3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Once in a very long while, I will eat Kraft Dinner (KD). It is an easy dish to make when I’m lazy and hungry.

So this 3-Ingredient Stovetop Mac and Cheese was interesting to me. An alternative to the processed cheese powder, without the need to have a box of KD on hand. I had to try this out.

This is better than KD. So much better. And as I can easily stock all the ingredients — I always have cheddar and pasta, just have to add evaporated milk to my shopping list — I can stop buying the packaged stuff and eat this instead.

I think it’s going to be a good way to use up part packages of pasta and little pieces of cheese, so there’s another great reason to give KD the brush off.

What happens? Watch and see!

Find the elbow macaroni.

Elbow macaroni.

Pour it into a large pot (I doubled the recipe).

Into the pot (a whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Cover the pasta with water. Add some salt to the water and boil the pasta.

Add just enough water.

Meanwhile, weigh the cheese. I also threw in a little bit of goat’s cheese I found in the refrigerator and that bit of tang was welcome.

Measuring the cheddar and mozzarella.

Grate that cheese.

A mound of grated cheese.

Measure the evaporated milk.

Evaporated milk.

After 8 minutes of cooking, almost all the water has been absorbed.

Almost all the water has been absorbed.

Pour in the evaporated milk.

Add the evaporated milk (another whatfoodimade action shot™!).

When the milk and pasta are bubbling, add the cheese. Stir and stir until the cheese is melted.

Add the cheese.

Dish it up!

3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese.

3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese.

I will definitely be making and eating this more often than once a year.

Here’s the recipe:

3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
Yield: Serves 2
Active time: 8 minutes
Total time: 8 minutes

This macaroni and cheese—this pot of creamy, gooey, cheesy, glorious macaroni and cheese—was made with three ingredients in about 10 minutes. Seriously. That’s one fewer ingredient than you need to add to the pot to make a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Not only that, but all three ingredients are staples, with shelf lives of weeks or months, which means that a simple lunch is always on hand.

Why It Works

• Cooking in a small volume of water concentrates the starch from the pasta, helping the cheese form a creamy emulsion.
• Some similar recipes call for cooking pasta in milk, which can scorch. Cooking in water and adding evaporated milk toward the end avoids this problem.
• Evaporated milk contains protein micelles, which help keep an emulsified sauce smooth and creamy.


6 ounces (170g) elbow macaroni
6 ounces (180ml) evaporated milk
6 ounces (170g) grated mild or medium cheddar cheese, or any good melting cheese, such as Fontina, Gruyère, or Jack


Place macaroni in a medium saucepan or skillet and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Continue to cook, stirring, until water has been almost completely absorbed and macaroni is just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.

Immediately add evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Add cheese. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until cheese is melted and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with more salt and serve immediately.








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