creamy macaroni and cheese (one pot) recipe

I recently shared my Chicken Florentine recipe with you. I mentioned that it was an adaptation of my –oh so versatile– macaroni and cheese recipe. While writing that post, I discovered I’ve never actually shared this recipe with you.

It’s great for any meal, any time. I threw it together for a quick and easy lunch many times during quarantine. Just the other night, when the pork roast hadn’t thawed in time for dinner, I made a pot of creamy Monterey Jack macaroni and cheese with peas.

creamy (one pot) macaroni & cheese recipe

Pasta and peas in a creamy Monterey Jack sauce

ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • sweet onion, chopped (mince small if you don’t want to find the onions in your mac & cheese)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups of water*
  • 3 1/2 cups milk*
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 lb small pasta
  • 2 – 4 cups of shredded cheese**
  • optional: 2 tbsp cream cheese, cut in small cubes
  • optional: 1 tbsp butter

~~substitutions~~


*use 5 cups water and 1 cup of powdered milk*
**2 cups makes for delicious mac and cheese, 4 cups makes a super cheesy mac and cheese. Most times I only use 2 cups.**


directions:

Melt butter in large pot. Sauté onions until translucent (I like to cook them until they start to golden. It sweetens the sauce nicely.) Stir in flour. Slowly whisk in water. Stir in milk and seasonings. Bring to a simmer.

Stir in pasta. (stirring for a full minute can help prevent sticking) Simmer until pasta is almost al dente. Add cream cheese (provides a creaminess and enhances the cheesy flavor) and stir until full melted. Continue cooking until pasta is to desired doneness.

Remove from heat. Add cheese, stirring until fully melted. If using, stir in additional tablespoon of butter. (this extra butter adds creaminess to the sauce, but isn’t really necessary.)


Cook’s Notes:

This recipe is so versatile. Mix in a cup or two of veggies or rotisserie style chicken, and it becomes a delicious, well-rounded one pot meal.

Use your favorite cheese or a blend of cheeses. My family loves the three state cheddar we find at Meijer.

Adding in seasonings can change the flavor profile. Try Italian seasoning or garlic (roasted garlic is especially delicious). Basil, parsley, and black pepper are also great. Let your cheese choice inspire your flavor profile.

This is a great opportunity to use a blend of leftover pastas. Just make sure they all bear similar cook times. The pasta takes anywhere from the time listed on the box to twice that long. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s this Michigan humidity?

Spread this delicious macaroni and cheese into a buttered (or parchment lined) baking dish and pop it in a 375* oven for 20-25 minutes (until golden and bubbly).


I hope your family enjoys this easy one pot macaroni and cheese recipe. Share your adaptations in the comments section.

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