Macaroni and cheese is the gift that keeps on giving, because, simply put, people love mac and cheese, it’s so easy to make, and, well, it’s absolutely loaded with cheesy goodness! But what if we told you that you could make macaroni and cheese in just 10 minutes … in a mug? It is absolutely possible, thanks to chef and recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply. Dalton perfected a mac and cheese in a mug recipe, and it can go from the microwave to your table in just about no time.
Depending on the type of microwave you have, cooking times may vary. "The issue here is that people have different microwave strengths, so what might be seven minutes for me, might only be five minutes for someone else," Dalton says. The cooking time of this recipe also depends on the type of pasta you use. While Dalton uses macaroni in her recipe, you could also opt for penne or shells. Just keep in mind that different pasta has different cooking times. Nevertheless, "The water does boil over, so you need a dish underneath," Dalton notes. "If it boils up too much, you may need to add more water."
Gather the ingredients to prepare your mac and cheese in a mug
Before you can begin cooking, you’ll need ⅓ cup of pasta, ¾ cup of water, 1 tablespoon of milk, ½ teaspoon of cornstarch, and 5 tablespoons of cheddar cheese (grated), in addition to salt and pepper to taste.
You can use any cheese you fancy, so feel free to get creative. (We actually have some pretty solid recommendations for the best types of cheeses to use in homemade mac and cheese.) Or, you can do a combo of cheeses. For example, you could use Parmesan and cheddar cheese, but make sure to use the 5 tablespoons total that the recipe calls for.
For the ultimate presentation, parsley is also necessary for this recipe. "The parsley is just for decoration, so [you will only need] a sprig or chopped up teaspoon," Dalton says. Once you have your ingredients ready to roll, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Mix up and microwave the macaroni and cheese
First, you’ll need a large microwave-safe mug for the pasta and water. To ensure there aren’t any unnecessary messes, putting the mug on a plate is recommended, as the water will boil up and over the cup.
Next, add the pasta, water, and salt (to taste) to the mug. Microwave on full power for seven minutes. Once again, microwave cooking times will vary from household to household, depending on the microwave being used. Be sure to always cook it long enough so that the pasta is soft and cooked through.
Mix the cornstarch with the milk
While the pasta is cooking, you’ll mix together the cornstarch and the milk in a bowl. Once finished, set the mixture aside to use later on. This mixture isn’t required until the pasta is done cooking. At that point, it will be added to the cooked pasta.
As a friendly reminder, cornstarch, when mixed with a liquid, creates a mixture that thickens the dish (in this case, macaroni and cheese) without changing the flavor. It’s a simple addition, yet totally essential to achieving the ultimate outcome.
Assemble the mac and cheese in a mug
Once the pasta is done cooking in the microwave, you’ll drain any excess water. Then, add the cheese, pepper (to taste), and the cornstarch-milk mixture. Stir really well, until the cheese has melted. You may want to add a touch more milk if you feel the macaroni and cheese is too thick. However, too much milk will make it runny, so be careful.
Then, you’ll put the mug back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Take the finished product out of the microwave, sprinkle with some parsley, admire your creation, and enjoy!
Add a delicious side to pair with your mac and cheese
If you’re craving a side dish with your macaroni and cheese, then something green and healthy will do the trick. "If you’re making this for lunch, you could serve with a green salad," Dalton recommends.
As with many macaroni and cheese dishes, this mac and cheese in a cup is perfect to whip up for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. It’s also simple to make and take on-the-go if you’re heading into the office. But, a meal consisting of solely mac and cheese is always a good option.
This mac and cheese in a mug recipe is cheesy goodness, and it can go from the microwave to your table in just about no time.