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Homemade, easy, and fast! My one pot mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy, and made right on the stovetop for a family pleasing weeknight dinner. | justalittlebitofbacon.com #macandcheese #pastarecipes #pasta #dinnerrecipes
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One Pot Mac and Cheese

Homemade, easy, and fast! My one pot mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy, and made right on the stovetop for a family pleasing weeknight dinner.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword mac and cheese, one pot, stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 725kcal
Author justalittlebitofbacon

Ingredients

  • 16 oz short pasta
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour, divided
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 12 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a spoonful of kosher salt and cook the pasta in the water 2 minutes less than the package directions. Scoop out ~1 1/2 cups of the water and drain the pasta.
  • Put the pot back on the heat, bring it down to low, and add the butter. Add 3 tablespoons of the flour and whisk for 1 minute.
  • Add one cup of milk and whisk vigorously until it is bubbly and thick. Add the remaining milk and bring to a simmer. Add the spices - mustard, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  • Take the pot off the heat and let it cool until it's under 180F when checked with a thermometer.
  • Mix together the shredded cheeses with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Add cheese by the handful to the hot milk while whisking constantly.
  • Once you add the last handful, add the pasta back to the pot with 1 cup of the reserved water. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is thick and creamy and the pasta is cooked through.

Notes

  • Smooth Sauce: To guard against broken cheese and a grainy sauce, make sure the milk temperature is below 180F and that the cheese is mixed with flour.
  • Pasta: For best results use a variety that can't all stick together during the rest while you make the sauce. Use elbows, rotini, cavatappi, fusilli, shells, or similar. Stay away from penne or ziti.
  • Breadcrumbs: If you love crispy crumbs, take panko or dry breadcrumbs and toss them with some olive oil. Then bake in a 400F oven on a baking sheet until browned, about 7 minutes. (Once cooled they can be stored in a sealed container in the pantry.)

Nutrition

Calories: 725kcal