stovetop mac n' cheese in pot with chopped tomatoes and scallions

Kid and Mom Friendly Stovetop Mac n’ Cheese

  • Author: Spicepaw
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A simple, cheesy and creamy stovetop mac and cheese is loaded with veg and can be made in 20 min. A kid and mom-friendly meal! #kidfood #easysidedish #vegetarianrecipes #familydinners #macandcheese



  • 200 g/7 oz macaroni/shells/spirals (whichever you prefer and/or have in your cupboard)
  • 150 g/1 cup frozen peas
  • 390 g/~13.2 oz full cream evaporated milk
  • 130 g/a little over 4 oz grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • chopped scallion or crispy onions to garnish (optional)
  • salt
  • black pepper


  1. Bring water to boil in a large pot on the stove over high heat.  Add pasta and frozen peas.  Cook until al dente or until they are at the desired texture. Drain.
  2. In a medium to a large saucepan, warm evaporated milk over medium heat.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of Dijon and a pinch of nutmeg and whisk to combine.
  4. When the mixture starts to bubble, slowly whisk in the grated cheese a little at a time.  Continue to whisk the mixture for 2-3 minutes until fully incorporated in and sauce is creamy and cheesy.
  5. Turn heat down to low and continue to cook until thick and bubbly (about 2-5 min).
  6. Turn off heat and stir in pasta and peas.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top with chopped tomatoes and scallions or crispy onions any other kind of veg you enjoy.


Put the kids to work!  One of the reasons why I think I cook today is because my mom put me to work in the kitchen when I was young.  Give them a job suitable to their skills like grating cheese, beating batter, peeling potatoes, or setting the table. Cooking with your kids is a great way to teach children about nutrition and food.  Also, they will more likely eat it if they take pride in helping to make it.
If your child is not a big fan of peas or tomatoes, no problem.  Try with different veg and see if that works.  You can add green beans or broccoli to the mix, try out a crumbly cauliflower crust, or put some pumpkin or squash puree to the sauce.  Include your child into deciding what vegetable you should add and try letting them pick it out at the market.  If the vegetable is something they haven’t tried before, make sure they do a taste test ahead of time.
  • Category: main, pasta
  • Method: boiling, simmering
  • Cuisine: Western

Keywords: mac and cheese, pasta, cheese, macaroni, kid food, vegetarian, easy side dish

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