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Creamy Microwave Macaroni & Cheese

Creamy Microwave Macaroni & Cheese is an incredibly easy way to deliver a single serving of mac & cheese in just about 10 minutes, whether you’re in a college dorm room or an office break room. It’s ever-so-much-more healthy than the box of macaroni and orange powder!
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 1
Author Michelle


  • 1/2 cup dried macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup milk I like whole, but you can use any kind you like
  • 1/2 cup American cheese, shredded (see Recipe Note #1)
  • 1/2 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (see Recipe Note #1)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. tiny squirt of Sriracha, OR 1/4 tsp. paprika (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper (optional), or to taste
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. dried herbs (optional)
  • 1 tsp. heavy cream (optional)


  • Add the macaroni, water, and salt to a microwave-safe bowl (I prefer to use a plastic, BPA-free storage container with handles). Microwave (uncovered) on high for 2 minutes, then stir carefully. While the pasta cooks, watch to be sure that the water doesn't foam over the sides of the bowl: if it does, simply open the microwave, remove the bowl (see Recipe Note #2), and stir carefully. If the pasta dries out during the cook time, add an additional 2 tbsp. of water and stir to loosen.
  • Continue microwaving and stirring at 2-minute intervals for a total of 6 minutes. Carefully check (IT'S HOT!) to see if the macaroni is soft enough for your taste. If not, continue microwaving for 2-minute intervals, if necessary—up to a total of 10 minutes—until the macaroni is just under al dente. This cooking time will vary considerably depending on the wattage of your microwave.
  • Stir in the milk, along with the mustard, herbs, and hot sauce or paprika (if using). Microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir the American cheese and cream (if using); microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the cheddar cheese (it may not all melt right away); cover the bowl, letting it stand for 3 minutes. Stir well, sprinkle with black pepper (if using), and serve immediately.


  1. Absolutely DO NOT use any kind of bagged, pre-shredded cheese. These contain fillers (to keep the shreds of cheese from clumping) that will single-handedly destroy your sauce.
  2. If you are using a ceramic or glass bowl, be aware that it will get VERY HOT during the cooking process. Always use oven mitts or a kitchen towel to remove the bowl from the microwave.
NOTE ON SERVING SIZE: this is a "by-the-book" single serving. Eat it with a side salad or other serving of vegetables to make a filling meal. I've been known to double the recipe if I'm being naughty and filling up on the mac & cheese alone.