Creamy One Pot Macaroni And Cheese
I have all kind of macaroni and cheese recipes on the blog, and today I have a Creamy One Pot Macaroni and Cheese to add to the collection. This is a great recipe to make for lunch when your kids are in the mood for something simple, hot, and filling, and you need something that comes together in without any fuss. This recipe is so easy and we loved the extra creamy results.
This recipe is extra easy because you cook the macaroni right in the milk that helps to make the sauce. Theres no water to boil or noodles to rinse. You just cook it all in one pan and its done in about 15 minutes. This is literally just as easy as that blue box stuff, but it tastes like real food and doesnt have a fluorescent orange glow to it. Trust me, that fake mac n cheese is just gross once you start making your own.
My other stove-top macaroni and cheese recipe is still a favorite, but I dont always have canned milk on hand. The difference between the two is that this recipes makes a really thick and sticky macaroni and cheese , and the other recipe has almost a runny sauce to it. They are both excellent but different enough that I wanted to share both recipes.
Why Youll Love This Recipe
Comfort Food Made Easy! Making this mac & cheese in the microwave makes this dish so easy to whip up on demand or when the cravings strike!
Incredibly Cheesy! The combination of cheddar cheese & cream cheese makes this pasta extra ooey-gooey!
A Customizable Dish! Add your favorite cheeses, additions, toppings, or any of my optional seasonings to make this mac & cheese recipe taste exactly how you want it to!
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Can I Make Mac And Cheese Without Flour
Yes! Believe it or not, you can skip the roux phase altogether and still end up with serviceable mac and cheese. You even earn the added benefit of turning this recipe into a one-pot dish.
Heres how to tweak this recipe if you dont have flour on hand: boil your pasta, drain it, add it back to the pot, then simply stir in the shredded cheese and milk.
So you can totally do this. Heres the thing, though: the flour goes a LONG way to creating a creamy texture in your mac and cheese. If you leave it out, you can expect to have a slightly lumpier sauce, and itll become more lumpy still as it cools. A dollop of cream cheese can help if you choose this option. Just stir it in with the cheeses.
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Why Do We All Love This Recipe
- So delicious, creamy, and comforting. Definitely something for cheese lovers!
- Made from scratch: No box involved, yet you will not need more time to cook this recipe than to use a box.
- There is no weird stuff inside: The recipe is made with real food, no cheese powder, no added chemicals, or things you cant even pronounce.
- Super quick: Not much time involved only count the time you need to cook the pasta.
- Budget recipe: The ingredient list is short, and they are all cheap and common ingredients.
- Kid-friendly: Should you happen to have picky eaters in the house, you cant go wrong with a creamy mac n cheese dish.
Baked Macaroni And Cheese
The simple no roux, no flour, macaroni and cheese recipe can also be baked with a crunchy top!
To bake this, simply place it into a greased casserole dish and top it with a crushed cracker topping.
I make my cracker topping with saltine crackers. To make a cracker crumb topping, combine 1 cup of cracker crumbs with 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
If you prefer more topping, just increase the amount of crumb topping made.
Bake it in a 350°F oven until the cracker crumbs are golden brown. Serve immediately.
Instead of cracker crumbs, this is the place you want to feature your cheddar cheese! Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of the macaroni and cheese and bake just until the cheese has melted.
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From Bechamel To Mornay
Once your white sauce is ready to go, its time to add your cheese to make your cheese sauce.
Just like adding milk to your roux, you need to be careful when adding cheese to your bechamel sauce. A few tips will help with this process:
- Grate your own cheese from a block. Packaged grated, sliced or cubed cheese contains anti-caking agents to prevent the pieces from sticking together in the pack. These agents can interfere with how your cheese melts and lead to clumping or grittiness.
- Lower the temperature of your sauce before you add your cheese. Some authors reduce the heat and some take the pot off the heat, but they almost all take some action to ensure a lower temperature when the cheese goes in. This ensures the cheese heats evenly.
- Add your cheese gradually. Rather than dumping it all in at once, add your cheese in smaller amounts, like a half a cup at a time. Ensure the cheese is fully melted and integrated into the sauce before adding the next half cup. Like the tip above, this helps the cheese to heat evenly.
- Stir constantly to keep the cheese from cooling the sauce and clumping.
As youve probably guessed, making a roux-based cheese sauce for mac and cheese is not complicated, but it needs a gentle and patient hand. Take your time, and keep the heat down, and youll be well placed to create a beautifully creamy mornay sauce for your mac and cheese.
Microwave Mac And Cheese
Microwave mac and cheese is so quick and easy to make, with just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of cook time! Its deliciously cheesy, creamy and tender!
This is one of my most favorite holidays and my kids, who are 6 and 8, are super into it at this stage! My daughter is going to be a mummy and my son is going to be a policeman, with ALL the accessories.
