Happy National Mac & Cheese Day! You should celebrate today by, well, making mac & cheese. But let’s be real—if you’re cooking for just yourself, you’re probably not going to whip up an entire buffalo chicken mac in a skillet. What you really need is a simple one-bowl mac & cheese that you can easily cook—and devour—in one go. So let me show you how you can do just that.
This recipe is basically a simplified version of my normal homemade mac and cheese but paired down to make just enough for one bowl. The base of it comes from a roux (butter, flour, and milk), then some shredded cheese of your choosing, Greek yogurt, and of course, pasta.
Use any cheese you like
Yep, that’s right. You can use any type of cheese for your one bowl mac & cheese, so get creative! Or simply use up whatever cheese you currently have in the fridge, because we don’t stan food waste on this blog.
However, I have to make one note about shredded cheese that’s super important: Shred the cheese yourself. Did you know bagged shredded cheese has a caking agent that prevents the cheese from sticking together? While it sounds convenient, that cheese will create issues for all of your recipes. The cheese won’t stick together because of it, causing the cheese to separate, and utterly destroying your recipes. Here’s an article I recently wrote on this matter.
For my one bowl mac & cheese, I like to use extra sharp cheddar (yellow or white both work fine), or if I’m feeling it, a shredded pepper jack cheese. I’ve thought about attempting a blue-cheese mac at some point. If I do end up trying it, I’ll update you over on Instagram.
For a protein boost, use chickpea pasta
I admit, I’ve had quite the obsession with chickpea pasta lately, especially Banza. No no, this post isn’t sponsored, just me giving a shout out to a brand I love to use. Between the 2 oz. of Banza shells (equivilanent of 1 cup) and the 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt, this meal has over 28 grams of protein in it. Meaning you’re going to feel super full after enjoying this one bowl.
Now this is clearly a pasta I like, but this recipe can be done with any type of pasta. While short pasta is best (penne, fusilli, ziti, etc.), you could probably attempt this with long pasta as well (spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair). And of course, you can use pasta made of any type of base you like. Chickpeas, cassava flour, gluten-free…you name it, this one bowl mac & cheese recipe will work.
More easy recipes for one
If you’re living by yourself, it can be hard to find recipes that really work for just you. So here are a few of my favorite single-serving recipes that you can start making. And if you’re in a household for two, simply double the recipe!
- Jammy Egg Toast with Scallion Cream Cheese
- Muffuletta Sandwich
- Protein Waffle
- Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bowl
- Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Savory French Toast
- Goddess Arugula Bowl
- Chia Seed Pudding Cups
- Lemon Arugula Salad
And of course, margaritas. You need a little cocktail to go with that mac!
Alright here’s the full recipe for one bowl mac & cheese. I hope you celebrate this national holiday in style!
One Bowl Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 1 cup dry short pasta shells, penne, fusilli, bowties, etc.
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, then drain. Leave the pasta in a colander as you prep the sauce.
- In that same pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
- Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk until combined and the mixture becomes a light, fluffy brown—about 15 seconds.
- Slowly pour in the milk as you whisk continously. Pour in small amounts of it at a time until all of the milk is incoporated. It will be slightly liquidy and thin—don't worry!
- Sprinkle in the shredded cheese and whisk until the cheese is halfway melted.
- Turn the stove heat off. Scrape in the Greek yogurt and whisk until everything is combined and the cheese is fully melted.
- Add in the cooked pasta and mix until combined. Pour into a single bowl and devour!