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Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6 servings

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This Easy Mac and Cheese recipe is made in ONE pot with just SIX ingredients! Ready in 30 minutes or less, with full step by step video down in the recipe card.

easy homemade mac and cheese in blue ceramic pan overhead
Table of Contents
  1. How to make Mac and Cheese in one pot:
  2. Variations on this skillet Mac and Cheese:
  3. How to make Mac and Cheese ahead:
  4. Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

Happy October!

A new month of 6 Ingredient Suppers is here and I am SO excited for what this month has in store!

October is all about 6 ingredient skillet meals, and we’re kicking it off with everyone’s favorite comfort food: mac and cheese.

This one pot mac and cheese is made with just a few simple ingredients, and it is as rich and creamy as any other.

This Mac and Cheese recipe is perfect for those days when you need something easy and comforting! This year, I feel like we have plenty of those days in store.

close up image of mac and cheese in skillet

How to make Mac and Cheese in one pot:

There are a few tips and tricks for making a one pot mac and cheese that are different from the traditional way. Here are some pointers for best results!

  • Use a combination of broth and whole milk or light cream: this is the best way to get a creamy sauce that is still smooth. Since the sauce will simmer for quite a while, you need a higher fat dairy (whole milk or cream) that won’t curdle. If it does heat too quickly and curdles, just keep cooking and stirring and it will smooth out.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta: it’s important to stir every few minutes and keep an eye on things as mushy pasta is not appetizing for anyone!
  • Be a little flexible with your liquid: different liquids and different pastas will cook differently, so if you find that your liquid has mostly absorbed and your pasta is not cooked through, add a splash of broth of cream! Add it slowly and gradually and you can’t really go wrong. Learn to go with your gut — if you think it needs more, add a bit more.
  • Keep in mind that the cheese will thicken the sauce considerably, so you want quite a bit of liquid remaining after the pasta is cooked. If you need to, add a bit more when you add the cheese to make the sauce come together

Variations on this skillet Mac and Cheese:

  • Add different seasonings: hot sauce, ground mustard, cayenne, paprika, and Italian seasoning are all popular additions, but feel free to get a little crazy and see what’s in your spice cupboard that would give it that extra little something.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: I generally err on the side of less salty if possible, because it’s easy to add salt later. Taste once it’s cooked and adjust as necessary.
  • Add in vegetables: if you want them cooked, or slightly cooked, add during the cooking process with the pasta. Vegetables like spinach that will soften quickly can be stirred in with the cheese.
  • Add in cooked meats, or saute meat in the same pan before adding the liquid and pasta. This is a great way to add additional protein!
skillet macaroni and cheese with wooden spoon in pan

How to make Mac and Cheese ahead:

Pasta can be a great make ahead meal with a few tips to get it just right!

Store it in the refrigerator:

To make ahead and serve later, ensure that your pasta isn’t overcooked. Err on the side of a little firm rather than too soft, as it will continue to absorb some of the sauce in the fridge.

Store up to 4 days in the refrigerator, tightly covered.

To reheat, add a big splash of water, milk or broth and place, covered, over low heat on the stove. Stir occasionally. If it is still thick and not saucy and creamy, add in another splash of liquid.

mac and cheese on grey plate with fork stuck in

How to freeze Mac and Cheese:

If you know you want to freeze your mac and cheese, make sure that you quit cooking while your pasta is still slightly firm — a couple minutes before you would want to eat it.

Let cool slightly before covering tightly and placing in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To serve, I recommend thawing at room temperature for several hours or in the refrigerator overnight.

Then you can add a big splash of water, broth or milk, and reheat in the oven or on the stove top until heated through. Stir at least a couple times once the pasta starts to warm up.

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Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese

4.8 from 5 votes
This Easy Mac and Cheese recipe is made in ONE pot with just SIX ingredients! Ready in 30 minutes or less
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 541cal


  • 2-2.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2-2.5 cups whole milk or light cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups dry macaroni (I use white with fiber)
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (NOT pre-shredded)
  • 1.5 cups shredded gruyere cheese


  • In a large skillet, stir together 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups milk or cream, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat.
  • Stir in macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring every 4-5 minutes until al dente (about 10-12 minutes total), adding more liquid gradually if needed.
  • Stir in cheese until melted — if necessary, cover and let rest a few minute to melt the cheese and then stir. If sauce is took thick, gradually stir in additional broth or milk until it comes together.


*If you don’t have gruyere cheese, feel free to substitute with additional cheddar cheese or another cheese you have on hand.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 541cal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 844IU | Calcium: 643mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords homemade mac and cheese, mac and cheese

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. says

    1/2/21 – Quick and easy to throw together, it gets the job done. My sauce wasn’t 100% smooth but the taste was good, considering how fast it comes together. Only made a half recipe so I was guessing on the liquid amounts but this all came together nicely.

  2. CF says

    Am I reading this correctly that I am to put the macaroni in DRY when adding it to the broth/cream mixture? It doesn’t say in the steps anywhere to cook the pasta first. But I’ve never done a Mac n cheese putting dry pasta in a sauce.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Kim! It sounds like you may have used pre-shredded cheese and not freshly grated, as that is a common problem with bagged shredded cheeses. They have stabilizers in them which prevent them from melting smoothly.

  3. Samantha Will says

    I made this in a sauce pan and it turned out amazing. I added quite a bit more milk and I also added a few slices of white amercian cheese once it was done to make it a little more creamy b/c alot of the liquid got soaked up or boiled out b/c of it being in a sauce pan but I accounted for it. I also cooked up some ground turkey with with some taco seasoning and mixed it altogether. It turned out delicious. My own version of hamburger helper thanks to your mac n cheese recipe.

  4. Meg says

    One of the best mac and cheese recipes I have tried. Swapped the gruyere for comté and used a whole wheat macaroni noodle. Looking forward to the leftovers!

  5. Stephanie says

    You need to talk to the advertiser on your site, I couldn’t see the recipe because their ads covered the recipe and I couldn’t play the video because the ad covering the recipe covered the video play button. I’m going to have to stop following your emails cause this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME!

    • Jan says

      Strange, doesn’t happen on my PC. Came in nice and clear with no ads popping up. Could be your phone, or computer. It’s a shame you will have to stop following her e-mails. I love her recipes.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Stephanie. You are welcome to try another site if you think that will be better. Advertisements are what pays for the entirely free recipes you receive, on every web site, on the entire internet.

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