In addition to the kindergarten parade at school this morning, we will have a neighborhood pizza party tonight before trick-or-treating.
Unfortunately, its going to be raining and thundering here all afternoon. And its looking like I just got nominated to host everyone in our garage, along with some tailgating tents in the driveway.
So Ill be throwing up some decorations after work and hoping for the best! Moving on to the food
Ive also got lots of fun flavored mac and cheese recipes on the blog. (Pumpkin baked mac and cheese with bacon is a fall favorite and healthy chicken broccoli mac and cheese is a year-round family dinner we all love.
Today though, we have a different way to prepare this classic in a way thats ready almost instantly!
I loved that I could make just enough for them and that it didnt require a lot of time, effort or dishes.
And its not just for kids. Oh no!
Dont Miss: Babybel Cheese Melts
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Simple Stovetop Mac And Cheese Without Flour
This simple stovetop Mac and Cheese without flour is made quickly on the stovetop in one pot, no roux required. The easiness rival the boxed macaroni and cheese.
The creamy, cheesiness cannot be beat. It is perfectly cozy, cheesy, and the ultimate comfort food. It’s made with just 4 ingredients, and comes together in just minutes. You’ll never need the box stuff again.
Watch This Delicious Stove Top Creamy Mac And Cheese Video:
Start by boiling small macaroni in water on low simmer
constantly stir so that macaroni doesnt stick
after macaroni is pre-cooked in water, add milk and simmer on low heat
when macaroni is plump, tender and cooked, add the cheese
optional- add toasted bread crumbs or panko for extra crunch and texture
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More Cheesy Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
- Creamy Sausage Pasta – Italian sausage and noodles swimming in a creamy, tangy rosa sauce.
- Fettuccine Alfredo – a creamy, cheesy alfredo, made without flour!
- Chicken Alfredo Lasagna – a creamy twist on classic lasagna made with chicken, alfredo sauce, and spinach.
- Bacon Cheddar Bow Ties – bacon, cheddar, and pasta, all in one dish. Need I say more?
- Swedish Meatball Mac and Cheese – a fun twist on traditional mac and cheese by combining it with my Swedish family’s meatball recipe.
Can You Cook Microwave Mac And Cheese On The Stove
Some recipes are just too good to resist and mac and cheese is one of them. While its typically considered a quick and easy meal to make in the microwave, theres no reason you cant cook it on the stovetop as well. Really, Can you cook microwave mac and cheese on the stove ?
The answer is Yes,
If youre in a hurry and dont have access to a microwave, you can cook mac and cheese on the stove. All you need is a pot, some water, and your favorite brand of mac and cheese.
Heres a step-by-step guide to cooking mac and cheese on the stove:
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Why Use Evaporate Milk In Mac And Cheese
Regular macaroni and cheese is typically made with fresh milk. So what can you substitute for milk in mac and cheese? Evaporated milk is the answer.
But evaporated milk can be somewhat confusing. Is it real milk or is it pseudo-milk?
Evaporated milk is real cows milk thats been cooked down so some of the water content evaporates, creating a shelf-stable, always at the ready ingredient. I buy the Kroger brand of evaporated milk and always have a stash on hand in my pantry, for mac and cheese and those times I run out of milk for my coffee. Its a good sub. Its concentrated and has a slightly heavier taste than fresh milk.
In macaroni and cheese, evaporated milk keeps the cheese from breaking and becoming either chalky or greasy because theres less moisture to contend with.
What to use instead of evaporated milk. To make your own evaporated milk, simmer 2 1/4 cups of regular milk down to 1 cup. Or replace it with 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup half-and-half.
Extra Creamy Stovetop Mac And Cheese
This extra creamy stovetop mac and cheese, made in just 20 minutes without flour, is the best creamy mac and cheese recipe ever!
Some like baked macaroni and cheese and some like stovetop macaroni and cheese. Either way, youre going to love this dish!
This homemade, extra creamy mac and cheese comes together so easily. With no roux and only 2 kinds of cheese, this simple mac and cheese recipe without flour will become your go to mac and cheese recipe!
Cavatapi noodles are my favorite for mac and cheese. I like the curly shape, the density of the noodle, and the ridges that hold on to all of that delicious cheese sauce.
Typically, a recipe that combines pasta and sauce instructs that the noodles be slightly undercooked so they can finish cooking in the sauce. However, with cavatapi noodles, they are so dense that they wont become overcooked.
Pro Tip: Add 1 tbsp coarse sea salt to the water in which the pasta is boiled to flavor the noodles.
The Cheese Sauce
Normally, you would make a roux, which is equal parts of fat and flour cooked together in a pan to thicken your cheese sauce. This cheese sauce is thickened with heavy cream and evaporated milk. No roux needed!
The cheese sauce, made with cream cheese, extra sharp cheddar cheese, heavy cream, and evaporated milk is what makes the sauce so creamy and creates a flavorful, silky, smooth texture.
