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Macaroni and Cheese For One

This homemade macaroni and cheese is so creamy and extra cheesy. Made on the stovetop, this single serving mac and cheese recipe is easy to make and can be ready in minutes. It's the perfect size for one person!

A small bowl of macaroni and cheese on a metal tray next to a spoon and a pink cloth napkin.

If there's one recipe every home cook should have in their arsenal of recipes, it should be a glorious homemade macaroni and cheese recipe; one that can be pulled out the instant a craving hits for cheesy, creamy pasta.

Macaroni and cheese is classic comfort food and since this easy mac and cheese recipe takes just minutes to make, it's a recipe you can enjoy making over and over again.

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Truly, it takes about the same amount of time to make this classic macaroni and cheese as it does to make the kind from a box - and this version is so much better homemade!

RELATED: Single Serving Comfort Food Recipes

What Type Of Pasta Should I Use?

This homemade macaroni and cheese recipe begins with the pasta. I like to use elbow macaroni but use your favorite small pasta shape. As long as it's a shape that's good at holding onto the sauce, it'll be a good choice.

Other favorite pasta types include fusilli, rotini, and shells.

You'll want to cook 2-ounces of pasta until it's al dente and has a little bite. After it's cooked and drained, set it aside and make the cheese sauce.

Two ounces of dried elbow macaroni is about 1/2 cup.

Ingredients In The Cheese Sauce

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

To make the glorious cheese sauce for your mac and cheese you will need:

  • butter
  • all purpose flour
  • milk
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt
  • dry mustard

Pro Tip: You can use any percentage of milk you like. Unsweetened almond milk also works well in this recipe.

What To Do With Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this macaroni and cheese recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

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How To Make Macaroni and Cheese

Follow these easy steps for making the best macaroni and cheese:

  1. Begin By Making A Roux: Don't let the word "roux" scare you. A roux is a fancy French term and shouldn't intimidate you. The purpose of a roux is to thicken a sauce and in this recipe, it's a simple mixture of equal parts melted butter and flour. As the butter melts in a small saucepan, whisk in the flour to form a thick, smooth paste. Cook the roux for a minute or so.
  2. Whisk In The Milk: Slowly pour the milk into the roux while whisking. As the milk heats, the clumps of flour will smooth out and the sauce will thicken. Continue to cook the sauce for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add The Cheese: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese and dry mustard. I happen to love the flavor that the dry mustard imparts. You don't have to use it in your mac and cheese version however, I highly recommend it.
  4. Stir In The Pasta: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pasta. Best if enjoyed immediately.
An overhead view of a small bowl of macaroni and cheese on a metal tray with a spoon, a pink cloth napkin, and scattered shredded cheddar cheese

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As you can see, this is truly an easy stovetop mac and cheese recipe.

Macaroni and Cheese Topping

If you like a crisp, buttery topping for your macaroni and cheese, just transfer the mac and cheese into a small oven safe dish or ramekin and sprinkle a tablespoon of seasoned breadcrumbs over the top. Cut a tablespoon of butter into little pieces and place the pieces of butter over the top of the breadcrumbs and bake the macaroni and cheese in the oven (350 degrees F /177 degrees C) for a few minutes until the butter melts and the topping is golden.

What To Serve With Macaroni And Cheese

Although I could eat macaroni and cheese all by itself and be quite happy doing so, you might like to enjoy any of these dishes with yours...

A spoonful of macaroni and cheese from a small bowl

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This macaroni and cheese is so creamy and delicious. It's a single serving recipe but the ingredients can be doubled to yield two servings.

I used a 1 quart saucepan to make this mac and cheese, for best results use a pot of a similar size. I also use a 8.5-ounce ramekin to serve the macaroni and cheese.

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

Macaroni and Cheese For One | One Dish Kitchen

Macaroni and Cheese For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Course: Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keywords: pasta
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 608kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 2 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni (or other pasta shape)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (use any percentage or almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

How To Video


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small 1-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture thickens and there are no lumps.
  • Stir in the cheese, the dry mustard, and the salt and continue stirring until the cheese has melted.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta.
    Best if enjoyed immediately.
    The macaroni and cheese will be very creamy and will thicken even more as it cools.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 796mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1165IU | Calcium: 569mg | Iron: 1.5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

28 thoughts on “Macaroni and Cheese For One”

  1. 5 stars
    I used shell pasta, since I had it on hand. Pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it! Nice and creamy, wasn’t sure 2oz would be enough but it was perfect. Thank you!

  2. Hi, could you please advise what size 2 oz of macaroni would be please? Would it be close to a 1/4th or a 1/3rd of a cup?

  3. Nandy M Thompson

    So quick and easy! Doubled it for two and it was perfect! Sprinkled some Panko breadcrumbs in top and toasted it till golden!!!! Look forward to making again!

  4. 5 stars
    I’m not a big fan of stovetop macaroni and cheese, so I put mine in a little baking dish and put it in the toaster oven for about 20 minutes, until it started to brown on top.


    1. Haven’t made yet, but looks delicious! At what temperature and how long should I cook this recipe in convection oven?

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