Updated date:

Super-Easy, Almost-Instant, Single-Serve Macaroni and Cheese

Jean—a creative self-taught cook with a passion for helping people develop their cooking skills—has worked as a cooking instructor.

In a large part of the world who doesn't love what is affectionately known as "mac and cheese"? But the real mac and cheese takes time to make and certain skills that not everyone has. But, what if I could show you how to make a single snack-sized serving of real mac and cheese in less than 5 minutes? So put on your frilly apron and let's mac and cheese it!

super-easy-almost-instant-single-serve-macaroni-and-cheese

What You'll Need

Equipment

  • large cup
  • small plate
  • spoon for stirring in the cup

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of elbow macaroni
  • scant 1/2 cup water
  • scant 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/16 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup grated old cheddar cheese

When a Snack Size Isn't Enough

For those of you that need more than a half cup snack size of this awesomely delicious macaroni and cheese, you can double and triple the recipe using an appropriate size microwaveable bowl. If the bowl is big enough, it may not boil over in the microwave, but you might want to put a large plate under it just in case. You will also have to adjust the cooking time. The way to tell if the macaroni is cooked is to stick a fork in it. Obviously, if it feels tough when you stick a fork into it, it needs to cook another 30 seconds or so. If it feels tender, taste it to see if it is cooked to your liking.

I have not doubled or tripled the recipe, so I cannot advise you on the cooking time for either. My advice is to cook it for another minute, stir, then another minute and stir a few times, testing it with a fork along the way before you add the rest of the ingredients.

Really Delicious Macaroni and Cheese in Less Than 5 Minutes

Doesn't this look delicious and you can have it within 5 minutes!

Doesn't this look delicious and you can have it within 5 minutes!

The Mac and Cheese Thing

The Directions in Brief

  • First, select a large cup.
  • Measure 1/3 cup of elbow macaroni and dump it in the cup.
  • Measure just a fraction under ½ cup of water and dump it in the cup.
  • Put the cup on a plate in your microwave oven and cook on full power for 2 minutes
  • Pour any water that has boiled over back into the cup.
  • Stir the macaroni and microwave it again for another minute.
  • Stir it again and microwave it for another minute.
  • Stir it again, test for doneness, and microwave for a few more seconds if needed.
  • Pour off any remaining water as best you can.
  • Measure just under ½ cup of milk and add 1/16 tsp cornstarch to the milk, then stir.
  • Pour the milk and cornstarch mixture into the cup.
  • Add ½ cup grated cheese to the cup then stir everything together.
  • Microwave a further 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Remove from the microwave, stir and enjoy.

First, Select a Large Cup

Mine is about 1 2/3 cups. You will also need a small plate to put under the cup as we are going to use a microwave oven. The water tends to boil over as the Mac is cooking.

It will soon contain that cheesy deliciousness!

It will soon contain that cheesy deliciousness!

Measure 1/3 cup of Elbow Macaroni

super-easy-almost-instant-single-serve-macaroni-and-cheese

This Is a Dry Measuring Cup

Dry measuring cups usually have a little handle on the side of the cup with the measurement stamped into the handle. They are specifically calibrated for dry measurements and not for liquid ones like milk or water.

Dump it in the Cup

super-easy-almost-instant-single-serve-macaroni-and-cheese

Measure Just a Fraction Under 1/2 cup of Water

Cold water out of the tap tends to be fresher that hot water that has been brewing in your hot water tank for a while.

Cold water out of the tap tends to be fresher that hot water that has been brewing in your hot water tank for a while.

This Is a Liquid Measuring Cup

Liquid measuring cups are usually glass or plastic and have measurements on the side of the cup. They are specially calibrated for liquids not dry ingredients like flour and macaroni.

And Dump it in the Cup

It will boil over so that is why we are putting a plate underneath it to catch the mess.

It will boil over so that is why we are putting a plate underneath it to catch the mess.

