!

  49. This looks absolutely incredible!!!! Herbed cheesy goodness and looks even better in that AWESOME Dutch oven!!!!

  50. I have been searching for a great stove top mac forever!!! The kid in me craves the cheesy goodness of childhood when that blue box was king! This looks like the adult version of those dreams..Can’t wait to make tomorrow!! Yummy 🙂

  51. This looks very yum! I grew up not ever having Mac and cheese, but with my own two kids now, I’m always looking for a great recipe!

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