One-Pot Mac and Cheese

One-Pot Mac and CheeseMac and cheese. It just speaks for itself. It’s an American classic that we all grew up on and picky eaters all over the U.S. live off of. hah! But, let’s be honest, I am not a picky eater and I still love mac and cheese! It’s just the best and why I wanted to create this One-Pot Mac and Cheese.

To make mac and cheese, we all either turn to the boxed stuff or to make it from scratch you’ve gotta make a roux and all of that jazz. Well, not with this recipe. I cheated the system and now I know that a lot and you momma’s out there will never have to make that processed boxed stuff AGAIN! Let’s use some real ingredients, shall we? and NO, it’s not dairy-free, I’ve got both cheese and milk in it… it is mac and cheese after all, isn’t it? I know there are tons of dairy-free variations out there if you are looking for that– and I have even seen a lot of people making a decadent cheese sauce using butternut squash and nutritional yeast. Pretty smart. 

One-Pot Mac and Cheese

But not today. Not this recipe. I am sticking to the basics and this one is for those of you that want to make a cleaned-up version of the real thing…but way faster and much cleaner. The reason why it works so well is that when you cook the (gluten-free) pasta in the liquid and don’t drain it, you’re left with a delicious, starchy sauce. Throw in some cheese, a few seasonings and voila! It’s ready to hit the table. No joke, it is just as fast and easy as making the boxed stuff.

The other great thing about this One-Pot Mac and Cheese recipe is you can make it your own! Add any type of meat and veggie you want to the dish or, you can even get fancy and use Gruyere cheese and add lobster to it (what!?). The possibilities are pretty much endless. 

One Pot Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
A freaky fast and much cleaner version of the American Classic!
Write a review
Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 2 cups water
  2. 2 cups milk
  3. 2 tbsp. butter (preferably grassfed)
  4. 12 oz. dried pasta (elbow, fusilli, or bowtie work well)-- I use Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta
  5. 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
  6. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. paprika
  8. 1 cup mild shredded cheese
  1. Heat a large skillet or a pot over medium-high heat. Add the water and milk and butter and heat until the butter is melted into the liquid.
  2. Add the dried pasta and bring to a boil and cook until the pasta is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add the cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and stir in until combined.
  4. Taste and add more salt and pepper, to taste.
  1. If your sauce is too thick, to thin it out add 1/4 cup of liquid (water, broth, or milk) at a time until it reaches the consistency you like.
  2. To reheat, do it in a skillet stovetop and same thing-- add 1/4 cup of liquid at a time until the pasta is rehydrated and heated through.
The Defined Dish https://thedefineddish.com/


  • Reply
    January 22, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Alex, you did it again! 🙂 Not sure how I missed this recipe before, but my three-year-old was asking for mac and cheese last night and I was so happy to find this on the blog. It was delicious, fast and devoured by everyone! I also used Malk almond milk and it worked perfectly.

  • Reply
    Joyce Watt
    January 3, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    Can this recipe be done in a crock pot?

    • Reply
      January 3, 2022 at 6:34 pm

      I have never tried it in a crockpot

    • Reply
      Varsin Archer
      April 2, 2022 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Alex what type of cheese (brand) did you use in this recipe? Trying to make this for my kiddo.

      • Reply
        April 5, 2022 at 6:38 pm

        any shredded mild cheddar cheese works– Tillamook is my favorite.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2021 at 12:13 am

    My go to recipe for easy mac and cheese on a busy night. So easy and quick to put together and taste great!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Love this mac and cheese! So easy and great knowing it’s clean! I add sriracha and YUMMY

  • Reply
    December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    This is delicious and so simple to make! I made it with almond milk and it turned out perfectly!

    • Reply
      December 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm


  • Reply
    November 28, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Have you tried this with non-dairy milk?

    • Reply
      November 29, 2017 at 12:15 am

      I haven’t personally, but some people told me they did almond milk and it came out great!

    Leave a Reply & Rating

    You Might Also Like

    SDC Instagram