How to Make Extra Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
To bake or not to bake
Storage and Reheating
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Want To Lighten Up This Mac And Cheese
This mac and cheese is made with real cheese and real cream. Its insanely delicious and worth it. That said, here are a few ideas on how to make it more nutritionally redeeming:
Substitute half and half for the heavy cream. Half and half is equal parts heavy cream and whole milk. Your mac and cheese wont be quite as creamy or rich, but its still very good.
Add veggies! Reduce the amount of pasta to 6 ounces. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped broccoli florets or 1 cup fresh or frozen peas to the pasta pot when just 2 to 3 minutes of pasta cooking time remain. Drain and stir into the cheese sauce as directed. Or, stir 1 to 2 cups roasted or cooked vegetables in at the end. Roasted Brussels sprouts are great.
Use high-quality ingredients. Grass-fed dairy tends to be higher in healthy Omega-3s. Buy organic cheese and cream to avoid added growth hormones.
Use whole grain pasta. This wont reduce the calories or fat, but it will add whole grains and increase the fiber content. That will make the mac and cheese more filling. My favorite brands of whole wheat pasta are DeLallo and Bionaturae.
Use a more voluminous noodle shape. This wont reduce the calories or fat, either, but it makes it seem like youre eating more pasta because it fills more of your bowl. If you swap other noodle shapes for the macaroni, measure them in ounces instead of cups .
Looking for lighter, veggie-packed pasta dishes? I have lots of pasta recipes for you!
How To Make The Recipe
- Cook pasta: Set the water to cook the macaroni in a large pot. Add salt generously. Cook pasta al dente according to the packets instructions. Save about 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain well .
- Cheese sauce: Grate cheese . Heat a large saucepan shortly. Add all the ingredients, except the pasta, and melt on low heat for about two minutes, stirring almost constantly until you have a smooth, creamy sauce .
- Combine: Add drained noodles and about ¼½ cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir well to combine. Adjust the taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately .
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Viral Tik Tok Recipes You Will Love
Lots of hot recipes are popping up on Tik Tok that are so much fun and super tasty to make. We have lots of them, that if you love watching all the viral tik tik recipe videos that you are going to love making at home!
Smoked Queso. Easy to make queso that is cheesy and delicious and made on the grill!
Whipped Matcha. Easy to make matcha latte that is not only beautiful but tasty to drink!
Whipped Hot Chocolate. Hot chocolate gets even better when it is whipped into a beautiful drink!
Dalgona Coffee. Coffee is life for me and it is even more fun when it is whipped coffee, hot or cold!
Keto Dalgona Coffee. The keto version of the hot trending viral coffee that is perfect for anyone on a low carb or keto diet.
Mocha Dalgona Coffee. Making whipped coffee even better, with coffee, hot chocolate and heavy cream being the only ingredients you need!
Whipped Strawberry milk. Strawberry milk taken up a notch, whipped and beautiful while having the most amazing strawberry milk flavor.
Olive Garden Chicken. Dump it all in the crockpot and let it cook, then mix with pasta for a chicken crockpot recipe the whole family will love.
Easy Macaroni & Cheese
- 8ozdried macaroniabout 2 cups
- ¼ – ½teaspoonground black pepper
- ¼teaspoonsmoked paprikaoptional
- ¼teaspoonground mustardoptional
- 1cupshredded cheddar cheese Shred your own cheddar off the block, don’t buy pre-shredded which is often tossed with a powder that will keep the cheese from melting properly and can leave you with mac & cheese that is both clumpy and runny.
- 4slicesAmerican Cheese of cheddar cheese, but the macaroni will be less creamy)
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Easy Stove Top Macaroni And Cheese
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Let me start by saying this is my all-time favorite stove top macaroni and cheese recipe. We make it about twice a month and it makes enough for two nights with our family of 3.
I always dreamed about creating a homemade stove top macaroni and cheese recipe my entire family loves. My 2-year-old eats every single noodle on her plate and my husband always goes back for seconds. When that happens, I call that a win in my book!
This recipe was inspired by Moms Macaroni and Cheese recipe, but we didnt want to use Velveeta cheese. We turned this dish into a healthier-ish version opting out of the Velveeta and keeping it a stovetop variety.
I love to make this recipe to use up the extra shredded cheddar cheese we have to avoid throwing it out. That is just one of my tips of overlapping ingredients in my 30 Minute Meal Planning for the Busy Mama post.
Start by boiling a pot of water and cook pasta until al dente. We like to use wagon wheel pasta , but any pasta that will allow the cheese to cling to it will work . Strain the pasta.
You can either do this next part while youre making the pasta or while its draining. I personally love to do it while the pasta is sitting in the colander. Fewer dishes and only takes about 7 minutes more.