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Cheese/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

Ultra Creamy One Pot Mac & Cheese

August 3, 2021 by Chris Collins

This Mac and Cheese is smooth, creamy, cheesy and delicious. Better still, it’s all made in one pot!

If you’ve never made one pot mac and cheese your life is about to change for the better. And possibly your waistline. But it’s oh so worth it. Follow me…

black serving spoon digging into large pot of mac and cheese

Creamy Mac and Cheese

We’ll get into the ‘one pot’ aspect in just a sec, but first things first, let’s talk about the creaminess.

What makes this Mac and Cheese so creamy?

  • One Pot – The starch from the pasta helps the sauce go nice and glossy/creamy because it’s all cooked in one pot!
  • Milk/Cream – The pasta is cooked in milk and heavy cream, which alongside the starch, helps form an ultra creamy base for the sauce.
  • Cream Cheese – One of the cheeses used in this recipe is cream cheese, which adds to the creaminess of the sauce.

Look I’m always down for a baked mac and cheese with a crispy crust, but sometimes you just can’t beat a velvety stove stop mac and cheese. Just look at that gooey goodness 😍

close up shot of mac and cheese on serving spoon scooping out of pot

One Pot Mac and Cheese

Why make Mac and Cheese in one pot?

  • No need to make a roux to thicken the sauce, the starch will do it for you.
  • The excess starch helps create a glossy/velvety sauce which coats the pasta much better.
  • Less washing up!

What cheese to use in stovetop Mac and Cheese?

  • Cheddar – I actually prefer a medium to mature cheddar with this recipe. Usually I like the strongest cheddar going, but here I find it distracting. I slightly milder cheddar has create a creamier flavour.
  • Gruyere – This adds a gorgeous nutty flavour.
  • Mozzarella – Offers a slight cheese pull and adds creaminess.
  • Cream Cheese – Adds creaminess.

When it comes to making the mac and cheese, depending on how thick your macaroni is and when you take the pot off the heat, you may find the sauce is either slightly too thin or thick. This is very easy to adjust. Just add milk a splash at a time to thin out, or just simmer for an extra min to reduce the sauce.

Process shots: add dry macaroni, milk, cream, chicken stock and seasoning to pot (photo 1), simmer and stir until the pasta is al dente (photo 2), add cream cheese (photo 3), stir to combine (photo 4), add cheese (photo 5), stir to combine (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make one pot mac and cheese

Serving Mac and Cheese

I tend to serve this as a main, but you can serve it as a side too. Goes great with Fried Chicken or Chicken Tenders (Spicy or Baked!). I also most recently served this with Pulled Pork which was incredible!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Deliciously Fun Mac and Cheese Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into this creamy one pot mac and cheese shall we?!

two small white bowls of mac and cheese on marble backdrop

How to One Pot Mac and Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of mac and cheese on serving spoon scooping out of pot

Ultra Creamy One Pot Mac & Cheese

This Mac and Cheese is smooth, creamy, cheesy and delicious. Better still, it's all made in one pot!
5 from 7 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Main Course / Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories per serving: 818kcal
Cost per serving: ยฃ2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • Large Pot & Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1lb / 500g Dried Macaroni
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups / 625 - 750ml Milk
  • 2 cups / 500ml Chicken Stock (not piping hot!)
  • 1 cup / 250ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
  • 2 1/2 cups / 250g Medium Cheddar (see notes)
  • 1 cup / 100g Gruyere, grated
  • 1/2 cup / 50g Mozzarella, shredded
  • 4oz / 125g Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, White Pepper

Instructions:

  • Into a large pot add your dried macaroni, then pour in chicken stock, 2.5cups/625ml milk and cream. Add in mustard powder, salt, white pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Give everything a stir, then bring to a gentle simmer over low-medium heat and cook until the macaroni is al dente, stirring somewhat frequently. The sauce should be fairly thin at this point (pasta will continue cooking slightly).
  • Turn off the heat then stir in cream cheese. Add cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere and give everything a good stir until evenly combined.
  • If the sauce is still too thin/pasta not fully cooked just pop on low heat for a couple mins. If it's too thick just add milk a splash at a time.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Chicken Stock - I find this adds a nice depth of flavour. It's very subtle. However, you can sub water if you'd prefer.
b) Cheese - I'm team sharp cheddar all the way, but here I actually prefer a medium strength. I find it gives a much creamier flavour. The gruyere adds a nice nutty flavour, so do add that if you can (sub more cheddar if not). Mozzarella gives a nice cheese pull. Cream cheese obviously helps with the creaminess too.
c) Consistency - The liquid will definitely be enough to cook the pasta and melt the cheese, depending on how thick your macaroni is, it might soak up a little more, leaving the cheese sauce quite thick. You can easily adjust this by adding in more milk a splash at a time. I'd be very surprised if you find it too saucy (especially because it soaks up the sauce as it rests), but if you do, just pop the pot back on low heat.
d) Calories - based on the whole recipe divided by 6. These will be fairly big portions (mainly because it's very rich).

