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Mac and Cheese in a Mug (5 minute recipe!)

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Short on time but want macaroni and cheese? This Mac and Cheese in a Mug takes only FIVE minutes to make in the microwave and will satisfy all cheesy cravings!

You only need a handful of pantry/fridge staples to make this cheesy goodness come to life – pasta, water, cheese, milk, and salt.

bite of mac n cheese on a fork from a mug

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This mac and cheese in a mug recipe has been circulating on TikTok (which is a actually wealth of information, outside of fun dances). It makes a single serving, only takes one minute to prep and five minutes to cook, and it’s good – thanks, TikTok!

My girls love macaroni and cheese, but I don’t always have time to make a full batch and am not crazy about Easy Mac so this is the perfect solution. You get to control the quality of ingredients and have mac and cheese ready in just five minutes!

If microwave macaroni and cheese isn’t your thing, I have other options that are also easy like my husband’s secret ingredient mac and cheese or stovetop creamy mac and cheese.

overhead shot of mac n cheese in a white mug

INGREDIENTS

Below is a list of ingredients and some helpful tidbits, but scroll down for the full recipe and tips.

PASTA – Any short pasta should work fine in this recipe (elbows, penne, small/medium shells). I tested with both elbow macaroni and penne pasta, the elbows took 4 minutes to cook before adding the cheese whereas the penne took 4 1/2 minutes.
CHEDDAR CHEESE – Shred a block of cheddar yourself for maximum cheesiness. The bags of pre-shredded cheese from the market work, but they don’t melt as nicely thanks to anti-caking agents. Sharp, mild, white…pick your favorite.
PARMESAN CHEESE – Shaved or shredded parmesan (don’t use grated). Combining parmesan to the cheddar ups the flavor, but you can use all cheddar if you don’t have parm.
MILK – Whole milk will work best for creaminess, but 2% and others will work as well.

You can also experiment with different types of cheeses. Don’t have any cheddar? Colby jack will work. Want to spice it up? Try pepper jack.

ingredients laid out to make mac n cheese

TOOLS FOUND ON AMAZON TO HELP YOU

  • A mug – Make sure you use a large, microwave safe mug for your mac & cheese. Be careful, some get hot!
  • Box grater – I know it takes more time, but grating cheese yourself is worth the extra effort.
  • Mac & cheese spoon – Did you know people have a designated mac & cheese spoon? Neither did I.

HOW TO MAKE MAC N CHEESE IN THE MICROWAVE

This is so easy, it hardly needs steps. You ready? Let’s make mac n cheese.

STEP ONE: Add your choice of pasta, water, and salt to a large microwave safe mug. Stir and then microwave for 4 to 4½ minutes.

STEP TWO: Carefully remove the mug from the microwave and stir in the cheeses and milk. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds or until pasta is tender and the cheese is fully melted.

That’s it! You have mac & cheese!

collage of 4 pics making mac n cheese

HOW TO STORE IT

Since this is a single serving mac n cheese, I doubt you’ll have leftovers, but if you do…cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. You may need to add a splash of milk when reheating in the microwave.

TIPS & TRICKS

  • An additional 30 seconds of cook time may need to be added to both rounds of microwaving depending on the style and brand of pasta you use (and your microwave). 
  • You do not want the pasta to be completely soft before adding the cheese since you’ll need to microwave after adding the cheese and no one likes mushy pasta.
  • I tested this with both elbow macaroni and penne pasta, the elbows took 4 minutes to cook before adding the cheese whereas the penned took 4 1/2 minutes.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter may be added to the mac and cheese if desired, but its not part of the original TikTok recipe going around.
  • Want to try a different cheese? Colby jack or pepper jack would be good choices.

NEED MORE MAC AND CHEESE RECIPES? TRY THESE:

Hard Rock Cafe Copycat Twisted Mac & Cheese
Baked Macaroni and Cheese (steakhouse style)
Macaroni and Cheese Flatbread
Pepper Jack Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

overhead shot of mug mac n cheese with text reading "mac n cheese in a mug"

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bite of mac n cheese on a fork from a mug

Mac and Cheese in a Mug

Melissa Williams
This Mac and Cheese in a Mug takes only FIVE minutes to make in the microwave and will satisfy all cheesy cravings!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 serving
Calories 480 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup short pasta such as elbows, penne, or medium shells
  • ½ cup water
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • parsley optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add pasta, water, and salt to a large mug. Stir and then microwave for 4 to 4½ minutes.
  • Remove from the microwave and stir in the cheese and milk, microwave for an additional 30 seconds or until pasta is tender and the cheese is fully melted.
  • Let cool then enjoy!

Notes

  • An additional 30 seconds of cook time may need to be added to both rounds of microwaving depending on the style and brand of pasta you use.
  • You do not want the pasta to be completely soft before adding the cheese since you’ll need to microwave after adding the cheese and no one likes mushy pasta.
  • I tested this with both elbow macaroni and penne pasta, the elbows took 4 minutes to cook before adding the cheese whereas the penned took 4 1/2 minutes.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter may be added to the mac and cheese if desired, but its not part of the original TikTok recipe going around.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 480kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 25gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 824mgPotassium: 221mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 693IUCalcium: 574mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

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