Monday, December 19, 2011

One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese

I was on Twitter for the first time in weeks the other day, and my good friend tweeted that she was about to make some groundbreaking mac and cheese that she had discovered on Pinterest. She said the outcome was pretty tasty, so I had to give it a try myself!

One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese
discovered on Pinterest, originally posted by White on Rice Couple

2 cups large elbow Macaroni, uncooked (about 1/2 lb)
2 cups low fat Milk (about 16 oz)
if needed, additional 1/4 cup milk or water for final cooking
1 tablespoon Butter, for flavor ( I tried this recipe once without the butter and I didn’t notice any difference with the recipe. More heart healthy!)
1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder
1 teaspoon Salt, plus additional for final season later
1 cup Grated Cheese, any one or combination of ( jack, cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan*, asiago*, pecorino*) *Hard cheeses are best combined with a secondary, softer, better melting cheese.
black pepper to taste (optional)

Place raw elbow macaroni in colander and quickly rinse under water. Let drain.

In medium sauce pan (about 3.5 qt), add milk, raw elbow macaroni, salt, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg.

On medium heat, slowly bring milk/macaroni mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently as it comes up to a simmer. This will separate macaroni and keep them from sticking together. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE! The milk mixture will come to a boil very quickly and leaving it unattended will leave a big mess on your stove top.

Mac and cheese 1

Once mixture comes to a simmer, immediately turn down heat to LOW. Macaroni will slowly cook in the milk. Having your heat too high will evaporate the milk too quickly! Cover and continue to stir the mixture every couple minutes so that macaroni will cook evenly and absorb milk evenly.

Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until milk has been fully absorbed. If macaroni is not cooked fully, add a little more milk or water to mixture (in small amounts) until macaroni is fully cooked. This will take about another 5 minutes.

When milk has evaporated, stir in grated cheese of your choice. I decided to use mozzarella and a medium-hard sheeps milk cheese for no other reason that that's what I had on hand at the time.

Stir the cheese evenly into the macaroni. Turn off heat and place lid on top of the pot and cover for about 5 minutes. This rest period will allow macaroni to plump up and absorb any excess milk.

Take a final taste and add additional salt to taste. Before serving, stir one final time to mix everything together.

Mac and cheese 2

My verdict? It's not the best mac and cheese I've ever had, but it's near the top of the list of mac and cheeses that I've made myself. And given how simple it was with just one pot, I definitely will be making it again, and will try some new cheese combinations!


  1. I've not tried this, but have my own one-pot mac and cheese recipe. Obviously I don't know which is better. Mine is this: cook your mac (or any pasta) as usual. Drain it and return it to the pot. Add a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, and chili powder, and stir. Put the top on the pot and let it sit a few minutes. Then eat. Yummy yum yum yum.

  2. OOh yes, I think I will try this. I might try to bake it after since I just love baked Mac n' cheese!

  3. Clever method. I will definitely give it a try.