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A one-pot wonder full of 100% real food ingredients. This easy stovetop mac and cheese is creamy, comforting, and much healthier than boxed mac!
Did you know you can make your own delicious version of Mac and Cheese from only five simple real food ingredients in about 20 minutes using just one pot? Seriously. I’ve been making this Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese for quick homemade lunches and dinners for years. My kids beg for this stuff.
This mac is comforting, convenient, made with all real food ingredients, and only takes 5 ingredients!
- Whole grain elbow pasta (white elbow pasta will work, too)
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Dijon mustard
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt, to taste
A Few Important Cooking Notes
- You may be surprised at how this recipe works. You cook the pasta in milk. The starch from the pasta thickens the milk creating a creamy sauce as the pasta cooks. I started adding Greek yogurt at the end, which makes for an even creamier sauce and adds in extra protein. Whoever invented this cooking method was probably a mom who didn’t want to clean another dad-gum pot!
- Make sure you have plenty of hungry mouths available when you make this, because it loses a bit of its “wow” after it gets cold. But, I did have it rewarmed the other day and it wasn’t half-bad.
- I have tried using whole milk, 2%, and even some almond milk in this recipe, and they all work great.
- I have tested this recipe with whole wheat elbow pasta and whole wheat egg noodles, and they both have worked well. But, depending on the pasta you use, you made need a little more milk at the end.
- You can bake the mac at the end, if you want, with some cheese on top or eat it straight from the pot. Our family likes it both ways, so I often skip the baking step.
What to Serve on the Side
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- 2 cups whole grain elbow pasta (or any other small whole wheat pasta)
- 3 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use fat-free)
- 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus a bit more for topping
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- Combine pasta and milk in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat (just until bubbles start breaking the surface), stirring frequently to ensure milk does not scorch on the bottom. Stir in the salt and then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer (do not boil!). Continue to cook and stir often for 15-20 minutes, until pasta is soft and milk is reduced and thickened.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the plain Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard (optional), and shredded cheese until combined. If not creamy enough, add milk a little at a time, and gently stir. Taste and season with more salt, if needed.
- Cooking Note: It’s ready to eat at this point, but you can also bake it with some additional cheese on top for more cheesy goodness. To bake, place in a greased baking dish and top with a generous sprinkling of cheese. Bake at 375°F for about 10 minutes until cheese has melted.