One Pot Mac and Cheese is a simple version of your classic childhood favorite. It’s creamy, delicious with three different cheeses, it’s a one pot meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes.
Probably my favorite comfort food of all time is Macaroni and Cheese. I remember being six or seven years old and spending the night at my grandma’s house, and every time she would pull the Stoffer’s Mac and Cheese out of the freezer and that’s what we ate. To this day that taste still reminds me of her.
Well now that I’m all grown up, my tastes have expanded, and I love to really dress up my mac and cheese.
HOW TO MAKE ONE POT MAC AND CHEESE
This recipe is great because you can easily adjust the amounts of milk/cream to make it healthier, or even use no cream at all (but why would you want to do that?). You can also experiment with different types of cheese. I made this one with Cheddar, Jack and Gouda (my new favorite!).
- Milk/heavy cream – or any combination of the two.
- Macaroni (or other small pasta)
- Cheeses – Because without the cheese it’s just mac.
- Dry mustard – give just a hint of tanginess to compliment the creaminess of the cheese sauce.
- Salt – Pasta needs salt, lots of salt, to give it flavor. You can’t cut back what’s called for in the recipe though, and just add some at the end if you prefer.
Since we’re making this a one pot meal, you literally only need one pot. A 3 quart pot will suffice, however you could double the recipe in a 5 quart. Mix all of the ingredients (except the cheese) in the pot and bring them to a simmer. Keep it simmering and stirring for about 20 minutes at which point most of the liquid will be absorbed, then turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. The sauce will thicken as the cheeses are added, but you’ll want to let the one pot mac and cheese rest for a few minutes before devouring.
WHAT ARE THE BEST CHEESES FOR MAC AND CHEESE?
I love using Cheddar, Jack and Gouda for my one pot mac, but there are a lot of other cheeses available. When selecting a cheese you want something that will melt easily and blend well into the sauce. Something with a sharp bite or nutty flavor works quite well. The 11 cheeses on this list will make you a seriously delicious bowl of mac and cheese.
- Sharp Cheddar
- White Cheddar
- Jack cheese
- Blue Cheese
- Pepper Jack
CAN YOU REHEAT MAC AND CHEESE?
Absolutely! To keep your mac and cheese super creamy and delicious and not end up with a hot mess, add about a tablespoon of milk per cup of mac and cheese and heat in the microwave at 50%. This will usually take twice as long as what you’d expect a typical dish to take, but reheating too fast can cause the cheese sauce to separate which is not what we want. Microwaving at half the power will ensure that your mac and cheese heats up slowly and mixing in the milk with help make it nice and creamy again.
If you love this One Pot Mac and Cheese you should check out my other one pot meals:
- One Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles
- One Pot Chicken Alfredo
- One Pot Beef Stroganoff
- One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice
- One Pot Chicken Cacciatore
- One Pot Chicken Spaghetti
- One Pot Cheesy Chicken Pasta
Tools Used to Make this Recipe:
Box grater – I love the large handle, and the different grate sizes.
Cut resistant glove – I use one of these glove every single time I use my grater or mandolin. Keeps your knuckles safe for harm!
3 quart sauce pan – This is my favorite brand of cookware – I’ve been using it for years and have never had any issues. Plus, they guarantee their product!
- 1 1/2 cups milk I used nonfat, but any will do
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups uncooked macaroni any small pasta will do
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheese I used 1/2 cup each of Cheddar, Gouda and Jack
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh minced parsley
- Add milk, cream, salt, dry mustard, pasta and butter into a medium sized pan. over medium heat.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once at a simmer, turn heat down to low.
- Cook and stir frequently for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add 1/4 cup more milk if pasta is not fully cooked and continue cooking until pasta is al dente.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheeses. Cover and let stand for at least five minutes for the cheese sauce to set.
- Serve immediately, garnished with fresh minced parsley if desired.