I am sure I’ve told you all before how much I love macaroni and cheese… It’s my very favorite comfort food and while I often turn to a big ol’ baked batch of Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese, when I’m looking for a quicker option this One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese is my longtime go-to. It turns out the creamiest, most delicious pot of mac and cheese and it’s (almost) as easy as the blue box. It’s comfort food done quick and it’s SO good.
Did I mention that you don’t even have to boil your noodles for this method? Well, you don’t and it’s honestly a pretty major selling point. See, this recipe works by slowly cooking the macaroni in the milk so the pasta releases its starch to thicken the sauce while also creating this amazing creamy, milky flavor.
All you need to do is bring some milk and a bit of butter to a simmer and then add your macaroni. (I like to season it with some dry mustard and a touch of nutmeg too at this point.) Once the pasta is in the pot, you’ll reduce the heat and start to stir. You don’t need to stir constantly, but you do need to stir very frequently – the macaroni will absorb the milk and everything will start to get nice and creamy. If you run out of liquid before the pasta is tender, no big deal, just stir in some more milk. (Water works fine too if you’re low on moo-juice.)
Once the liquid is mostly absorbed and the pasta is tender, you’ll stir in your cheese, and while any combination of your favorite cheeses will work great, a basic sharp cheddar is all this really needs. Cover your pot, take it off the heat, and let it sit for five minutes before you stir and serve. I realize that bit of resting may seem unnecessary, but it really does transform the texture into the dreamiest, creamiest cheese sauce so don’t skip it!
One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese
5m prep time
20m cook time
- 2 cups dry macaroni
- 2 cups milk, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- Dash of nutmeg
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, macaroni, butter, mustard, and nutmeg over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.
- Once simmering, turn heat to low. Continue stirring until milk has absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
- If noodles are not tender, add more milk (or water) and continue stirring.
- When liquid has absorbed, stir in cheese. Cover pan and remove from heat.
- Let sit 5 minutes, stir again, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve. Enjoy!