Perfectly creamy microwave mac & cheese combines tender macaroni pasta, milk, butter, and lots of cheese! Skip the stovetop version - you’ll be amazed at how delicious this mac & cheese tastes when it only takes a few minutes!
Microwave macaroni and cheese is rich, creamy, cheesy, and ready in just a few minutes!
This easy mac and cheese is so much better than the processed, pre-made macaroni & cheese that you get at the grocery store! My recipe uses real cheddar cheese, creamy whole milk, and silky butter so it has that amazing homemade flavor!
Microwave mac & cheese is so incredibly delicious, and it’s ready in 7 minutes from start to finish. That’s so much faster than making a full pot of macaroni & cheese, but it’s just as rich and insanely cheesy!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Comfort Food Made Easy! Making this mac & cheese in the microwave makes this dish so easy to whip up on demand or when the cravings strike!
Incredibly Cheesy! The combination of cheddar cheese & cream cheese makes this pasta extra ooey-gooey!
A Customizable Dish! Add your favorite cheeses, additions, toppings, or any of my optional seasonings to make this mac & cheese recipe taste exactly how you want it to!
Cream cheese is optional, but I think it’s the perfect way to take this mac & cheese to the next level of deliciousness! Try adding it in with the cheddar to make your personal mac and cheese even cheesier!
½ cup uncooked Macaroni Pasta – Use elbow macaroni, shells, or your favorite short pasta noodle.
½ cup Water – This is the perfect amount of water to cook the pasta right in the microwave! (*see note)
1 pinch each, Salt & Pepper – Or add the salt & pepper according to taste.
¼ cup Milk – I recommend using whole milk for this recipe, but you can use your favorite milk or milk alternative (*see note).
½ cup Cheddar Cheese – Grate your own cheddar cheese for the creamiest mac & cheese! (*see note)
1 tablespoon Butter – Either salted or unsalted butter works great in this recipe.
1 tablespoon Cream Cheese – About 1 ounce of cream cheese. While optional, I highly recommend using, because adding cream cheese makes this recipe so satisfyingly creamy.
Optional Seasonings – Add a pinch of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, or your favorite Cajun seasoning for even more incredible flavor!
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🧂 Substitutions & Additions
Mac & cheese is amazing on its own, but it’s so versatile! Add your favorite mix-in’s, toppings, or garnishes to make this mac your favorite.
Veggies – Try chopped broccoli, spinach, roasted red pepper, or mushrooms for a quick and nutritious mac!
Meats – Make this meal even more hearty and filling by adding sliced sausage, hot dogs, grilled chicken or shrimp, or even chili!
Toppings – Top your mac & cheese with buttery breadcrumbs or sauces like hot sauce, BBQ sauce, or even ketchup (don’t knock it ‘til you try it!).
Extra Cheeses – Add in, top, or swap the cheese in this recipe for white cheddar, gouda, gruyere, swiss, or any of your favorite melting cheeses!
Fresh Herbs – Garnish this amazing mac & cheese with fresh parsley, thyme, chives, or green onions for a pop of color and extra flavor!
Making this recipe in your microwave makes this mac and cheese so much easier! You can have a bowl of amazingly creamy and rich and mac & cheese in just minutes!
- Cook pasta. In a large, microwave-safe bowl (with enough room for water to boil), combine ½ cup macaroni pasta, ½ cup water and a pinch of salt. Then, microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
- Mix in rest of ingredients. Once the pasta is al dente, take the bowl out of the microwave and drain any excess water. Next, mix in ¼ cup of milk, ½ cup of cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 pinch of pepper, and 1 tablespoon cream cheese (if using). If using the optional seasonings, add a pinch of garlic powder, onion powder, or Cajun seasoning. Then, stir the mac & cheese and return to the microwave.
- Finish and serve. After adding the rest of the ingredients, microwave the mac & cheese for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted. Then, mix well to combine and serve immediately.
💭 Tips & Notes
- Mix the water with milk for a richer mac! You can mix the water with milk, half & half or even heavy cream to mac your macaroni and cheese even more rich and creamy.
- Use classic elbow noodles or your favorite pasta! Classic elbow macaroni noodles are the best as they cook quickly. However, you can use your favorite type of pasta, but the cooking time will be adjusted accordingly.
- Any milk will do for this recipe! I like to use 2% or whole milk for this recipe, but any milk will do! Milk alternatives such as soy and almond milk will work with fantastic results as long as they are unsweetened and unflavored.
- Keep pre-cooked, frozen noodles on hand! Boil and freeze macaroni noodles to have on hand for whenever you want an easy meal. Simply add the pasta in with the water, heat for 30 seconds, drain and you’re ready to add the cheese!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Since this is a single serving dish, you probably won’t have leftovers! However, if you do have leftovers, they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To freeze, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight or microwave directly from frozen.
Reheating Microwave Mac & Cheese
When you’re ready to reheat the mac & cheese, just pop it in your microwave! Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until thoroughly warmed through.
🥣 More Microwave Recipes You'll Love!
- Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge
- Microwave Popcorn
- Microwave Baked Potato
- Steam Broccoli in the Microwave
- Microwave Lemon Curd
Do you love a recipe you tried? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
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📖 Recipe Card
Microwave Mac & Cheese
- In a large microwave-safe bowl (with enough room for water to boil) combine the pasta, water, and salt. Microwave for 4-5 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.½ cup macaroni pasta, ½ cup water, 1 pinch each, salt & pepper
- Take the bowl out of the microwave and drain any excess water. Mix in the milk, cheddar, butter, pepper, optional cream cheese (if using), and/or the optional seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, or Cajun seasoning) if desired. Stir well, then return to the microwave.¼ cup milk, ½ cup cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 1 pinch garlic powder, onion powder, or cajun seasoning
- Microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted. Mix well to combine, and serve immediately.
Equipment You May Need
- The water can be mixed with milk, half & half, or heavy cream for a richer mac.
- Classic elbow macaroni noodles are best as they cook quickly. This can be made with other types of pasta, but the cooking time will need to be adjusted accordingly.
- I generally use 2% or whole milk for this recipe, but any milk will do. I have even used soy and almond milk with great results.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!