One Pot Mac and Cheese [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 12 reviews

Main Dishes One Pan Pasta Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 15 minutes

One Pot Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food that is very creamy and ready in less than 30 minutes. With simple ingredients, such as macaroni and different cheeses, you will have the most delicious meal that kids and adults will love. Check out the recipe step by step video below. 

There are different variations from the original dish that you can also try making. We are talking about recipes like the Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni and Macaroni and Cheese Casserole. These recipes are just as delicious and fast to make.

Easy One Pot Mac and Cheese

This One-Pot Mac and Cheese is probably one of the easiest and fastest meals you can put together. With simple ingredients that we all have in our kitchen, this is something that everyone can easily make. Also, the dish is ultra-creamy, cheesy, and perfect for any events or occasions. Both kids and adults love this meal.

We enjoy using a mixture of cheeses when making this delicious homemade meal. It really boosts the flavors up and is really the secret to a perfectly creamy and cheesy dish.

Usually, we mix a medium cheddar and Gruyere cheese and occasionally add mozzarella as well. The sharp tang from the cheddar and the creaminess of the Gruyere are a great match to this dish. Similarly, you could use any of your favorite cheeses.

How to Make the Best Homemade Mac and Cheese?

This is one of the easiest recipes you can make in your own kitchen. Also, check out the recipe video tutorial attached, to better guide you through the cooking steps. But the general steps are as follows:

  1. Boil the macaroni: In a large Dutch oven, boil some water over medium-high heat. Then, add the elbow macaroni, and cook until the pasta is tender.
  2. Make the cheese sauce: Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. Next, clean the pot, and add in slowly butter, flour, milk, cheddar, salt, and pepper. Mix these ingredients with the pasta until the cheese and butter melt into the milk to create a thick sauce.
  3. Serve: Top the dish with cooked bacon and chopped parsley and serve!


This recipe is typically cooked in about 25-30 minutes on the stovetop. 

What kind of cheese is best to use?

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what cheese you are using. As long as you use a mixture of cheeses that are good at melting, it will taste delicious. For those that are looking for the best tasting one-pot homemade macaroni and cheese, we recommend using one or more of these cheeses:

  • Parmesan
  • Gruyere
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Medium Cheddar
  • White Cheddar
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Mozzarella

Can you make Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot?

Absolutely. Making this recipe in the Instant Pot is a great alternative. You literally dump everything in the pot and turn it on for 5 minutes. You can check our easy and delicious recipe on how to make this dish in the Instant Pot.

How to make Mac and Cheese in the oven?

Similarly, you can bake this dish in the oven. Baking this dish is a great alternative, and it will give a nice crunch to it. Please check out the full recipe, on how to make baked mac and cheese casserole.

Can this dish be made in advance?

Yes! Make sure that the macaroni isn’t overcooked and that you are putting it in an airtight container before refrigerating or freezing. This is the best way to freeze it. Once ready to eat, simply reheat the dish in the oven, or thaw and then microwave.

How long does One-Pot mac and cheese last?

  • If you have stored it properly in the fridge, in an airtight container, this dish will be able to last between 3 and 5 days. However, it is really important to make sure that you are storing it correctly, and directly after baking. Otherwise, it will go bad, and it will not be delicious anymore.
  • Also, you should store it in a container that is closing tightly. This is because this dish can absorb the smell of other food in the fridge, leaving it tasteless.

How do you reheat leftover mac and cheese?

If you want to reheat the leftover, there are a couple of methods that you can use. First of all, always reheat just the right amount that you are going to eat. The more you reheat, the less tasty it will become. And, you might want to add some milk to the leftover mac and cheese before heating.

You can reheat it in the microwave, on the stove or in the oven. The microwave is faster and will reheat well if you add some milk and stir from time to time. However, if you want to reheat a larger portion, then you might want to reheat it on the stove or in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes. However, remember to add some milk to the leftovers and sprinkle with some cheese before reheating.

Recipe Tips:

  • We use elbow macaroni for this dish as it works best to absorb the cheeses and the sauce. However, you could use other variety as well, or a mix combined. 
  • Also, the cooked chopped bacon on top is optional. It gives a lot of flavor to this dish, and what makes it stand out. But if you are not a bacon fan, simply skip it. 
  • If you end up having too much liquid in your macaroni and cheese, just simply bring the contents back to a boil. Then, boil the milk down on low heat, and stir it till the desired consistency level is reached.
  • Also, it is important to remember that the mac and cheese will continue to thicken as it cools. Therefore, we recommend to turn off the heat when it is slightly on the runny side (as opposed to overly thick). The pasta will continue to absorb the sauce as you remove it from the stove. So keep that in mind. 
  • In addition, milk can be substituted with water. However, the dish will not be as rich and creamy. 
  • It is best to use freshly grated sharp, or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. It has a distinct smell and flavor, which is a big plus here. 

Save Recipe
5 from 12 reviews

One Pot Mac and Cheese

One Pot Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food that is very creamy and ready in less than 30 minutes.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 25 mins





Nutrition information

Calories: 823 Carbohydrates: 66 Protein: 40 Fat: 44 Saturated Fat: 17 Cholesterol: 80 Sodium: 1359 Potassium: 590 Fiber: 3 Sugar: 10 Vitamin A: 1635 Vitamin C: 0.2 Calcium: 893 Iron: 2.3
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YES! I need this in my life immediately. You sold me when you added the bacon! Om nom nom.



That looks SUPER creamy and I love when mac and cheese is that way! I have not made mac and cheese in years! I think I will try this recipe!



Macaroni and Cheese is the perfect comfort food on a cold grey day! The cheesier the better with a nice deep flavor. Maybe I just don't make enough but there never seems to be much leftover anymore when I make it and certainly not enough for the entire family.


Liz Mays

I should really try making it like this. It sounds delicious! The fact that it works as leftovers is a bonus.



This is such a classic dish! So creamy!


Brianne Tursi Manz

Our kids love homemade mac-n-cheese. I always have to use one pot, and a casserole dish to bake it. I like this a lot better! So much more simple!



That looks delicious! I'll show this to my daughter... she's been wanting Mac N Cheese from "scratch".



Oh my gosh!!! This mac and cheese looks absolutely to-die for! Can't wait to try!


Mahy Elamin

Just made this tonight, it was really nice and creamy. Thank you for the quick recipe!!!


Allyson Zea

I need this mac and cheese in my life....SO good!


Claudia Krusch

Perfect food at its best! Can't wait to try to make it this weekend! My son loves Macn'Cheese!



I know most kids prefer boxed Mac and cheese but my kids like the real stuff! I like this recipe.


Annemarie LeBlanc

Mac and Cheese is always a winner in my house. Your recipe looks so delicious and creamy. I love that you topped it with bacon bits!



I LOVE a great mac and cheese recipe and this one is amazing!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This looks incredibly delicious! I'm going to have to try this.


Jacque Hastert

You had my heart at the mention of bacon! Nothing is better than comfort foods like this...


Patricia @ Grab a Plate

This looks like happiness in a bowl! I need to try this real soon!


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