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 1 vote
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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: £2 / $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, 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 would 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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