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26 Easy stove top macaroni and cheese recipe that can be made in the stove top- with better ingredients than the box

Easy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Stove Top version

This easy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe will satisfy even the pickets of eaters! The recipe is super easy to make and just as quick as the boxed kind -with better ingredients of course!

Easy creamy mac and cheese MOMables.comIf you ask just about any kid what their favorite food is, more times than not, the answer is macaroni and cheese.

I know there was a period of time at our house when it was the requested meal almost daily.

While it’s always easy to pull out a box of the grocery store variety, I’m here to tell you that making your own, homemade version is just as simple. Check out how easy it is to make!

It doesn’t require a fancy roux to thicken the sauce or even constant stirring.  You can even change it up by adding peas, broccoli, bacon or ham.

Not only does this mac and cheese make a great lunch at home, but your kids will be envy of their classmates when they pull it out of their lunch box at school.

Easy Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe

Easy stove top macaroni and cheese recipe that can be made in the stove top- with better ingredients than the box
  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Lunch


  • 1 pound pasta, any shape
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, like cheddar, monterey jack, or colby
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard


  1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. When the pasta has finished cooking, you can begin to prepare the cheese sauce. Start by warming 1 cup of the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and the 2 tablespoons of flour until there are no lumps. When you begin to see steam rising from the milk, whisk in the milk-and-flour mixture. Continue whisking until the milk thickens slightly to the consistency of heavy cream, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Turning the heat to low, you can begin adding the shredded cheese into the milk. Stir in the salt and dijon mustard. Continue to stir until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Remove the sauce from heat.
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta and 1/2 of the cheese sauce. Stir to coat the pasta evenly. Add the second half of the sauce and any extra add-ins.
  5. Serve the mac and cheese immediately while still warm. Leftovers will keep for up to a week and can be reheated. If the sauce is a little dry after re-heating, mix in a splash of milk to make it creamy again.


For a gluten free version, use gluten free pasta and an all purpose gluten free baking flour.

adapted slightly from The Kitchn



Gluten-Free Southern-Style Biscuits

Love biscuits but can’t have gluten? Oh man, you need our help! This recipe is delicious and will bring you back to those warm yummy biscuits your grandma used to make!

I was raised on a farm in Indiana. It was a great way to spend a childhood—running through corn fields, no neighbors in sight, growing our own vegetables and fruits.

My grandmother taught us Southern-style cooking, which she blended with our Midwestern roots. There was always something cooking, and it was always something delicious.

Those times spent in the kitchen with my grandmother were some of my fondest memories. Another thing that came warm out of the oven often? Her homemade Southern biscuits she topped with butter and jam. Wow!

Since my daugher started eating gluten-free, we haven’t bought or made any, so I knew I needed to add it to my ever-growing list of “gluten-free recipes to tackle.”

These are simple and delicious. Eat them as is, or slice and fill with jam. You won’t regret having these on the dinner table!

Gluten-Free Southern-Style Biscuits

Yields One Dozen Biscuits

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Baking


  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt, and mix well.
  3. Using your mixer on a low setting, blend the butter into the flour mixture until it begins to look crumbly.
  4. Add the milk and yogurt, and mix until a dough starts to form.
  5. Using your hands, begin forming the dough into a ball, and turn it onto a floured surface.
  6. Dust the top with flour, and roll out the dough until it is about 1-inch thick.
  7. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, push straight down, and begin cutting the biscuits, then placing them onto the baking sheet.
  8. Reform and roll out the scrap dough, then continue cutting the biscuits.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden on top.


If you want to cut the amount of butter, you could substitute 2 tablespoons for 1 tablespoon of applesauce or 2 tablespoons of oil.




Allergy-Friendly Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookie Cups

Do you love all things “mint” as much as I do? If so, you’ve landed in the right place!

Hello, my name is Keeley, and I’m addicted to all things “mint.” Candies, coffees, teas, you name it! My daughter has apparently inherited my love for mint flavors because we cannot get enough of it in our house.

These Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookie Cups were an instant hit. Mini in size, making them the perfect bite-size snack or dessert in the lunch box. They are gluten-, egg-, and nut-free. Try making them dairy-free by using additional allergy-friendly chocolate chips and adding peppermint extract instead.

You can also bake and freeze these cups. Once thawed, they’re still as perfectly chewy and delicious as the day they were made!

Allergy-Friendly Chewy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: Yields 50 mini cups
  • Cuisine: Baking


  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 flax egg replacers* or two eggs
  • 1 cup Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips (gluten-, nut-, and egg-free)
  • 1 cup EnjoyLife MiniChips (free of Top 8 allergens)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, blend the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs.
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture, and mix until creamy, scraping the bowl often.
  5. Stir in the Andes baking chips and the MiniChips.
  6. Fill each cavity of the mini muffin pan about three-quarter full with about 2 teaspoons of the dough.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. (Be careful not to overbake, or they won’t be chewy!)
  8. Let them cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove them from the pan gently, with a knife to pop them out of each cavity.


To make a flax egg: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Mix until creamy, and let stand for at least 10 minutes until it forms a gel-like consistency.



Allergy-Friendly Homemade Fish Sticks

Finally, delicious gluten-free, allergy-friendly fish sticks that kids will love!
gluten free, egg free, dairy free, homemade fish sticks kids will loveChicken nuggets and fish sticks are two iconic kid food items sold at every grocery store, listed in most kid’s menus, and found in nearly every home.

Finger foods are loved by kids because they can be dipped and eaten with their hands. Parents love them because they are easy to fix for dinner and for the lunch box!

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Since my daughter began eating gluten-free, I’ve been on a mission to remake all her favorite foods healthier and allergy-friendly.

Most store-bought frozen fish sticks are a mixture of processed seafood. Full of carbs, fillers, unidentifiable ingredients, and sodium, they aren’t the healthiest or nutritious.

In my homemade version, I know exactly the ingredients my child is eating. 

This recipe is free from gluten, nuts, dairy, and eggs. We made ours using vegan Parmesan topping and coconut milk, but you may substitute per your preferences and needs. I’ve also up’d the nutrition and omega-3s by adding ground flax to the breading.

MOM Tip: Make your own gluten-free bread crumbs by repurposing bread crusts and scraps from lunches. It’s not only waste-free, but will save you from spending the extra money to buy specialty items. Simply store the scraps and crusts in a freezer bag, and process them as needed for bread crumbs.

Allergy-Friendly Homemade Fish Sticks

  • Author: MOMables
  • Yield: 30 to 35 fish sticks
  • Cuisine: Lunch


  • 1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan topping
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Pour the flour onto a plate, and set aside. Pour the coconut milk into a shallow dish, and set aside. In another dish, mix together the flax, bread crumbs, Parmesan, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  3. Dip the fish into the flour, making sure that both sides are thinly and evenly coated. Then dip the fish into the milk, and wet both sides. Finally, move the fish onto the crumb mixture. Using your hands, coat both sides with the crumb mixture, pressing lightly to adhere.
  4. At this point, you can either freeze or bake the fish.
  5. If you’re baking, preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange the fish sticks on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown, flipping once halfway through.



Piggy Cupcakes for Lunch

Need grab-and-go meal options? Here is a fun one for you.  These “piggy cupcakes” will be a huge hit. Plus, the batter is made with Greek yogurt, so that’s an added protein bonus.

The bread alone would be delicious baked in a loaf and used for reubens or even a chicken sandwich. By baking them this way in a muffin pan, I was able to transform a favorite “Man Meal” into a “Manly Lunch Box Hit.”

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Of course, my daughter got a kick out of the fact that I called them “cupcakes.”

The bread takes a little time to prepare, but that’s why I love baking and planning my meals on quiet Sunday afternoons. A little effort on the weekend = ready-made lunch items for the week! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freeze for future use. The recipe yields 12 to 14 cupcakes.

We make ours gluten-free by substituting the flour, and I’ve also made this recipe egg-free by subbing a flax egg (see note).

Piggy Cupcakes

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Lunch


  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (or 1 flax egg)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour (If using gluten-free flour that doesn’t contain xanthan gum, add 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup sauerkraut (drained well), or 1 large apple, grated
  • 2 low-fat smoked sausage or Kielbasa links (12 to 14 ounces total)


  1. In a small bowl, stir the yeast and warm water together, then set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the yogurt, honey, butter, salt, egg, and 1/4 cup of the flour. (Add xanthan gum here, if needed.)
  3. Add the yeast water, and mix again. Add the sauerkraut and the remaining 2 cups of the flour. Mix thoroughly.
  4. On a floured surface, knead the dough until it’s plump, then place it back into your mixing bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
  5. Punch the dough down again. Let it rise again until it doubles in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  7. At this point, you can either bake the bread in a loaf pan, or continue with the recipe to make the kielbasa cups.
  8. Lightly coat muffin pans with cooking spray, then fill each cup three-quarters full with dough.
  9. Slice the sausage into even pieces the depth of your tin. Press a piece into the center of each cup.
  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.


To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Mix until creamy, and let stand for 10 minutes until a gel-like consistency forms.