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!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
- 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.
ALWAYS USE CAUTION WHEN WORKING WITH STEAMING-HOT FOOD TO PROTECT AGAINST BURNS.
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.
- 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.
- 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.