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5 Minute Homemade Mac and Cheese

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Last week was raining and I knew just what I wanted to whip up for dinner….a quick and easy homemade mac and cheese.

Who needs a box mix when you can have homemade mac in 5 minutes?!  I will say, that I had cooked pasta in my fridge from a previous dinner, so make sure you cook some extra pasta to have ready for this recipe.

This is too easy to not try for yourself, give it a go and let me know if you love it as much as we do!!

Can you even handle all of the ingredients you need?  I don’t know if I can.

Pour in your cheese pleeeease.

Add your milk.  I used whole milk here.

Every last drop!

Add some salt.

….and freshly ground black pepper.

Grab a spoon and stir it all together.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir and microwave for an additional 2 minutes.

Stir until creamy dreamy smooth.

Oh yah!!

Dig in!


5 Minute Homemade Mac and Cheese

1/2 pound cooked pasta of choice (we used small shells)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup whole milk

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place pasta, cheese, milk, salt and pepper into a microwave safe bowl. Stir to mix. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Stir and microwave for an additional 2 minutes. Stir until creamy and smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings


Have a great day!  Come back soon 🙂

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239 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1
    Michaela says:

    Looks yum! Mac and cheese isn’t a traditional favorite here in Australia like it is in the US but I really want to try it. Do you serve this as a side dish or the main dish for dinner? Can you serve vegetables with it? (not mixed in, just on the side) I’m looking forward to trying your recipe!

    • 1.1
      kenny says:

      You can do anything you want with mac & cheese…it can be both a main or side dish. Vegetables are great in it, especially broccoli or cauliflower, but you can serve it on the side too.

    • 1.2
      Ciara says:

      It can be done as either, but serving it as a main course with some steamed broccoli or cauliflower (or both!) would be a great way to balance a meal, plus the veggies would accent the cheese perfectly! 🙂

    • 1.3
      Earline says:

      Hi, I realize that you wrote your question nearly four years ago and it may have been answered. However, here in America Macaroni And Cheese is almost always served as a side dish. Though sometimes people do just eat it by itself, especially when their budget is low. And yes, by all means, do serve with vegetables, also on the side. Or you can experiment and even add vegetables to the Macaroni and Cheese. It’s up to you. I am ready to try this recipe for “Thanksgiving” which is exclusively an “American Holiday. I think I am going to do a trial run so that I can tweak it just in case I can improve on this recipe. So Bon Apetit.

      • 1.3.1
        anonymous cheddar says:

        hello, by the way thanksgiving is not exclusive to america….. canada has thanksgiving too. and also another good thing to add to mac and cheese is 1-2 cans of tuna (depending on how much mac and cheese), or you can also add ground beef to it (one good way is to prepare the meat like you making tacos with taco sauce mix but instead you stick into your mac and cheese) YUM !

  2. 2

    I love that you made this in the microwave. I love my microwave and use it rather than the stovetop for melting everything from cheese to butter to chocolate chips. Big time saver for me and this is a great idea, Jenny!

  3. 3

    wow, this really is 5-minute mac and cheese! i love the stringy-ness and cheeeeeeeeeese 🙂

  4. 4

    I couldn’t pin this fast enough. I prefer stovetop mac and cheese to baked but this is even better because there’s none of that roux business going on.

  5. 5
    Cassie says:

    Wow, Jenny, this is fabulous! Definitely on my dinner list. What a crowd-pleaser you have here!

  6. 6

    This looks great. Going to give it a whirl for the kids lunch today since they are all home from school! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 7
    Abby says:

    Wow! I can’t get over how easy this is! I’m always looking for super easy recipes to make when I’m at school and cooking for one. Cheers! xx

  8. 8
    Joss says:

    This is my kinda non fussy meal 😀

  9. 9

    Yum, it looks like Velveeta, but better! Love how simple the recipe is, too.

  10. 10

    SEEEEEEERIOUSLY. I cannot wait to do this. I’m already freaking.

  11. 11

    How perfect! Now why would you ever want the box when you can whip this up so quickly??!

  12. 12

    Just Pinned this. You are a genius! Any my little sick guy will be thanking you today for this comfort food…

  13. 13

    This is brilliant, Jenny! Who knew it only needed to take 5 minutes? Love this and will be pocketing it for future mac ‘n cheese cravings… Thanks for sharing!

  14. 14
    mrsblocko says:

    This. Is. Awesome. I always cook up too much pasta and then have to scramble to use it up. I will be making this for sure!

  15. 15

    Ooohhh, this looks good! Maybe my picky “only eat it from a box” family would eat this!

  16. 16

    This is the stuff my dreams are made of. It’s like you see into my soul. YUM!!!!

  17. 17
  18. 18

    Delicious! How can you not love comfort food that’s done in minutes?! 🙂

  19. 19

    Jenny this is dreamy! So much better than the blue box 😉

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    This is how I make Mac & cheese for my kids. Not sure what I would do without my micro! Beautiful recipe images, as always! Happy Monday to you!

  21. 21

    Sounds so easy! Love mac and cheese recipes! 🙂

  22. 22
    carrian says:

    That’s how my mom taught me to do it too!! Love it!!

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Amanda says:

    This is so gorgeous, I cannot wait to make it!! 🙂

  25. 25
    Angelyn says:

    This looks so good!! I love mac n cheese!

  26. 26
    nika says:

    So no flour? It looked like flour but in the picture but I didn’t see it in the recipe. Looks yummy.

