clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Fully cooked stovetop mac and cheese.

One Pot Mac and Cheese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Kelli Avila
  • Prep Time: 00:05
  • Cook Time: 00:15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This One-Pot Mac and Cheese recipe uses a unique method of boiling the macaroni in milk, resulting in a creamy and delicious stovetop favorite ready in 15 minutes.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) freshly grated shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 ounces (about 8 slices) American cheese, chopped (or colby jack)


  1. In a large nonstick stock pot, add the milk, water and salt. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente, stirring often.
  3. When the pasta is cooked through, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and stir in the cayenne, dijon, garlic powder, black pepper, cream cheese, cheddar and American cheese and cook until fully melted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding in milk, salt and pepper as necessary. Shut off the heat.
  5. Divide into bowls and serve immediately.


Use freshly grated cheese if possible.

The combination of cheddar and American is pretty awesome, but you can substitute in colby jack or another melty cheese you love instead.

This recipe was tested using Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt. If you use Morton's kosher salt or fine salt, decrease the volume by half.