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5 ingredient stovetop mac n cheese

5-ingredient stovetop mac n’ cheese

  • Author: jenny goycochea
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: one pot meals
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This is my favorite mac n’ cheese recipe and it only requires 5 ingredients and about 15 minutes!



  • 12 oz dried macaroni pasta
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cups mixed shredded cheese (I used a blend of sharp cheddar, fontina and freshly grated parmesan)


  1. Place macaroni in a wide, shallow pan/pot (for reference, I used a 3.6 quart braiser from Lodge linked above). Cover with cold water so that the macaroni is just submerged, but no more! Place the pot over a medium heat burner and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Because this recipe requires less water and no draining, the macaroni is more likely to stick to stir, stir, stir. After about 6-7 minutes, the pasta should be al dente and the remaining water in the pan should be very thick. Add the evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. After 2-3 minutes the pasta should be cooked through. Add the heavy cream and butter and stir until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 


This recipe can be multiplied as many times as necessary to feed a crowd.

The best results come from using a wide, shallow pan like a braiser or large skillet.

Please do not use pre-shredded cheese!

The mix of cheeses is up to you, but I like to use a blend of a flavorful cheese (sharp cheddar), a melty cheese (fontina, monterey jack, or similar), and a salty cheese (freshly grated parmesan). My ratio was 1 1/2 cups cheddar, 1 cup fontina and 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan.

Feel free to add whatever mix-ins you like! Crispy bacon or caramelized onions would be delicious stirred in at the end.

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