Dive into the ultimate comfort food with our no-boil mac and cheese recipe!
Bringing together cheesy, creamy textures and delicious, rich flavors, this dinner dish is not only simple and well-received but also skips the hassle of pre-boiling noodles.
Traditional Southern cuisine with a modern one-pan twist makes tonight’s menu as easy as it comes.
Why You’ll Love Homemade Macaroni
Dive into the world of creamy sauces, golden brown tops, and the mouthwatering taste of perfectly cooked elbow macaroni. This no-boil mac and cheese nods to those classic Southern recipes we know and love.
Plus, it’s super easy to make! And the best part? Kids gobble it up, and adults can’t get enough. Dive in and see why it’s always a hit, regardless of age!
Time-Saver: Skip the boiling process of the pasta, slashing off some cooking time.
Creamy, Cheesy Goodness: Heavy whipping cream ensures a rich homemade cheese sauce.
One-Pan Dish Saver: One pan, less cleaning. Who doesn’t love that?
Easy to Make Your Own: With options to adjust types of cheese or add-ins, you can make it your own mac & cheese masterpiece.
- Butter (unsalted): For a velvety base.
- White onion and Minced garlic
- Salt and pepper: For that seasoned touch.
- Heavy whipping cream is the secret to the creamy sauce.
- Flour: To thicken the sauce just right.
- Elbow macaroni (uncooked dry pasta): The star ingredient.
- Chicken broth enhances the overall flavor.
- Pre-shredded Cheese: cheddar, Colby, & Monterey Jack for the ultimate cheesy blend.
How to make No Boil Mac and Cheese
Preheat the Oven: Begin by setting your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Prepare the Skillet: Place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Once hot, add butter, allowing it to melt.
Sauté Onion and Garlic: Introduce the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté the mixture until the onion turns translucent, typically around 6 minutes.
Create the Roux: Sprinkle in the flour, whisking continuously to avoid clumps. This forms a ‘roux,’ which should be combined for 1-2 minutes. Caution: Avoid letting the flour burn by continuously whisking.
Add Liquids & Season: Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream—season with salt and black pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture thoroughly.
Allow the mixture to thicken. As you continue cooking, the sauce thickens slightly. Maintain the mixture on heat for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent any sticking or burning.
Add Uncooked Pasta & Cheese: Introduce the uncooked macaroni and shredded cheese into the skillet. Stir using a spoon or spatula, ensuring the macaroni is well coated with the cheese mixture.
Transfer Cast iron Pan to the oven. Cover your skillet with aluminum foil (remember, the skillet will be hot!). Use kitchen gloves for safety. Place the skillet in the hot oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.
Final Baking: After 20 minutes, remove the foil covering. Continue baking the mac & cheese for 15-20 minutes, or until the top turns a beautiful golden brown.
Serve & Enjoy: Once done, remove the skillet from the oven. Let it cool slightly, then serve your creamy, no-boil mac & cheese!
Can I use milk instead of heavy whipping cream?
Absolutely! Whole milk, or 2%, is an acceptable substitute. If you want the richness of cream but with fewer calories, half and half can also be an option.
I am a big fan of using heavy whipping cream in cheese recipes because it is so creamy.
Can I play around with different kinds of cheese?
While shredded cheddar cheese is a classic, experiment with your favorite cheese. To be clear, I am not a fan of Velveeta Cheese in this easy classic recipe, and it should not be used as a substitution.
Any recommendations for mix-ins or toppings for macaroni and cheese?
A breadcrumb topping can add a crunchy top layer. Additional seasonings can also be added or removed to taste. For example, common additions to creamy baked macaroni and cheese are ground mustard, garlic powder, or onion powder.
Add a drained can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies for a spicy kick.
Cast Iron Macaroni and Cheese is the BEST!
You need a cast iron pan for this recipe because it can be easily transferred into the oven.
I like to use a 3.5-quart Enamel Covered Cast Iron Skillet or a 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet. My favorite thing about cast iron is that it can easily go from the stove to the oven.
This oven-baked macaroni and cheese is a cast iron pan recipe, and I use a cast iron pan with enamel coating (Which can be found cheaper at Target, Walmart, Amazon, and usually TJ Maxx by the LODGE company) that makes it easy to cook with cast iron but also helps food not get stuck.
They are my FAVORITE pans.
Whether it’s for even heat distribution or the seamless transition from stovetop to oven, a cast iron pan is the ultimate tool for this recipe.
Perfect Pairings: Side Dishes for Mac & Cheese
- Brussels Sprouts Recipe: Drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper, and roasted to perfection.
- Recipe for Salad: From a simple Caesar salad to a fresh cucumber-based bowl, salads bring a light side to this comforting meal.
- Rainbow Carrots: Soft, sweet, and slightly caramelized, these multi-colored, full-sized carrots bring a touch of sweetness.
No Boil Mac and Cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup white onion
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 16 oz. macaroni noodles uncooked
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 8 oz. Cheddar Cheese pre-shredded
- 1 cup Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese
Homemade Cast Iron Macaroni and Cheese
- Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 400°F.
- Prepare the Skillet:On the stove, set a cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add butter, onion, and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent and tender (6-8 minutes).
- Make the Roux:Add flour to the skillet and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes until it forms a thick roux. Be attentive, as the flour can burn quickly.
- Add Liquids and Seasonings:Pour in chicken broth and heavy whipping cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk mixture until slightly thickened and let it heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mix in Elbow Noodles and Cheese:Add UNCOOKED macaroni noodles and shredded cheese. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Bake Macaroni and Cheese in Oven: Cover the skillet with foil (using baking mitts because cast iron will be hot). Bake macaroni and cheese in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown and noodles are tender. All ovens have different temp points, so please double-check to remove or add minutes as needed.
- Cool: Allow to reach room temperature (about 30 minutes).
- Refrigerate: Place in an airtight container. Use within 3-5 days.
Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.