Whether it’s a busy weeknight or a hectic holiday of meal prepping, who doesn’t love a good one-pan meal? Less dishes to clean, less maintenance, less stove or oven space needed… it’s a win-win. Just in time for the holidays (though good any time of year), I’ve developed a one-pan macaroni and cheese recipe that will quickly become a family favorite. I know some people are intimated to make homemade mac & cheese, but trust me when I say that this recipe will be a great intro for you. If you can make boxed macaroni and cheese, you can make this one-pan, scratch-made mac and cheese! The bacon, chives, and crispy bread crumb topping add some great extra flavor and texture, and will have your family begging you to make this again. It can be made for a Thanksgiving side dish, or as an entrée.
I developed today’s pasta recipe as part of the Allrecipes Allstars Tastemakers program. Rate, review, and photograph my recipe for One-Pan White Cheddar Mac and Cheese on Allrecipes here, and see the full recipe along with some of my cooking tips below.
You’ll know it’s time for the next steps when the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid. Frequent stirring is required as it starts to soak up the liquid since there will be less moisture, which could cause the pasta to stick to the pan.
After the liquid is mostly absorbed and the noodles are at your desired softness, remove it from heat and stir in the cheeses until they are melted.
The final step gives it some great texture. You top it with panko breadcrumbs, a little more cheese, and real bacon bits then pop the whole pan under the broiler for a few minutes.
Look at this ooey-gooey deliciousness! And that bacon… OK, enough teasing. Here’s your recipe! Pin this one, and comment if you try it – I’d love to know what your family thinks!
One-Pan White Cheddar Mac and Cheese recipe
Recipe created by Ramona Cruz-Peters for Allrecipes.
- 16 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup margarine (or butter, if desired)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits
- 1 tablespoon snipped chives
- Combine macaroni, milk, water, garlic salt, and salt in a Dutch oven on a stovetop over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently so noodles don’t stick to the pan, until noodles are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in margarine and pepper until melted. Stir in Cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese until melted.
- Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler.
- Top pasta with bread crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, and bacon bits.
- Place Dutch oven under the broiler until topping is lightly browned and crispy, 1 to 3 minutes. Top with chives and serve immediately.