“My kids favorite single-serve homemade macaroni & cheese! Creamy, cheesy, quick with real ingredients mac n cheese for one!”
Watch me make this Mac n Cheese For One from start to finish!
You wanna know what’s one of the most popular recipes in my house? I make it many times a week! It’s this single-served, homemade, microwaved mac n cheese!! Ha! Whodathunkit!! With simple, real ingredients it’s every bit of creamy, cheesy and good as the stove-top kind and comes together in under 10 minutes!
My boys require mac and cheese daily, according to Isaac. He even did a video a while back showing you guys how he makes his homemade stovetop mac and cheese. Yeah…he thinks he’s kinda like a mac and cheese expert by now.
We really prefer baked or stove top mac n cheese but sometimes things just get crazy busy and you need that mac n cheese fix quick. The boys are in swim class now and mercy. I feel like it takes up our entire afternoon AND evenings sometimes! Yesterday we got there at 4:15 and didn’t get home until 4 hours later.
They are having a blast but I’m low key ready for this course to be done. It’s the whole getting into swim clothes and then getting them rinsed off and dressed afterwards that drives me crazy!
I’m in the bathroom trying to help Isaac take off wet clothes while trying to keep Ethan from touching stuff. In my mind everything is covered in all kind of flesh eating bacteria. I hate swim class bathrooms or any shared bathroom at that matter. They seriously gross me out!!
Needless to say, lunches and dinners have been really quick lately in order to prevent stopping at fast food. This single served mac and cheese has been a lifesaver because after swimming their appetites are beastly and impatient.
It’s really hard to find a kid-approved homemade mac n cheese. That darn blue box gets them hooked with one bite! We’ve tried many microwaved mac n cheese recipes and this one continues to be our go-to. It’s quick, easy, quick, creamy, quick, cheesy and comes out exactly the same each time. And quick.
Did I mention this single served mac n cheese recipe is quick?
I’ve made this recipe a million times! Here are a few tips to keep you from cursing and trashing the whole thing. I may or may not have done that in the past
READ THIS BEFORE MAKING THIS RECIPE:
- Cooking Times Vary: Like seriously vary! When I make this using Barilla brand elbow macaroni it cooks in 6 minutes. When I make this using Muellers brand elbow pasta it takes 9 minutes! It takes 7 minutes at my in-laws house. Crazy! So keep that in mind the first time you make it! Cook it for 5-6 minutes and then in 30 second intervals until you get that perfect al dente texture. Also if you use another type of pasta like spiral pasta or bow-tie the cooking time will vary.
- Add in enough water: Make sure that the water is at least and inch or so above the pasta. You don’t want to run out of water or the pasta will burn. Use a deep bowl to prevent the water from boiling over. Also be very careful taking it out of the microwave since the bowl and water will be SUPER hot.
- Don’t trust the “look” of al dente: Sometimes the pasta can look undercooked but it may actually be cooked perfectly! ALWAYS taste it to check for doneness.
- Season it good: Before you add the cheese, coat the pasta with a bit of butter and season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika (or whatever you want to use) Get it tasting yummy enough to eat without cheese before adding the cheese.
- Use sharp cheddar cheese: You can certainly mix up the cheeses just be sure one of the cheeses is a sharp cheese. Sharp cheddar really adds that nice deep cheesy flavor! I usually use all sharp cheddar or a mix of sharp cheddar, Monterey jack and smoked gouda (so good). I make this so often that I keep a bag of mixed cheeses proportioned because yes, it is possible to add TOO much cheese to this, which will result in a stringy mess. Be sure the pasta is still nice and hot when you add the cheese.
And of course Isaac loves that he can make this himself. It’s always good when kids can find meals they can make all by themselves right, or at least 95% by themselves. If your older child is making this alone be sure they know how to carefully handle a hot bowl and hot water. Would you be interested in a section on Divas Can Cook aimed at kid recipes?
I won’t lie, I’m guilty of whipping up a bowl of this single served mac n cheese for myself when I need a quick lunch. Sometimes a gal just wants some homemade mac and cheese without all the wait ya know!
I hope you enjoy this single-serve mac n cheese and much as we do!!
- ⅔ cup elbow macaroni
- 1½ cups water (or enough to cover pasta by at least an inch)
- thin slice of butter, (enough to lightly coat macaroni)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- generous pinch black pepper
- generous pinch smoke paprika (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Add macaroni and water into a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave for 6 minutes or until al dente (see note)
- Very carefully remove from microwave (bowl will be hot) and drain off all excess water.
- Stir in butter until macaroni is lightly coated.
- Add salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
- Taste macaroni, it should taste seasoned well seasoned.
- Stir in cheese until it is melted. (You really have to stir it good to get it nice and creamy and for the cheese to get well distributed. Make sure that the macaroni is still super hot so the cheese melts right)
- Serve immediately.
Want More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes?