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One Pot Macaroni & Cheese

One Pot Macaroni & Cheese

Weather: 36 degrees, saw the most gorgeous Alaskan sunset tonight
What I’m listening to:
Andrea Bocelli, My Christmas

Tonight we celebrated the birthday of my 7-year-old, who happens to be a macaroni and cheese lover. I had found this recipe on Pinterest and thought it was a perfect opportunity to try it out. And now that I’ve tried it, I may never make baked macaroni and cheese ever again. One. Pot. Need I say more? Homemade mac and cheese typically uses at least two pots and one big strainer. Not here. And the birthday boy cleaned his plate (trust me, that’s saying something).

Where baked macaroni and cheese dishes can be delicious, they often lose the creaminess I really love in stovetop versions (and my kids are opposed to crunchy topping). It’s a texture preference thing. In this recipe, the macaroni cooks in the water and milk and there’s no draining involved; the liquid leftover becomes the base for the creamy cheese sauce. It’s easy and just plain smart. And, as with any mac and cheese recipe, you can customize it to your family’s liking. The kids opted for diced ham and the parents went for ham and peas. Whatever floats your macaroni boat, I say. I’ll give you the base recipe and you can play around with your own variations.

One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 6 Servings

One Pot Macaroni & Cheese

Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients

  • 3c water
  • 1 (12oz) can evaporated milk, divided
  • 3c elbow macaroni
  • 1/2t salt, plus more to taste
  • 1t cornstarch
  • 3/4t dry mustard
  • 3c grated cheese (your preference, I used a combination of medium cheddar and jack)
  • 2T butter
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large non-stick pot, bring water, 1 cup of evaporated milk, macaroni, and salt to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Turn heat down to medium - medium-high and boil for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch into remaining evaporated milk with dry mustard (other spices can be added here to your preference, like garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, or paprika).
  3. Add milk and cornstarch mixture to noodles. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. If mixture is thick or stringy, add water by the 1/4 cup to smooth out. *When water is added be sure to add more salt.
  4. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

Notes

Mix-In Ideas: Peas & Diced Ham (pictured)

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One Pot Macaroni & Cheese

3 comments
Fellow Alaskan
Fellow Alaskan

Is the macaroni supposed to be precooked or added dry? I assumed it was to be added dry but then I ended up having to add in an extra 2~3C water for it to cook fully. Yummy nonetheless, but wish I'd known to make adjustments beforehand. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

Erin McCoy
Erin McCoy

If you make this with whole what pasta, you need more water. Maybe that's a no-brianer, but I didn't think about it and kept having to add more on the fly- an additional cup I would say. And this is oh-so creamy and delicious. Great flavor, and a huge hit all around.

Mom
Mom

Awwww, comfort food all the way. It's definitely on my list of things to eat. Thanks, Maya