  27. 27
    GinaE says:

    It did look like there was flour in the picture.

    Many thanks for a microwave version. Sometimes I just need a quick side dish or something comforting for dinner without all the work. This fits the bill perfectly! I’ll be using this a lot.

  28. 28
    hannah says:

    Are the noodles cooked previously before the microwave?

  29. 29

    This is a PERFECT idea for late dinners + side dishes for my husband! Love it.

  30. 30
    Renee says:

    Five minutes? Are you kidding me? The world needs this.

  31. 31

    My mother used to make the best macaroni cheese with velvet, milk and a white sauce. I haven’t been able to replicate it. Now that I’ve read today’s post, I realize it’s because I hadn’t been using whole milk. It does make a difference, doesn’t it!

  32. 32

    Should have read… My mother used to make the best macaroni AND cheese with VELVEETA…

  33. 33
    Lenora says:

    I’m drooling. Oh god. <3

  34. 34

    Whoa! I can make Mac & Cheese in 5 Minutes? Yes, please! What an incredible recipe!

  35. 35

    LOVE this~ especially since I’m always fixing my toddler mac and cheese (instant) and feeling guilty that it’s not more “real” food!

  36. 36
    June says:

    Wow, this looks so much easier than the way my grandmother taught me. I have always used, cheddar cheese, farfalle pasta, and no fat powdered milk. Cooking the pasta on stovetop takes ~20 minutes (10 for boiling, 10 for cooking). And another minute or so to melt the cheese on stovetop (adding a tablespoon of milk for one ‘handful’ of cheddar – [I have small hands ;)]). I mix it together (after draining the farfalle, obviously), and then sprinkle with some black pepper.

    Yummy, but takes a heck of a lot longer. 🙁
    My idolatry of mac n cheese will lead me to trying your microwave method!

  37. 37
    Lisa says:

    That’s too easy. I think you cheated 😉

  38. 38
    Devorah says:

    Have never found the perfect Mac & Cheese recipe. Can’t wait to try this out.

  39. 39
    Celina says:

    I always have lots of shredded cheese on hand. Now, I just need to “accidently” make some extra pasta. Can’t wait!

  40. 40
    Hayley says:

    I’m only irritated because I always have these ingredients on hand yet, despite their simplicity, never put them together. Goodbye, Kraft and super-long, laborious processes of making mac and cheese. Hello, new, easy favorite!

  41. 41
    Jeri says:

    How did you get this creamy? My cheese got all clumped together.

    • 41.1
      Jenny says:

      Hi Jeri,
      I’m sorry to hear that. It’s hard to say unless I witness you making it. Maybe try a different brand of cheese to see if that helps.

    • 41.2
      Jenny says:

      Also make sure you use whole milk. 🙂

      • 41.2.1
        Elizabeth says:

        WOW!I loved it!I used sharp cheddar and added 5 drops of tobasco for a little kick and it was so great, flavorful, and not actually clumpy. Simple and delicious!

  42. 42
    Tara says:

    Everyone is raving but has anyone (aside from Jeri above me) tried it? It looked amazing and unreal to me also, but like Jeri, my cheese just clumped and was not at all nice and creamy like Jenny’s. What did I do wrong….and it is even possible to do this recipe wrong!!?? It still tasted good of course–I mean, how can’t it? Its cheese!

    • 42.1
      Karen says:

      After reading these comments, I added half a tablespoon of flour to freshly-shredded cheese and tossed it together before combining with the rest of these ingredients. It then melted nice and smooth like in the photos above. Perhaps the original poster didn’t need to add flour because she used bag cheese, which I believe already has something in it to keep it from clumping?

      • 42.1.1
        Milly says:

        That would be potato starch. Odd, because everywhere else I’ve read about making mac and cheese, they say to avoid pre-packaged shredded cheeses for this very reason…

  43. 43
    Jodi says:

    This didn’t work for me,just ended up with a bowl of cheese clumped noodles and loose milk,not sure what I did wrong?

  44. 44

    This is such a great idea for last minute dinner arrangements. I haven;t yet meet anyone who says no to Mac&cheese

  45. 45

    […] 7.  For a quick and easy main dish, try this 5 minute Mac and Cheese (No, it’s not Kraft Easy Mac).  From Picky Palate. […]

  46. 46
    Laura says:

    My 16 year old son loves mac and cheese and I taught him how to do this several years ago because he is constantly hungry. I love that he will take left overs and create something new. Yours looks amazing!

  47. 47

    […] 5 Minute Homemade Mac and Cheese | Picky Palate Last week was raining and I knew just what I wanted to whip up for dinner….a quick and easy homemade mac and cheese. Who needs a box mix when you can have homemade mac in 5 minutes?! I will say, that I had cooked pasta in my fridge from a previous dinner, so make sure you cook some extra pasta to have ready for this recipe. […]

  48. 48
    Amy says:

    Would this work with 1% milk? Or does it have to be whole milk?

  49. 49
    Christine says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I tried it out and I am in love! I made it with cheese I had on hand some cheddar, feta and a little mozzarella. I halved the recipe and made it with skim milk it was delicious and wonderful! Thank you so much for this wonderful idea!

  50. 50
    Jessica says:

    Just made this for lunch, love it! My girls are pretty picky, and wont eat homemade Mac and cheese…but they love this! I cant believe how easy it is either. I just heated up the cheese and milk in the saucepan I used to boil the noodles and it worked great. Thanks 🙂

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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!

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