5 from 12 reviews

This One Pot Macaroni and Cheese is so easy! Cook the macaroni right in the milk that helps to make the sauce. Ready in 15 minutes!

Creamy One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

I have all kind of macaroni and cheese recipes on the blog, and today I have a Creamy One Pot Macaroni and Cheese to add to the collection. This is a great recipe to make for lunch when your kids are in the mood for something simple, hot, and filling, and you need something that comes together in without any fuss. This recipe is so easy and we loved the extra creamy results.

This recipe is extra easy because you cook the macaroni right in the milk that helps to make the sauce. There’s no water to boil or noodles to rinse. You just cook it all in one pan and it’s done in about 15 minutes. This is literally just as easy as that blue box stuff, but it tastes like real food and doesn’t have a fluorescent orange glow to it. Trust me, that fake mac ‘n cheese is just gross once you start making your own.

Creamy One Pot Macaroni and CheeseMy other stove-top macaroni and cheese recipe is still a favorite, but I don’t always have canned milk on hand. The difference between the two is that this recipes makes a really thick and sticky macaroni and cheese (it almost has the texture and taste of baked macaroni to me), and the other recipe has almost a runny sauce to it. They are both excellent but different enough that I wanted to share both recipes.

What pasta is best for mac and cheese?

I prefer elbow macaroni but you can mix it up with bow tie, fusilli or penne pasta.

How do you fix runny mac and cheese?

If you end up having too much liquid in your macaroni and cheese, just simply  bring the contents back to a boil. Boil the milk down to the desired level. Make sure you stir constantly or the milk or cheese will burn on the bottom of your pot.

Can I use water instead of milk for macaroni and cheese?

You can use water instead, but your mac n cheese will lack in creaminess.

Creamy One Pot Macaroni and Cheese


Creamy One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x


This One Pot Macaroni and Cheese is so easy! Cook the macaroni right in the milk that’s used to make the sauce. Creamy, delicious & ready in 15 minutes!



  • 2 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • More salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot add the milk, butter, and macaroni noodles. Turn the burning on to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce the heat if the milk seems to stick to the bottom of the pan and stir often until the noodles are cooked though, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and salt until everything is melted.
  2. Depending on the type and sharpness of cheese you may want to add up to another cup of cheese. Taste it and see. I used a moderately sharp cheddar and liked it at about 1 and 1/4 cups of cheese. If I had used something milder I think I would have used more. I’ve made this a handful of times and each time I seem to use a different amount of cheese, depending on my mood and how much cheese I have in the fridge.
  3. Serve right away.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: Serves 4
  • Calories: 397
  • Sugar: 7.9g
  • Sodium: 268mg
  • Fat: 18.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.9g
  • Protein: 17.2g
  • Cholesterol: 53.9mg

Keywords: mac and cheese, mac n cheese, macaroni and cheese, homemade mac and cheese, best mac and cheese, easy mac and cheese recipe, how to make mac and cheese


Macaroni and Cheese recipes you need to try:

One Pot Macaroni and Cheese is so easy! Cook the macaroni right in the milk that’s used to make the sauce. Creamy, delicious & ready in 15 minutes!

One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

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38 Recipes for Busy Moms
55 Responses
  1. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I made it tonight with no issues. Added some steamed cauliflower at the end. My husband loved it and had seconds. The 6 year old ate it with no fuss. Will definitely add this recipe to my recipe book.

  2. Leigh

    This recipe looks so simple and delicious, exactly what I’m looking for for a quick mid week meal! Would it reheat well if I prepared the night before?

    1. Melissa

      My kids eat it fine reheated, I don’t like it as well as when it’s made the day of. I think you could try it once and see what you think yourself. It’s a toss up in this house.

  3. Amanda

    Really cheesy and yummy! Made with friends on a Friday night. Easy to make in a short amount of time. Will make again!

  4. Allison

    Just made this for my family. One kiddo had some dental work so needed something soft in a pinch. Even my picky 11 year old loved it! (She swore off M&C 8 years ago!) This one is rich in flavor as well as filling unlike the boxed stuff! Will keep and make again!

    1. Melissa

      SO happy to hear that it worked out well for you and that your little people ate it too, always nice when dinner isn’t a struggle!

  5. Julie

    I made this and it tasted fine but the texture was kind of chalky? Almost as if there was flour in it.
    Any suggestions?

  6. I halved it, used half n half plus a little water when it got too thick. Used colby jack. The trick is SIMMERING, NO BOIL,and it will work out! Even used Tinkyada Gluten free pasta!! Thank you!! Super excited,and the kids are too! I can make 4x the amount that is in a box of Annies gf mac n cheese!!

  7. Chelsea

    this was my first “one-pot” mac and cheese, and I’ll be sticking to the classic method. the sauce turned out very thick, glue-y and overly starchy (even after being cut with some canned tomatoes it was way too much). the flavour was there (after some spices and mustard were added) but the texture was just… no. on the plus side, now I know if I made something not very good my boyfriend will actually tell me lol!

  8. I’ve never tried Macaroni & Cheese but after trying this recipe I completely understand what the fuss is about! Amazing!

    I’m looking forward to eating my way through your other posts! Keep up the incredible work! x

  9. darlene

    first of all, it looks great; haven’t had a chance to try this but i will next week {10/14/17} …

    second, i love your directions: *Turn the burning on . . .* lol …

  10. Roberta

    Gonna make this today. No cheddar cheese. I use whatever I have on hand. Mixed cheese ends. Will post the outcome.

  11. Stephanie

    Making some tonight for the first time. Looks simple enough so I’m hoping it turns out really good. Plus, I’ll have leftovers all this week, that’s if I don’t eat the whole thing for myself. 🙂

  12. Jamie nye

    This looks so good, but I tried to make it once && the cheese curlied. What can you do to prevent that from happening? Also can you tell me why it happened?

    1. Sometimes that happens when your cooking temperate is too hot for the cheese or the milk that you used broke. I have the best luck using whole milk instead of say skim. I hope it still tasted good even if it looks bad!

  13. Rebecca C

    My macaroni is more on the al dente side (we normally have it a little softer), but it taste great. I’ll make it again. Thanks for an easy recipe!

  14. Jerry Allen

    You can use whole wheat elbows, heavy cream and at least four types of cheese. Try coconut cream also. Thanks so much.
    Chef Jerry, executive chef San Remo in Palm Beach

  15. Corrie

    This was awesome! This is so much easier than making a roux in one pot while you boil the pasta in another pot. We used whole wheat macaroni, and roughly doubled the recipe. Also, we didn’t measured anything, and we added some seasoning (garlic powder, mustard powder and cayenne). Thank you so much for posting!

  16. Lindsay

    This is such a great recipe! I have been making it a lot and experimenting with adding veggies, meat, and different spices. It’s so versatile and even amazing just as written. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  17. Sarah

    I did not think this recipe was good. The consistency was weird , I am assuming from the boiled milk. Definitely NOT the best Mac n cheese recipe.

    1. Lissa

      We love this recipe for Mac & cheese. I always wind up using more liquid, and I like to stir in seasonings while cooking. A bit of freshly ground black pepper is always good. Sometimes, I also add onion powder, a dash of mustard powder, a bit of nutmeg–any or a combination. So good!

  18. Kathryn H

    This is seriously THE best macaroni and cheese ever! I have tried so many recipes and they never quite turn out. I was in the mood for some comfort food today with all the snow, and when I saw your recipe I had to try it. It was so creamy and just the taste I have been looking for. You made my day! Thank you 🙂

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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