Easy One Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese is the easiest way to make homemade macaroni and cheese! It’s creamy, cheesy, and you’ve only got one pot to wash!
I grew up eating homemade mac and cheese and had never had the boxed kind until I was in my early 20’s. My roommate and another friend scoffed at me when I told them I’d never had the stuff in the blue box. I ate plenty of it from then on because I was way too busy with extra curricular activities to cook much back then, but my mom’s homemade mac and cheese was way better than that boxed stuff.
I’ve made plenty of boxed mac and cheese for my kids when they were little (normally the Annie’s Home Grown brand), but homemade has always been where it’s at. This Easy One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese has morphed over time, and it’s not the only one pot mac and cheese I’ve got on this site. I figure there’s always room for more macaroni and cheese. 🙂
One of my earliest posts was a No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese that I’d adapted from a recipe I’d found in Bon Appetit years ago. The photos are less than stellar, but it was the first recipe I’d ever seen that didn’t require boiling the pasta. Since I hate washing dishes, I was ecstatic about eliminating a pot from the homemade mac and cheese equation. It was a revelation.
A few years ago I created my One Pot No-Boil Mac and Cheese, which is almost the same as the No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese, but it’s all made in one skillet. With both recipes the pasta cooks in the sauce while it bakes in the oven.
I’m sure I’ve bored you to tears by now, so let’s get back to the recipe at hand. Stovetop mac and cheese is a staple side dish for people, including me. Over the summer when I didn’t want the oven on, I was working on my own version of homemade stovetop mac and cheese. I wanted to it to be easy to make with easy clean-up, and that’s exactly what this Easy One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese is. You’ve got one pot to wash, and the dish comes together in under 30 minutes.
It’s creamy, cheesy, perfection!
Since I love the breadcrumb topping in traditional baked mac and cheese, I topped this with some crispy homemade panko breadcrumbs that I had on hand. You can use store bought breadcrumbs to keep our one pot theme, or make some in advance. I also had some crumbled bacon in the fridge and tossed that on top too, but that’s just a bonus.
This Easy One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese doesn’t need any toppings to be amazing. Any macaroni and cheese that’s ultra creamy, cheesy, and cooked all in one pot is amazing in its own rite, yes?
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard (optional)
- 2 cups skim milk (you may substitute with whole milk if you prefer a richer sauce)
- 1½ cups water
- 2½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces)
- 1½ - 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- breadcrumbs and crumbled bacon, for garnish (optional)
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and ground mustard and whisk until combined. Continue to whisk until the roux is bubbly and smells like shortbread, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and add half of the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly, until the roux forms a smooth paste. Add the remaining milk all at once and whisk until there are no lumps. Place back on the stove top and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil and add the water and elbow macaroni, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking. Cook 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until smooth, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve as-is or top with breadcrumbs and bacon if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.