One Pot Mac and Cheese

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.

One Pot mac and cheese on a plate with a fork.

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.
  • Butter
  • 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.

One Pot Mac and cheese how to make

One Pot Mac and Cheese on a plate.

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.

  1. Parmesan
  2. Sharp Cheddar
  3. White Cheddar
  4. Jack cheese
  5. Gouda
  6. Gruyere
  7. Fontina
  8. Blue Cheese
  9. Gorgonzola
  10. Mozzarella
  11. Pepper Jack

A bite of One Pot Mac and Cheese on a fork.

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:

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!

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A plate of one pot mac and cheese

One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Servings 4 servings
Calories 590kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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 ½ cup each of Cheddar, Gouda and Jack
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh minced parsley

Instructions
 

  • 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 ¼ 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 590kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 23gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 923mgPotassium: 363mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1135IUCalcium: 452mgIron: 1.2mg

One Pot Mac and Cheese collage

A plate of one pot mac and cheese

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Was only thinking this morning I must make Mac and cheese tonight but I add bacon and bread crumbs to mine ,when it’s all cooked I brown of in the grill with some extra cheese and bread crumbs.

  2. I absolutely love one pan meals. When I cook I usuallt end up using every dish I own so the one pot deal definitely cuts down on dishes I have to clean after.

  3. Sounds great! I’m all for anything that doesn’t dirty every dish in the kitchen. When you are measuring the dry pasta and the cheese into cups, are you talking about packing it into measuring cups, or are you talking about ounces? My box of pasta is 16 oz. Is that the 2 cups, 8 oz being in a cup? Sorry, I’m confused!