Put the cup on a plate in your microwave oven and cook on full power for 2 minutes. The water will boil over onto the plate but that is normal. Just pour it back into the cup at the end of the two minutes..

Stir the Macaroni.

super-easy-almost-instant-single-serve-macaroni-and-cheese

Microwave for Another Minute

Put the cup back on the plate and put it back in the microwave and microwave it for one minute more.

Stir Again

super-easy-almost-instant-single-serve-macaroni-and-cheese

Another Minute in the Microwave

Back on the plate and back into the microwave one more time for one minute. Pour any water back into the cup from the plate.

Stir one More Time

super-easy-almost-instant-single-serve-macaroni-and-cheese

We're Getting Close!

By now the macaroni should be almost cooked and all the water should be gone. Use a fork to taste a piece of the macaroni. If it is almost cooked to your liking, pour off any remaining water as best you can. If it needs a few more seconds, pop it back in the microwave. Keep in mind when you add the rest of the ingredients the mac will continue to cook.

Measure Just Under 1/4 cup of Milk

I couldn't get the camera low enough so it looks like there is more in the cup than there really is.

I couldn't get the camera low enough so it looks like there is more in the cup than there really is.

Put 1/2 of an 1/8th Teaspoon of Cornstarch Into the Milk and Stir

It doesn't have to be exact.

It doesn't have to be exact.

Put The Milk and the Cornstarch Into The Macaroni Cup

super-easy-almost-instant-single-serve-macaroni-and-cheese

Grate 1/2 Cup old Cheddar Cheese or use a Grated Cheese Product

Use a dry measuring cup to measure the cheese.

Use a dry measuring cup to measure the cheese.

You can Change Up the Cheese

You may have a favorite cheese that you would like to try in this recipe. Go for it as long as its a cheese that will melt and blend into the sauce, giving that oh-so-creamy texture.

Stir the Grated Cheese Into the Macaroni Cup

Look! The cheese is starting to melt already!

Look! The cheese is starting to melt already!

Microwave for Another 30 Seconds to a Minute

Now you are melting the cheese, making the sauce and putting the final touches on cooking the macaroni al dente. You can tell if the macaroni is cooked enough for you by taking a noodle on a fork and tasting it. It will be very hot so please don't burn your mouth.

Stir and Enjoy

Yum! Yum!

Yum! Yum!

A Word or two About Macaroni

The classic “C” shaped elbow macaroni is just one shape in the whole group called pasta. While traditional macaroni and other types of pasta from Italy have been made with durum wheat flour, there are now a whole range of different flours used to make it.

The Flours of Macaroni

In North America semolina flour is the all-purpose flour most of us use at home, but what if you have food sensitivities or you want to improve your diet? Did you know you can now buy macaroni with added vegetables? Some of the macaronis are colored by the vegetable “flours” they contain. Dried vegetable powders are used to make it.

Rice, high protein, gluten-free, amaranth and chickpea flours are all used to make pasta that almost everyone can eat. Each one has different textures when cooked but they can all make great mac and cheese! They also have similar cook times.

Cooking up a Macaroni Storm

Regular good old wheat macaroni is usually ready to eat about 7 to 8 minutes after it is added to boiling water in traditional cooking. If you are using one of the alternate types of macaroni in this recipe, read the box and see how it compares to the regular pasta and adjust the cooking types accordingly when you microwave it.

How Does This Almost Instant mac and Cheese Rate?

How Long Does it Take, How Much Does it Make?

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

2 min

4 min

6 min

1 snack size portion

© 2017 iamradiantrose

Comments

iamradiantrose (author) on January 26, 2017:

That's very nice of you. Thank you very much!

GreenMind Guides from USA on January 26, 2017:

Hey nice recipe! I really like all the photos. You're obviously a pro.

iamradiantrose (author) on January 26, 2017:

Bon Appetit! I have to admit it is a favorite in our house.

Bev G from Wales, UK on January 26, 2017:

Can't wait to give this a go. Roll on lunchtime!