This One Pot Mac and Cheese has been a while in the making. I first made it back when the one pot meal craze first hit. But then in the way of a recipe developer always making new things, it went to the back burner – really no pun intended.
Time went by, and I sort of forgot about it. However my friends and family who had heard about it/tasted it, kept asking when I was going to get that recipe done.
As if that weren’t already enough to motivate me, I started getting messages on Instagram during our Iceland trip asking about a mac and cheese recipe. You see, I had taken lots boxed gluten free mac and cheese on our trip for super easy meals.
I knew we’d be going non-stop, often days without any kind of grocery store, and I knew mac and cheese would save us on those days. We made all sorts of versions of mac and cheese on the side of the road/mountain/highlands/glaciers of Iceland. And because it was all on my Insta Stories, the messages started pouring in asking about mac and cheese.
So finally, here it is – a super easy – one pot – gluten free mac and cheese, I mean… you couldn’t you ask for anything more!?! All the ingredients cook together in one pot, then you stir in cheese at the end, and serve. It’s really that simple, as you’ll see in the photos below.
I used 100% brown rice gluten free shells for this recipe. I’ve used both Delallo and Jovial brands, and they both work great. I haven’t had the best luck with other gluten free pastas I’ve tried, but these 2 brands have been very reliable – just a friendly tip – not a paid advertisement by any means!
Once you have all the ingredients in the pot, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring a couple of times.
Then you’ll lower the heat to a simmer, and cover the pot. Stir occasionally during the cooking time to prevent sticking.
Once the pasta has absorbed most of the cooking liquid, (see above photo) you’ll add in the cheese and stir to combine over low heat. Low heat is really important because higher heat can cause a sharp cheddar cheese to become grainy. This is definitely undesirable in a creamy mac and cheese. Then you add a splash of heavy cream, just enough to create the perfect consistency, and you’re ready to eat!
So the next time you’re really craving the ultimate comfort food, you’ll be ready with this easy one pot number!
I love mine with nothing more than some freshly ground black pepper.
Or lots of freshly ground pepper for that matter! But you can also do some variations like we did in Iceland. Normally I’m a mac and cheese purist – meaning absolutely nothing but pasta and creamy cheese sauce.
However when you’re planning on eating it 4 times in 2 weeks, I don’t mind mixing it up! Each time we made boxed mac and cheese, we always enriched it with some Icelandic butter and local cheddar cheese. Because as we all know, boxed mac and cheese has nothing on a homemade version like this.
But we also did a bacon and gouda version one night. And on another evening we did green onions, halved cherry tomatoes with 3 cheeses – cheddar, gouda, and jalapeno havarti. Another favorite variation is to add Italian sausage with sautéed onions, peppers, and zucchini mixed in. By this time, it can hardly be called mac and cheese, but it is some good camp cooking that’s for sure!
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1-12 ounce package 100% brown rice gluten free pasta shells, or other shape
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 cups water
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste - you can always start with less and add to taste at the end of the cooking time
- ¼-1/2 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place a large saucepan, about 12" diameter, over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the pasta shells, and stir to combine. Then add the heavy cream, water, and sea salt to taste.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Then cover the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring every couple of minutes until the pasta has absorbed the liquid, about 10-12 minutes.
- When the pasta has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, add ¼ cup of the heavy cream along with the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Stir until the cheeses have completely melted. Then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Check the consistency and add the remaining ¼ cup heavy cream only if the mac and cheese is too thick.
- Serve immediately.
- If you happen to have any leftovers, you can alway put the cold mac and cheese into a waffle iron and make waffles for breakfast with an over easy egg.
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