Tomato Basil Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe

Yields: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 12 oz elbow macaroni (or a short pasta of your choice)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 large tomato, diced)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped


  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Large saucepan


1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside.

2. Make the cheese sauce

  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar and fontina cheeses until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

3. Incorporate tomatoes and basil: Gently stir in the cooked pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped basil.

4. Serve: Serve immediately while hot and enjoy the creamy, cheesy, and flavorful tomato-basil mac and cheese!


Cheese choice: Feel free to experiment with other melting cheeses like mozzarella, gruyere, or Monterey Jack.

Freshness: Use fresh basil for the best flavor; dried will work in a pinch but won’t be as vibrant.

Toppings: Garnish with extra basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for an extra touch.

Make it spicy: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.


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