Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese

September 7, 2011
Creamy Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese is made extra creamy and tasty with 2 kinds of cheese. And it's made extra-easy on the stove top!

Bowl of Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Image

I generally make our family's favorite baked macaroni and cheese when our mac & cheese craving hits, but was recently inspired by Nicole at Heat Oven to 350 to try her Simple Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese recipe instead. And a truly simple recipe it is! But despite its simplicity, this recipe delivers up a creamy mac & cheese that's loaded with fabulous flavor. 

I was drawn to this particular recipe for several reasons:

  1. It was prepared on the stovetop instead of baked, like I usually make. -- Which means it would be on the table ready-to-eat more quickly.
  2. The recipe seemed super easy to make.
  3. And, the recipe used Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, made by Cabot Creamery in Cabot, Vermont. -- I actually grew up in Vermont 20 minutes from the Cabot Creamery and am a loyal fan.  (Such a loyal fan, in fact, that after moving to North Carolina, I initially had Cabot cheese shipped to me. Fortunately, it's now readily available throughout the NC area so I no longer need to have it shipped in.)

Given my love of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, you'll probably find it ironic, then, that one of the changes I made to Nicole's original recipe is to use Smoked Gouda in place of the cheddar.  That doesn't mean I don't love the original, because I sure do.  And I love our Smoked Gouda version just as much.

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese turns out very creamy with a mildly smoky flavor. This creamy texture and mild smokiness is the result of using a homemade white sauce and two types of cheese -- Monterey Jack and smoked gouda.

Monterey Jack cheese melts easily and smoothly, combining with the white sauce to create ultra-creaminess. Smoked gouda brings this mac & cheese's signature deliciously smoky flavor. And the resulting combination of it all is nothing short of amazing.

Bite of Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese On a Fork Image

What's To Love About This Recipe:

There's sure a whole lot to love with this stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe. To name a few things, it's

  • Quick - This tasty mac & cheese is ready in just the time it takes to cook the noodles. Prepare the cheese sauce while the pasta cooks, and you're good to go.
  • Easy - Cook some macaroni noodles, whip up a simple basic white sauce, stir in shredded cheese, and toss it all together. -- That's all it takes.
  • Creamy - A combination of homemade white sauce and melty Monterey Jack cheese come together to create ultra-creaminess.
  • Flavorful - Smoked gouda brings this mac & cheese's signature deliciously smoky flavor. And the resulting combination of it mixed with the macaroni, white sauce, and Monterey Jack is nothing short of amazing.

Top View of Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Image

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Ingredients:

Besides its fabulous flavor, one of the beautiful things about this creamy smoked gouda macaroni and cheese is that it doesn't take very many ingredients to pull together. Just 7 simple ingredients (3 of which make up the homemade white sauce that's the foundation of its cheese sauce) is all it takes. 

To whip up a pan, you'll need:

  • Macaroni - It's not macaroni & cheese without the macaroni that creates its base! Choose regular elbows, or get a bit more playful with large/jumbo elbow macaroni like the batch in the photos of this post, or corkscrew cavatappi like in the photo just below this ingredients section.

  • Homemade white sauce - A simple basic white sauce made with butter, all-purpose flour, and milk creates the foundation of the dish's creamy cheese sauce. We recommend using whole milk for the best and creamiest result.

  • Salt - Salt is a critical element to season both the macaroni and the cheese sauce. Salt the pasta cooking water to season the macaroni as it cooks, and salt the white sauce as well to fully develop its flavor.

  • Monterey Jack cheese - A mild-flavored cheese that melts well and smoothly, Monterey Jack contributes greatly to the cheese sauce's creaminess.

  • Smoked gouda cheese - Smoked gouda creates this mac & cheese's signature smoky flavor.

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Ingredients Image

While I used large elbow macaroni to make the batch of mac & cheese in this post's photos, I do often use cavatappi pasta instead of elbows. Cavatappi is a fun twisty-shaped macaroni pasta that just adds a fun look and feel to mac and cheese.

Cavatappi Pasta Image

When made with cavatappi, the finished mac and cheese has lots of curves to hold the melty, creamy cheese sauce. And it just has a fun and playful textural look.

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Made with Cavatappi Pasta Image

How to Make Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese:

Whipping up a pan of Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese is pretty quick and easy. Truly, the cheese sauce can be made in the time it takes to cook the pasta -- so the dish comes together in about 30 minutes.

To get started, salt some water, bring it to a boil, and get the macaroni cooking.

While the pasta cooks, get a basic homemade white sauce started by melting some butter in a pan. Whisk in all-purpose flour, and then slowly whisk in some milk. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or so until it thickens into a nice creamy white sauce.

Making Cheese Sauce in Skillet Image

Once thickened, remove the white sauce from the heat and stir in shredded Monterey Jack and smoked gouda cheeses until they're melted.

Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce. Then gently toss and stir everything together until the pasta is all coated in the cheesy sauce.

Adding Macaroni to Cheese Sauce Image

Then you're ready to dig into the creamy, cheesy deliciousness!

