One Pot Mac and Cheese

Ultimate Comfort: One Pot Mac and Cheese

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with our irresistible One Pot Mac and Cheese recipe. Creamy, cheesy, and incredibly flavorful, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights, family gatherings, or anytime you’re craving a hearty meal. Best of all, it requires just one pot, making cleanup a breeze. Join us as we explore the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, cook notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions of this classic favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cavatappi noodles, uncooked
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 10.5 oz condensed cheddar soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Toppings:

  • 8 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions:

1. Cook the Pasta:

  1. In a large pot, combine the uncooked cavatappi noodles, water, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Add the Cheeses:

  1. Stir in the condensed cheddar soup until well combined and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and grated parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until melted and smooth.

3. Prepare the Toppings:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, grated parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley.

4. Serve and Enjoy:

  1. Spoon the mac and cheese into serving bowls.
  2. Sprinkle the prepared topping mixture over the mac and cheese.
  3. Serve hot and enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Customize the Cheeses: Feel free to experiment with different cheese combinations to suit your taste preferences. Gouda, fontina, or smoked cheddar would all add delicious depth of flavor to this dish.
  • Add Protein: For added protein, consider stirring in cooked bacon, diced ham, or shredded rotisserie chicken.
  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the meat and add sautéed vegetables such as broccoli, peas, or spinach for a vegetarian-friendly version.
  • Spice it Up: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.

Keto Versions and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Low-Carb Noodles: Substitute traditional cavatappi noodles with low-carb alternatives such as zucchini noodles (zoodles) or shirataki noodles.
  • Use Keto-friendly Condensed Soup: Look for keto-friendly condensed cheddar soup or make your own using keto-approved ingredients.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Cauliflower Mac and Cheese: Replace the pasta with cauliflower florets for a low-carb twist on this classic dish. Simply steam or roast the cauliflower until tender, then proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • Almond Flour Topping: Instead of Ritz crackers, use crushed almonds or almond flour mixed with grated parmesan cheese for a crunchy low-carb topping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can use your favorite pasta shape in this recipe. Penne, elbow macaroni, or rotini would all work well.

2. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the mac and cheese ahead of time and reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving. If the mixture thickens upon reheating, simply add a splash of milk to loosen it up.

3. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.

Treat yourself to the ultimate comfort food experience with our delicious One Pot Mac and Cheese recipe. Creamy, cheesy, and oh-so-satisfying, this dish is guaranteed to become a family favorite. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just craving a cozy meal at home, this easy-to-make recipe is sure to please. Plus, with our keto and low-carb variations, you can enjoy all the deliciousness of mac and cheese while staying on track with your dietary goals. So grab a fork and dig in to this irresistible dish—it’s comfort food at its finest!

Indulge in the creamy, cheesy goodness of our One Pot Mac and Cheese—a comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion!

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