This Caprese One Pot Mac and Cheese from The Modern Cast Iron Cookbook comes together in under 20 minutes, start to finish. Video included!
This Caprese One Pot Mac and Cheese is everyone’s current favorite recipe from The Modern Cast Iron Cookbook — and I totally get why.
I am so glad that one pot macaroni and cheese is a thing.
And what a glorious thing it is.
If you’ve never made it before, it goes like this: pasta gets cooked in milk until thick and creamy before the cheese gets stirred in.
There’s no draining, no dirtying several dishes, and the starch helps make a luscious sauce without the need for a roux.
So easy, right? You need only 10 minutes, and it’s delicious every time.
Now that summer’s in full swing, I like making this caprese version — which features freshly grated mozzarella cheese, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil.
Even if your garden isn’t overflowing with tomatoes and basil right now, don’t worry. Once you have the basics of making this one pot mac and cheese, the variations are endless! I’ll go over that below.
How to Make One Pot Mac and Cheese
Step 1: Choose Your Pasta
This one pot mac and cheese will only work with a short pasta. Although this specific recipe uses and is tested with elbow noodles, other short pastas like mini shells, ditalini, or corbata would work. The important part is that all of the pasta is submerged in the liquid when cooking.
You can use regular pasta or whole wheat pasta for this recipe.
Step 2: Choose Your Cheese and Additions
You can play with the variations of this one pot macaroni and cheese.
But when it comes to the cheese, it’s critical to use freshly grated cheeses. Freshly grated cheese is a must for making macaroni and cheese. Pre-packaged shredded cheeses contain anti-clumping additions, like cellulose, which will not melt the cheese properly and cause a lumpy sauce.
For different variations of this one pot macaroni and cheese, try:
- White Cheddar Cheese + Diced Chicken + Chopped Bacon
- Pepper Jack Cheese + Jalapeños + Cornbread Crumble Topping
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese + Cooked Ground Beef + Diced Tomatoes
- Three Cheese (Gruyere + Cheddar + Parmesan)
Step 3: Cook Your One Pot Macaroni and Cheese
All that stands in the way of this one pot mac and cheese and your dinner table is 10 minutes of cooking!
Follow the notes and tips in the recipe for the perfect one pot mac and cheese, and take a peek at our video below.
One Pot Caprese Macaroni and Cheese Video
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This Caprese One Pot Mac and Cheese from The Modern Cast Iron Cookbook comes together in under 20 minutes, start to finish.
- 8 ounces dry elbow pasta
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup seeded and diced ripe fresh tomato
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat a large skillet or a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pasta, milk, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently to avoid the pasta from sticking.
- Let the pasta simmer until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. The pasta will absorb most (but not all) of the liquid and the sauce will be thick and creamy.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the freshly grated mozzarella, a little at a time, until incorporated. Stir in the Parmesan, butter, basil, and tomato. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.
Use freshly grated mozzarella! Freshly grated cheese is a must for making macaroni and cheese. Pre-packaged shredded cheeses contain anti-clumping additions, like cellulose, which will not melt the cheese properly and cause a lumpy sauce.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 659
- Sugar: 9.9g
- Sodium: 830mg
- Fat: 23g
- Saturated Fat: 13.7g
- Carbohydrates: 86.9g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Protein: 27.7g
- Cholesterol: 70mg