This deliciously creamy one pot mac and cheese is a quick and easy macaroni and cheese recipe the whole family will love and is America’s favorite comfort food recipe.
Mac and cheese. Is there anything more satisfyingly delicious? I can’t think of anything. I remember eating mac and cheese all the time when I was a kid, and when I got older, I practically lived off of it. When I became a mom, mac and cheese was on the table at least once a week – and often more than that. It’s one of those dishes that everyone always loves, and it’s fairly easy to make. This version is especially simple because it’s all done in one pot. You don’t have to worry about using a pan and then using a baking dish. There’s nothing fancy here, just delicious mac and cheese flavor.
One Pot Mac and Cheese
This rich, creamy mac and cheese is so simple to make, and it comes together super fast. It’s loaded with ooey, gooey cheesy goodness, and everyone always asks for seconds. Your favorite macaroni noodle is drenched in a cheese sauce made with cheddar, gouda, and mozzarella cheese for extra cheesy goodness. It also boasts a kick of flavor thanks to turmeric and Slap Ya Mama seasoning. It’s a spicy take on the traditional mac and cheese that adds a little something-something. BUT it still stays true enough to traditional mac and cheese that even kids love it.
Why You’ll Love This One Pot Mac and Cheese
- It’s super creamy and cheesy.
- It’s incredibly easy to make.
- It only uses one pot, which makes things even easier – including cleanup!
- Everyone loves mac and cheese!
One Pot Mac and Cheese Tips and Variations
This recipe is so easy, but I still have a couple of tips to help you make it the best it can possibly be. I also have some great variations that you can try to mix things up if you like.
- Be sure to cook for another 3 minutes when you add flour to the dish to cook off that raw flour flavor.
- Don’t cook the flour for longer than 3 minutes. The longer you cook flour, the nuttier it tastes, but the less thickening it provides to a sauce.
- If possible, shred your own cheese. It tastes so much better than pre-shredded cheese.
- Add your favorite vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans.
- You can add chicken, pork, or beef to this mac and cheese to make a full meal.
One Pot Mac and Cheese FAQ
If you have questions about this mac and cheese, then read on. The following FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about mac and cheese.
Can I use pre-shredded cheese?
Pre-shredded cheese will work. It certainly cuts down on the prep time. That being said, block cheese that you shred yourself tastes better and results in a better texture.
What is the best cheese for mac and cheese?
There is no single best cheese for mac and cheese. There are, however, several kinds of cheese that work the best. That’s great because it gives you options.
- Monterey Jack
What can I substitute for milk in mac and cheese?
There are several substitutions for milk that will work in mac and cheese.
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Coconut milk
- Goat milk
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Plain yogurt
- Whipping cream
Do you need a roux for mac and cheese?
Not always. A roux works very well for baked mac and cheese, but for stovetop mac and cheese recipes like this one, sprinkling the flour into the existing ingredients does the trick.
How to make a roux for mac and cheese?
Making a roux for mac and cheese – or any thickened sauce, for that matter – is a simple affair. You need 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons of plain white flour. Melt the butter in the pan and add the flour. Then cook it for 2 to 3 minutes to cook off the raw flour flavor.
How do you make mac and cheese creamy again?
Add 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of mac and cheese and mix, then heat as you normally would.
How to Store and Reheat One Pot Mac and Cheese
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place the mac and cheese in a baking dish and add 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of mac and cheese. Then mix it as much as possible. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
One Pot Mac and Cheese Ingredients
You’ll only need basic, simple ingredients to make this classic side.
- Pipe rigate pasta, elbow macaroni noodles or shells (we used organic pipe rigate)
- All purpose flour
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Vegetable broth
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Slap Ya Mama®
- Ground mustard
- Black pepper
- Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Gouda, shredded
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper, to taste
How to Make One Pot Mac and Cheese
This recipe is a super easy one. It only takes a few simple steps to make it.
Step 1: Cook the Pasta
In a large pot, or Dutch oven, over medium high heat, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Drain it and set it aside.
Step 2: Saute Onions
In the same pan used to cook the pasta, melt butter over medium heat. Then, add the onions and saute until they are tender.
Step 3: Make the Sauce
Add flour to the onions and cook for 2 more minutes. Then, add the milk, heavy cream, and vegetable broth. Stir and add the garlic powder, Slap Ya Mama, ground mustard, turmeric, and black pepper. Stir until smooth and reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce thicken while stirring frequently.
Step 4: Finish the Mac and Cheese
Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat. Then, add the cheese and stir until combined. Finally, add the pasta, stir, and serve.
Try This Classic Mac and Cheese Today
This easy, creamy one pot mac and cheese is super simple and so cheesy. It’s the perfect version of the classic side. Loaded with gooey, melty cheese, al dente noodles, and a seasoning mix that’s just bold enough, this mac and cheese is a huge winner with everyone every time. Give it a try, and I know you’ll find yourself making it again and again.
More Mac and Cheese Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Homemade Creamy Macaroni and Cheese – A creamy and absolutely delicious macaroni and cheese recipe that is topped with a crunchy panko topping and baked until crispy and gooey with melted cheese.
Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese – A delicious Panera Bread copy cat recipe made with two types of cheese, fresh broccoli florets, and shredded carrots.
Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese – A flavorful mac and cheese made with sharp cheddar, Gouda, and three alarm cheese. This recipe makes the best side dish for your favorite meals.
Also, try this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese from Deliciously Seasoned. A recipe that is loaded with earthy butternut squash and a creamy and cheesy sauce.
One Pot Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounce pipe rigate pasta, or shells (we used organic pipe rigate)
- ½ cup onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama®
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add finely diced onions and saute until onions are tender.
- Sprinkle flour over onions, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour milk, heavy cream and vegetable broth into the pot. Stir and then add garlic powder, Slap ya Mama, ground mustard, turmeric and black pepper into the pot. Stir until smooth.
- Reduce heat to low and let sauce thicken, stirring frequently.
- Once sauce has thickened, remove from heat, add both types of cheese, stir until combined then add pasta back to pot. Stir until combined and serve.
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