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3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe full of gooey, cheesy goodness with just 3 ingredients!

3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe

My family will tell you Mac and Cheese is my all-time favorite food. I know, I’m a kid at heart! I love the simplicity of this 3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe. Three ingredients and ready in less than 15 minutes. That’s a winner!!

This recipe is as simple and satisfying as recipes can get. Comfort food that children and adults enjoy. This recipe is good for potlucks, weeknight dinners or kids after-school snacks.

Why slave over Mac and Cheese when it can be as simple as 1-2-3? My 3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese is made on the stove-top in one pan and with only three ingredients. Score!

white ramekin filled with macaroni and cheese made with 3 ingredients.

3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe Tips

  • I typically use whatever shape pasta I have on hand for Mac and Cheese. If you’re a traditionalist, by all means, use elbow macaroni.
  • As well, use your favorite cheese or whatever you have in your refrigerator. Although I do love the classic cheddar, I have also used gouda, Monterrey and pepper jack in mac and cheese. They are all good. (I even used 8 kinds of cheese in a recipe. Get that recipe here: Eight Cheese Mac n Cheese.)
  • Be sure to stir the heavy cream as it comes up to a low boil. Unlike water, the cream will scorch is you don’t stir it.
  • You can also use processed cheese, like Velveeta, in this recipe

cheesy pasta in a white ramekin.

While you’re here, check out these recipes

  1. Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

  2. Crawfish Mac and Cheese
  3. Muenster Mac and Cheese
    3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe

    3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe

    3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe full of gooey, cheesy goodness with just 3 ingredients!
    Author: Paula
    5 from 4 votes
    Print Rate
    Save To Your Recipe Box
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 15 minutes
    Servings: 8 servings



    • Bring heavy cream to a low boil, stirring so it doesn't scorch.
    • Add pasta and cook per package directions to al dente stage, usually 10 to 11 minutes.
    • Carefully stir every couple of minutes while cooking.
    • Do not drain liquid off when pasta is cooked.
    • Add the grated cheese and stir.
    • Add salt and pepper if desired*
    • Allow to sit 5 minutes.
    • Stir and serve.


    Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1814IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 276mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    I’m confused. Do you cook the pasta in the cream? If so, why is water mentioned in the notes? Is it used to cook the pasta and then the pasta is stirred into the cream? That wouldn’t make sense because then wouldn’t the mac n cheese be really runny? Please clarify for me.

    1. Yes, the pasta is cooked in the cream only. No water.
      I mentioned salt, pepper, & water to clarify that, as a standard, they are not counted as ingredients. (per Clair Robinson’s 5 Ingredient Fix)
      – Keeping with the 3 Ingredient part of the recipe
      The * in step 6 corresponds to that notation.
      Hope that makes sense.

  2. Any post that says Mac and Cheese and I read it. Obviously it must represent THE ultimate comfort food. A quick version like this is almost dangerous because taste and richness has not been sacrificed.

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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