No-boil, no-bake, one-pan mac and cheese is not just possibly simple, but simply possible! On top of producing awesome taste and texture, the whole procedure only took a few minutes longer than the boxed stuff; not to mention we avoided about a dozen ingredients we probably shouldn't be eating. Just make sure to grate your own (high-quality) Cheddar and turn off the heat as soon as the cheese melts, and the process should go smoothly.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
3 mins
total:
28 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring milk, salt, cayenne, mustard, nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon butter to a simmer in a pot over medium heat. Stir in macaroni. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until firm yet tender to the bite, about 8 minutes. Do not undercook.

    Advertisement
  • Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toast until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Stir cheeses into the cooked macaroni. Reduce heat to low and stir just until melted. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 3 minutes. Uncover, stir, and season to taste.

  • Spoon mac and cheese into warm serving bowls; sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs on top.

Chef's Notes:

If replacing kosher with fine salt, use 1/2 teaspoon.

Use 2 packed cups of any variety of Cheddar you prefer.

Nutrition Facts

539 calories; protein 24.6g 49% DV; carbohydrates 35.8g 12% DV; fat 34.6g 53% DV; cholesterol 100.9mg 34% DV; sodium 987.1mg 40% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (22)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
06/04/2019
This is a really good one-pot mac and cheese. I made it three times, with and without the panko topping. The first two times I made it, my sauce broke--despite the fact that I turned off the heat when adding the cheese. The first batch, I let sit for 3 minutes, covered. The second time, I left the lid off the saucepan for 3 minutes and it still broke. Batch #3? Victory! I pulled the pan from the heat, stirred in the cheese, transferred the batch to a serving dish and *then* let it sit, covered. I used mini shells as the pasta and the cook time was a bit longer, 10 - 11 minutes, but the amount of liquid was still fine. Oh, and I've made it using nonfat and 2% milks and all extra-sharp cheddar. Read More
(5)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
01/22/2020
I did not care for this recipe. Read More
24 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 12
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 4 stars
04/14/2019
I prepared it with 2% milk and a light cheddar. Was unsure but the magic still worked. Much tastier than box mixes yet totally easy. Will definitely make again. Thank you Chef John! Read More
(5)
Rating: 4 stars
06/03/2019
This is a really good one-pot mac and cheese. I made it three times, with and without the panko topping. The first two times I made it, my sauce broke--despite the fact that I turned off the heat when adding the cheese. The first batch, I let sit for 3 minutes, covered. The second time, I left the lid off the saucepan for 3 minutes and it still broke. Batch #3? Victory! I pulled the pan from the heat, stirred in the cheese, transferred the batch to a serving dish and *then* let it sit, covered. I used mini shells as the pasta and the cook time was a bit longer, 10 - 11 minutes, but the amount of liquid was still fine. Oh, and I've made it using nonfat and 2% milks and all extra-sharp cheddar. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
04/12/2019
It takes a bit more time than Chef John implies (say 20 minutes) but the results are as advertised excellent. The consistency and flavor are perfect (using the cheese combination recommended) and when showered with the toasted Panko bread crums which do NOT require much effort the whole family enjoyed. This will be a regular for nights when I don't have much time to cook. Read More
(5)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
04/27/2019
Came out just as expected. Kids helped grating the cheese and asked for seconds! I subbed lactose free 2% milk Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/21/2019
Just simply followed the recipe. It was easy and it was great. Making it again tonight. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
05/08/2019
it's like magic how the sauce thickens. My only issue with this recipe is the salt. I'm not a big salt fan so my review might not help many but cheese has plenty of salt already. When I make this again I'll leave out the salt. ps my toddler loved it. Read More
(1)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
05/08/2019
Great recipe and comes out perfect. However It s not one pot as per your recipe so that is misleading. Does not change it take away from the fact this is a solid recipe I will put in my rotation. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2019
I ve made this several times with great success. I think it s some of the easiest and best mac & cheese when it comes to homemade. It s very simple and easy to make and everybody enjoys it. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
04/01/2019
Added some red chili flakes bacon bits and spinach to jazz it up a bit was GOOD! Read More
(1)
Rating: 1 stars
01/22/2020
I did not care for this recipe. Read More