Easy One Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese
Easy One Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese is the easiest way to make homemade stove top mac and cheese, and there’s only 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. Still, 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 one pot stove top mac and cheese recipe has morphed over time.
It’s not the only one pot mac and cheese I’ve got on this site, as I figure there’s always room for more. See my one pot baked mac and cheese, which was one my earliest recipes on this site.
One Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese
This easy stove top mac and cheese recipe is a revelation. There are no powdery cheese packets with ingredients that you can’t pronounce, and your family is guaranteed to forget all about the boxed kind.
This stove top mac and cheese is creamy, rich and cheesy, and you only have one pot to wash! This truly is the best mac and cheese.
How do you make stove top mac and cheese?
Normally, homemade mac and cheese requires two pots. One pot is used to boil the macaroni, and the other is used to make the béchamel sauce.
In this one pot mac and cheese recipe, the pasta cooks in the béchamel sauce, which results in even creamier pasta.
- Start by melting the butter over medium heat in a medium to large saucepan.
- Add the flour and ground mustard to the melted butter and whisk until combined. Continue whisking until the flour smells like shortbread, about 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from heat and add half of the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Once smooth, add the remaining cup of milk and whisk well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
- Once boiling, add the pasta, water and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
How can I add flavor to mac and cheese?
There are a number of ways to add flavor to your mac and cheese!
- Spice it up with hot sauce, chili peppers or cayenne pepper. See this spicy baked mac and cheese.
- Use cheese with more flavor, such as sharp cheddar, gruyere, or smoked mozzarella.
- Top it with crumbled bacon as I’ve done here, or add sautéed greens or cooked veggies like broccoli or peas.
- Add pumpkin or butternut squash purée! See my butternut squash mac and cheese for inspiration.
Recipe tips and substitutions
- Use whole wheat elbow pasta or shells to make this recipe whole grain.
- Make the béchamel richer by substituting part or all of the milk with half and half.
- Make this a healthy mac and cheese recipe by using low fat or skim milk, less cheese, and whole wheat pasta.
What to serve with this stove top mac and cheese:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 54mg Sodium: 292mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Protein: 14g