I love mac and cheese. Or more accurately, I LOVE mac and cheese. Luckily, my family does too so when we are in need of some comfort food, it’s the dish we turn to most often. I happen to be partial to Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese (it really is nearly perfect), but when I saw this baked mac and cheese that required no stovetop work at all, I just had to try it. Because a no-boil, cheesy mac and cheese that takes less than five minutes of prep… What could be better than that?
While admittedly this is not the be-all, end-all showstopper of a baked macaroni and cheese, its draw is in the ease of preparation, and let me tell you, it’s extremely easy. It’s also a totally tasty, dependable mac and cheese, with a creamy, cheesy interior and a crunchy top, which is nearly everything you want from mac… It just isn’t quite the luxurious three-cheese silky-sauced endeavor you might get from Martha’s. Think side dish more than scene-stealing main.
But literally all you have to do to make that side is stir together some sour cream and milk (plus nutmeg, salt, pepper, etc.) with dry macaroni and some grated cheddar before tucking it all in a baking dish and letting the oven do all the work. I suppose you could even stir everything together in the baking dish itself and then you’d only have one dish to worry about.
The baking time is longer than your usual baked mac, but you aren’t working over a hot stove for any of it. Just stir, put it in the oven, and walk away! It’s the ideal macaroni and cheese to serve when you’ve got a bunch of other dishes in the works – it’s delicious but doesn’t take any of your attention.
No Boil Mac and Cheese
5m prep time
1h cook time
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups whole milk (not skim)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 lb elbow pasta, uncooked
- Preheat oven to 375°F and position a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Use half of the butter to grease a 9-inch square or round baking pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together sour cream, milk, mustard, cayenne (if using), nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Add uncooked pasta and all but 1/4 cup of the cheese to milk mixture and stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes, uncover, and top with remaining cheese. Dot with remaining butter and bake until golden brown and pasta is tender, 30 minutes more.
- Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.