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One Pot Mac and Cheese

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Rich and creamy, this One Pot Mac and Cheese comes together with a blend of cheeses, whole milk, and elbow pasta. It’s an irresistible homemade mac and cheese that tastes better than anything you’ll make from a box! Serve it on its own or as a side with all your favorite meals. 

overhead image of a bowl of one pot mac and cheese topped with fresh pepper

Mac and Cheese, Please

There’s nothing more nostalgic and comforting than a big warm bowl of homemade mac and cheese! One bite, and we’re transported back to our childhood. Growing up we made the stuff out of the box. However, now that we’re older, we knew we could do better. So, we took all the flavor of the mac and cheese we grew up eating and made it even better with whole food ingredients and a bit of love! This One Pot Mac and Cheese: 

  • Requires minimal dishes for an easy cleanup
  • Has the absolute creamiest texture and richest taste
  • Cooks in less than 15 minutes
  • And is easy to customize with all your favorite add-ins

Ingredients You’ll Need

You won’t find any powdered cheese here! We’re using nothing but the real stuff for an out-of-this-world taste. Here’s everything you’ll need: 

  • Pasta – We use elbow pasta, but we also love Cavatappi, too. Whatever noodles you like the best work just fine! 
  • Broth – Either chicken or vegetable broth is used to cook the noodles, and infuses them with an incredibly rich taste.  
  • Spices – To enhance the natural flavors of the cheese, we include mustard powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. 
  • Cheese – We include a combination of Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses for just a hint of spice. However, any cheese you like best would taste great! 
  • Butter – This makes any recipe even more delicious. However, butter also helps thicken the cheese sauce, helping it stick to the noodles. Because we include spices separately, you want to make sure your butter is unsalted. 
  • Heavy Cream & Whole Milk – Our secret to creating the creamiest, most indulgent mac and cheese you’ll ever taste, a combination of heavy cream and whole milk are poured into the pot to take the cheese sauce to the next level. 

overhead image of one pot mac and cheese in a large pot being stirred with a spoon

How to Make One Pot Mac and Cheese

Some mac and cheese recipes require multiple dishes to make the noodles and the cheese, creating lots of dishes in the process. So, we simplified things and created this One Pot Mac and Cheese! 

  1. Place the pasta, broth, and seasonings in a large pot
  2. Bring the broth to a boil, and cover. 
  3. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the ingredients for 10-12 minutes
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir until the sauce is combined and creamy. 

* For a slightly crispy top, place the pot under your broiler for a few minutes! 

Optional Add-Ins

There’s nothing wrong with serving this simple One Pot Mac and Cheese as it is. However, if you want to prepare a more complete meal, there are endless ways to bulk it up. To get you started, some of our favorite additions include: 

  • Ground Beef
  • Shredded Chicken 
  • Bacon 
  • Broccoli 
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms

one pot mac and cheese with a spoon holding a scoop over the pot

Make-Ahead Options 

This recipe makes for the best leftovers that are so easy to reheat or even freeze. So, feel free to double the batch for an easy meal you can eat all week! 

Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 1-2 days

Freezer: Place your mac and cheese in a sealable bag or airtight container for up to 6 months

How to Reheat

First, be sure to thaw your frozen mac and cheese in the fridge overnight. Or, leave it on the counter for a couple of hours. However, we don’t recommend thawing it in the microwave as your noodles will dry out. Then, warm your leftovers in the microwave, on the stovetop, or even in the oven! 

Serving Suggestions

We’ve been known to eat a big bowl of this One Pot Mac and Cheese as a complete meal. However, it also pairs well with all your favorite main courses as an ultimate side dish! Some of our favorite pairings include: 

More Easy One Pot Recipes You’ll Love

If you’re looking for more one pot dishes, we’ve got a few favorites you won’t be able to resist: 

Creamy One Pot Mac and Cheese

Food Dolls
This macaroni and cheese is so easy and tastes even better than the box! Perfect for picky eaters!
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 14 mins
Course dinner, lunch, Side
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 547 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces uncooked elbow pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth or broth of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese (grates)
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, add pasta, broth, and seasonings. Stir. Bring to a boil, and cover. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  • Add remaning ingredients, and stir until nice and creamy. Add a splash of milk for a creamier consistency. Option: Feel free to broil in the oven for a few minutes to crisp the top!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1550mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 828IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 272mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword comfort food, easy mac and cheese, easy one pot pasta, mac and cheese, one pot mac and cheese
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Just made this and it’s DELICIOUS! It was so quick and easy to make. I will definitely be making this again. And again.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is to die for!! Our entire family LOVED it, including our extremely picky 7 year old!!
    A++ from this mom!