3-Ingredient Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food made simple. This Lazy Day recipe is so easy to cook, you will be making it all the time. It is utterly creamy and loaded with ooey gooey cheese. Perfect any night. This one pot meal makes for less dish washing and that my friends makes it a home run.
Ever since I first shared our One-Skillet 20-Minute Mac and Cheese with Broccoli, 2 years ago I have been enjoying this quick and easy method of mac and cheese making more nights than not.
Now don’t get me wrong, Super Simple Mac & Cheese Italian Style is still a family favorite. As a matter of fact. I made it the night I was working on this post. I was so inspired by all the mac and cheese recipes.
Lazy Day Mac and Cheese
I have a culinary confession to make. I have been playing with a lot of different variations of mac and cheese this last year and Munchkin says “Mommy, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings. But, I don’t like your mac and cheese.
Can we have the one in the box?” Ugh! True confession; I have been battling the box mac and cheese with my 5 year old. It’s like a dagger in the heart.
Well, after some playing around I realized she did not like the flavor and texture of the mac and cheese she was associating with ‘homemade’. You know the thick and yummy cheese that you think of when it is potluck time.
So, I went back to basics. I stick with familiar cheeses, like mozzarella, Parmesan and cheddar. I also add more milk so the cheese sauce is creamier. SCORE! I got my mac and cheese lover back.
This 3-Ingredient recipe is so easy and creamy. As with any recipe that relies on a few ingredients, make sure those ingredients are the best. For this recipe I picked out my favorite good quality cheese and it really kicks the flavor up a notch!
It’s funny but I absolutely love homemade mac and cheese and while we were working on our new cookbook, we developed our new favorite.
Helpful Tips to make Lazy Day Mac and Cheese:
- Use full fat milk in this recipe. If you choose to go with a low-fat (2% or skim milk) you will want to cook more slowly and add in a little corn starch.
- Do NOT add salt until the end, adding it too soon will result in a grainy mac and cheese (caused by the milk curdling, which is fine to eat but not as pleasant). For an über rich mac and cheese you can use heavy cream or half and half.
- Feel free to add spices as desired at the end. A sprinkle of parsley goes a long way for added freshness.
- Add your favorite cheeses, I have used sharp cheddar, mild cheddar and extra sharp. I usually use about half sharp and half mild for my perfect flavor. Also note, the pre-shredded cheese you can buy at the store has a corn starch like coating on it that may cause your cheese sauce to be super thick. You can add an extra splash of milk to thin it out a little.
What you will need to make Lazy Day Mac and Cheese:
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Lazy Day Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces dried elbow macaroni
- 24 ounces whole milk, 3 cups
- 8 ounces finely shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste, optional
- In a medium saucepan combine milk and pasta. Stir. Bring to a boil slowly over medium heat stirring occasionally. Do not walk away from the stove the milk Once milk comes to a boil, reduce to simmer until pasta is cooked al dente (cooked but firm to the bite). Sprinkle in cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Turn off burner and cover pot while you are cleaning up, about 5-6 minutes to allow sauce to thicken.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. (I actually add about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon fresh ground course black pepper).
- Serve and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
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Originally published 9/13/15