One Pot Mac and Cheese

4.8 from 5 reviews

Ditch the blue box and it's endless ingredient list for this 20 minute, 9 ingredient REAL macaroni and cheese. Your kids are going to love it and you don't have to worry about feeding them ingredients you can't pronounce!


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 16 oz. medium shells
  • 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 16 oz. half and half
  • 32 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot. Stir to combine and turn the heat to medium high.
  2. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium or medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the mac and cheese frequently so that the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. You'll know it's done when the noodles are al dente and the sauce is thick and creamy.


Depending on what brand of noodles you purchase, the cook time may vary slightly. I used these noodles and 10 minutes of simmering was perfect. If you find that your noodles are not quite done but your sauce is getting too thick, just add more half and half, veg stock or even milk.

Be sure to stir the mac and cheese every few minutes or so. This will ensure that the noodles don't get stuck to the bottom and that they cook evenly.

Feel free to use other kinds of cheese! Mac and cheese isn't just for kids and we make "adult versions" all the time. Try smoked gouda with crumbled bacon. Or freshly shredded Parmesan with steamed broccoli. Use this recipe as a blueprint and make it your own!


Keywords: easy mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, stove top mac and cheese