Stove Top Mac and Cheese is so easy and made in about 15 minutes, and you only need one pot!  You’ll love how creamy, flavorful, and cheesy this crowd pleaser is!

one pot mac and cheese in bowl

You guys have been asking for this one for weeks now, and I am happy to deliver!  This is a spinoff of my Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe for those of you that don’t have an IP and still wanted a one pot macaroni and cheese that was fast and easy!  I have to say, I think I enjoy this one more than the IP version…I love both, but you can count on me to be honest and I like that I don’t have to drag out my giant pressure cooker for this!  I’ve tested this several times and we loved it so much I think it’s been cooked/devoured about 4 times in the past couple of weeks.  It makes a generous amount so keep those leftovers for your kiddos lunch boxes too!

Tips for the Best One Pot Mac and Cheese:

  • This recipe comes together really fast.  I recommend shredding up your cheese, measuring out your milk, and grabbing all of your seasonings, broth, and macaroni before you start.
  • You can dump your dry macaroni into a large pot or dutch oven.  Then, you pour over two cups of chicken broth, two cups of water, butter, and seasonings.
  • You’ll bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low/medium-low.  It should be at a low simmer, you don’t want it boiling too hard!
  • Now, you need to stir pretty frequently (every 2 minutes or so) to make sure that your macaroni doesn’t get stuck to the pot.  About 8 minutes total.
  • If you notice that your macaroni is still very liquid at about 6 minutes in, turn up the heat and simmer a little higher while stirring.
  • Also, if you notice that you’re running out of liquid, add about 1/4 cup more water at a time.

macaroni with water and butter in pot

What’s the Best Cheese for Macaroni and Cheese:

For this recipe I prefer a mixture of sharp cheddar and parmesan!  Gruyere, fontina, gouda, mozzarella, or even swiss would also be great options.  You can kind of play around and find out what types of cheese you like best!  One note is to always use freshly shredded cheese off the block.  If you use pre-shredded, your macaroni will likely be clumpy and may not get smooth at all.

  • Once your macaroni is cooked through make sure you turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove.
  • Now, you can add your milk, dijon, hot sauce, and cheeses!
  • Add in the cheese in thirds, stirring between each addition until it’s all well incorporated.  If you don’t do this, the cheese may clump or not stick to the noodles very well.
  • Note that the dijon and hot sauce are OPTIONAL but they don’t make your food taste like mustard and they don’t make it spicy!  They simply make the cheese flavor stand out a whole lot more!

one pot mac and cheese in pot

5 from 21 votes

Stove Top Mac and Cheese

Stove Top Mac and Cheese is so easy and made in about 15 minutes right on your stove top!  You'll love how creamy, flavorful, and cheesy this crowd pleaser is!
Servings 8



  • Add the macaroni, broth, water, butter, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to a large pot over high heat.
  • As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, stirring frequently (every 1-2 minutes) until the noodles are cooked through.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add the milk, hot sauce, and dijon mustard.
  • Add the cheese in thirds, stirring between each addition until well incorporated and smooth.
  • Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.



***NOTE ON CHEESE:  You can use your favorite shredded cheese for this recipe, we like to use a mix of sharp cheddar and parmesan.  For best results, you need to use freshly shredded cheese and not pre-shredded bagged cheese.
NOTE ON LIQUID:  You can use all chicken broth or all water for this recipe if desired.  I found through testing that 2 cups of each resulted in the best flavor.  During cooking, if your macaroni is still very liquid about 6 minutes in, turn up the heat and simmer stirring constantly.  Alternately, if your macaroni is drying out too fast, reduce the heat slightly and add in 1/4 cup of extra water at a time.


Serving: 1.5Cups, Calories: 210kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!



Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS. Toddler approved as well. This will for sure become a staple in this household!

  2. 5 stars
    This was by far the best Mac and Cheese I ever had and it is so easy to make. I plan on sharing this recipe with family and friends. I made it with I mixed 4 cheeses and it was so creamy. Everyone loved it. I like hamburger in mine, so I added cooked hamburger to my bowl.

    It is a great recipe to make for my vegetarian friends.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night to go with Salmon and it was delicious! The only additions I made were adding 8oz of softened cream cheese, increased the milk to 1/2 cup, and because of the dry climate here I had to add more water a couple of times until the noodles were sufficiently cooked. Again, thanks for the recipe it was delicious!!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night to go with Salmon, it was delicious! I added 8oz of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of almond milk, and because of the dry climate here I had to add more water. In the end it was so delicious!!

  5. 5 stars
    Delicicious and super simple! I used half sharp cheddar and half black pepper white cheddar and it was sensational. It paired perfectly with brocolli.

  6. 5 stars
    Mac and cheese is my favorite comfort food. I love this is made in one pot and it will go perfect with dinner.

  7. 5 stars
    Mac and cheese just so happens to be our all time favorite! Loved how this came together in one pot and the types of cheese to use were just amazing!

  8. 5 stars
    This one pot mac and cheese recipe looks totally scrumptious. I love that kick of hot sauce you’ve added to boost the flavor too!