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Save yourself from powdered cheese and overpriced cup-o-questionable-ingredients! 🙂 You can make microwavable Mug Macaroni and Cheese in the same amount of time and it’s so much better with rich grown-up cheeses.
A couple weeks ago we spent a few days at Extended Stay America in Huntington Beach for a mini vacation. Because I was going to be making all our meals in the room, I started searching Pinterest for easy one-dish dinners and microwave recipes.
I came across a recipe for microwave “mug macaroni and cheese” and saved it to try, even though we decided to pack picnic lunches each day.
I tried this recipe out of sheer curiosity. I had to know if it really was as simple as it sounded on Cheese Rank (the Facebook page where I got the idea).
The benefits of being able to make it in minutes, cooking for just one, and having macaroni and cheese without the nasty powdered stuff were enough to convince me to try it out.
I’ll be honest, there were some adjustments that had to be made, and I had to try a couple times, so it wasn’t as simple as ZAP! STIR! EAT! but it was still pretty good.
- elbow macaroni (dry pasta)
- half and half (or whole milk and butter)
- cheese (the richer and creamier the better)
Tips for successfully making Mug Macaroni and Cheese
The most important thing you need is a LARGE mug. Using one that is wider than usual will help, too. The mug I’m using in the photo is not the one I cooked in.
I went through three different mugs looking for a good size and shape. I only used this mug because it looked much prettier in photos than the big Winnie The Pooh mug that I ended up using. 🙂
The problem is that the water overflows as it boils, and it does it pretty quickly. Then you’re stuck with having to guess as to the amount of water to add back in to the mug to continue the cooking process. Not to mention a puddle in the microwave.
It’s possible, but it’s messy and annoying. So go with an oversized mug, or halve the recipe to keep the contents where they belong.
Use rich and creamy cheeses with strong flavors. A creamy cheese like Havarti will melt well and give a punch of flavor to your mug macaroni and cheese. Other favorites of ours are smoked gouda, sharp cheddar and even Brie!
It may have been a bit of a science project, but it was tasty and a fun lunch instead of the typical sandwich. If you have the right mug, this is a perfect meal for eating at your desk at work! Lunch for one is served!
If you like the idea of Mug Macaroni and Cheese, here are a couple more yummy lunch ideas!
Mug Macaroni and Cheese
- 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup half-and-half or use whole milk and add a little butter for richness
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese use rich, creamy cheese like smoked gouda and sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup elbow macaroni, 1/2 cup waterAdd the macaroni and water to a large mug and microwave in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring between, until reaching desired texture. Add more water if it boils over and the noodles are not yet cooked. (should be done around the 4 minute mark) Drain any remaining water after cooking.
- 1/4 cup half-and-half, 3/4 cup shredded cheeseStir in the half and half (or butter and whole milk) and cheese, mixing until creamy
- Add salt and pepper to taste