So, whether you choose to go with the original cheddar-based recipe or this Smoked Gouda version, we think you're in for a treat.  I know we certainly enjoy both versions.

Check out these other super tasty mac & cheese recipes:

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese in Bowl Image
Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe, stovetop smoked gouda macaroni and cheese recipe, macaroni and cheese with smoked gouda
Side Dishes
Yield: about 4-6 servings
Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese

Creamy Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese is made extra creamy and tasty with 2 kinds of cheese. And it's made extra-easy on the stove top!
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 20 MTotal time: 30 M


  • 14 oz. cavatappi pasta, large elbow macaroni, or regular elbow macaroni (about 3 to 3 1/2 c.)
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. smoked gouda cheese, shredded


  1. In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While water is coming to a boil for the pasta, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk together. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add milk, just a bit at a time, whisking well after each addition until the milk is incorporated. Cook and stir mixture until it thickens, about 4-5 minutes. 
  4. Remove milk mixture from heat and stir in cheeses until melted.
  5.  Drain pasta and toss with cheese sauce. Season to taste with additional salt, if needed.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese ~ This creamy Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese is made extra creamy & tasty with 2 kinds of cheese. And it's made extra-easy on the stove top!

This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.


  1. Holy smokes! That looks wonderful! Love the twisty pasta and smoked gouda??? Oh man! I'd like some right now, please!

  2. I just love this recipe! I love the use of gouda which I have never tried before but will be now! I also love how you used cavatappi noodles, clever! Thanks for sharing! Adding this to my recipe box now! :)

  3. Your Mac N Cheese looks really good, it is a great recipe! Hope you are having a great day and thanks for sharing!
    Miz Helen

  4. oo Mac and Cheese with Gouda, sounds so fancy! bet it was wonderful!

    Stopping by from the MACARONI & CHEESE Linky Party through Moms Crazy Cooking

  5. Can you believe I have never made homemade mac & cheese? :O Looks like this recipe could change things!
    I found your blog at the Freshman Friday Party ar Home Savvy A to Z :) I'm over there hopping with ya too!

  6. Love those noodles!

    Stopping by on my way through the links from Moms Cooking Challenge!

  7. Gouda and easy, a wonderful combination!

    My Crazy Cooking Challenge entry: Velvety Mac & Cheese.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  8. Hi I found your blog on the crazy cooking challenge. You have a great blog looks so yummy :) Check out my food blog

  9. This looks amazing! I wouldn't have thought to use smoked gouda but I can just imagine what an elegant flavor it gives, especially with the fun noodles. Genius ideas. I'm so flattered that you used my mac and cheese as a base. It's still one of the most requested dishes from my husband.

    PS - I'm so glad you still gave a shout out to Cabot cheese even though you aren't using it. It's good stuff. :)

  10. I'm digging the gouda! I love it's complexity and I am sure it lends itself well to this favorite dish of mine. :)

  11. Mmmm... your recipe sounds very, very gouda! This was my first time joining the CCC - I had a great time. Hope you'll stop by for a visit.


  12. Those noodles are SO cool! And I have never had Cabot cheese, I guess I will have to now! Thanks for joining CCC, I can't wait for next month, Chocolate Chip Cookies, YEA!

  13. Did I forget to mention that I LOOOVE Cabot cheese? Well, I do :)

  14. I love Gouda and this sounds like an awesome mac-n-cheese!
    Come see mine at

  15. Mmm...smoked gouda sounds great in mac n cheese!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

    Come check out my CCC post:

  16. I love that blog too! And I love cavatappi pasta... it's super cute and fun. Great decision to use gouda instead. YUM! Check out my mac and cheese post if you'd like :)

  17. Such a pretty presentation...I love the crock and the twisty pasta. It looks delish.

    Stopping by from the CCC. I'm entry #48.

  18. That sounds so good! I love gouda cheese and haven't had it in forever. I bet it would be fantastic as a side to steak :)

    Stopping by from CCC - #17

  19. Looks good.

    We'd love you to share your recipes with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

    Have a great weekend.

  20. That looks fabulous. Thanks for inviting me over. We love smoked gouda at our house so I'm sure this would be a hit :)

    The Farm Girl

  21. Thank you so much for stopping by Concetta's Cafe! I love your macaroni and cheese with the yummy twists!

    My favorite is Cabot Sharp Cheddar - even better the seriously sharp! We love - love - love Vermont. I grew up in NY, but always traveled through New England. My husband and I lived in Vermont for 2 glorious years and we will be going back to live there in a few years. Our town was Benson right near Lake Champlain on NY's border.

    I am looking forward to visitng you again soon!

  22. You totally win because:

    1) no nasty breadcrumbs.

    2) smoked gouda.

    3) cavatappi = awesome.


  23. So much mac & cheese, so little time! Your version with smoked gouda sounds amazing! Thanks for being a Cabot fan and supporting our farmer owners!

    Wendy @ Cabot

  24. I had to improvise as I was craving Mac n cheese and only had regular Gouda and cheddar jack cheese, it was delicious! My 18 month and 5 year old ate it up too!

  25. This looks awesome! Great pictures and blog :)


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