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Ultra Creamy One Pot Mac & Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 818 Calories from Fat 424
% Daily Value*
Fat 47.08g72%
Saturated Fat 27.781g139%
Trans Fat 0.642g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.302g
Monounsaturated Fat 12.861g
Cholesterol 155mg52%
Sodium 1032mg43%
Potassium 420mg12%
Carbohydrates 64.02g21%
Fiber 2.4g10%
Sugar 9.23g10%
Protein 34.14g68%
Vitamin A 1673IU33%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 725mg73%
Iron 1.39mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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If you loved this Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!

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Recipe Rating




20 Comments

  • Reply
    Amy
    September 3, 2023 at 8:06 am

    Hey there, just made this for the first time and it is probably the best mac n cheese I’ve had. Added some veges to make it an easy complete meal and will defo be a repeat in our house. Will be sure to look through more of your recipes to see what other wee gems there are.
    You have a new fan in New Zealand!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 3, 2023 at 5:19 pm

      So great to hear this went down well, Amy! Hope you get to enjoy some more recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Kevin Parsons
    May 9, 2023 at 12:48 am

    Turned out great but my sauce was grainy, like the milk curderled while simmering…any ideas why?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 9, 2023 at 10:21 am

      Hi Kevin, sometimes this can happen if the stock is boiling hot and the milk is fridge cold, or if you’re simmering very aggressively. Using whole milk can help prevent it from curdling too. Also, the graininess could be the cheese. I recommend using Medium strength cheddar. Sometimes ultra sharp/mature cheddar can turn the sauce grainy. One final thing is I recommend freshly grating your own if you can. Hope this helps! C.

  • Reply
    Sue O'Connor
    April 22, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    5 stars
    I first made this for a family dinner about a year ago and now its requested at every meal I make! So easy, so creamy, so yummy!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 23, 2023 at 10:23 am

      Hi Sue! This is so lovely to hear. Thanks so much for popping back for a review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Nick Dransfield
    April 20, 2023 at 5:43 am

    5 stars
    Yet again a simple recipe but great results. Never thought of cooking macaroni cheese like this but there were clear plates all around the dinner table! Thanks yet again Chris

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 21, 2023 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Nick! Glad to hear mac n cheese went down well ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Barbara Brady-Smith
    April 18, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    5 stars
    Doubled this for Easter as a side dish. Ended up the main dish for most of the kids. Huge hit! I told everyone it had no calories. thanks for another great recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 19, 2023 at 10:15 am

      So great to hear, Barbara! Thanks so much for the review! C.

  • Reply
    DAVID SCOTT JEFFREY
    August 12, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS RECIPE!! Thanks much for sharing!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 12, 2022 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks David! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    S.E
    June 21, 2022 at 11:47 am

    5 stars
    So easy and a hit every time I make it! Use a spiral macoroni, A+ for sure!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      June 22, 2022 at 1:20 pm

      Great to hear! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Amber J
    March 26, 2022 at 6:01 am

    5 stars
    Super easy and quick. And so creamy. The better half said itโ€™s his new fav way of doing Mac n cheese. I think itโ€™s faster than the box stuff

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      March 26, 2022 at 12:08 pm

      So great to hear it went down well, Amber! Thanks for the review ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Doug
    February 3, 2022 at 12:03 am

    How well does this do if itโ€™s cooked the night before and warmed in the oven the next day?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 7, 2022 at 5:53 pm

      I’d definitely make this one fresh if you can, Doug!

  • Reply
    Will Santos
    September 7, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    5 stars
    It was De. Licious. What a huge difference it makes using this cheese combo. This is a great meal. Feeds 5-6 for about $26. And thatโ€™s splurging a little bit more.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 8, 2021 at 11:44 am

      Great to hear, Will! Thanks for popping back for a review ๐Ÿ™‚

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER