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Dutch Oven Mac and Cheese


Easy Dutch oven mac and cheese made completely in one pot. This comforting pasta dish is cheesy, creamy, and extra flavorful. It’s made without any breadcrumbs or flour and no fancy ingredients needed.

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white bowl filled with cheesy mac and cheese in creamy sauce

Recipe Features

  • This creamy mac and cheese is a perfect comfort meal, works for picky eaters as well!
  • It takes one pot and 30 minutes from start to finish to make this stovetop mac and cheese version
  • You will only need to get 7 ingredients to make it and it’s the easiest mac and cheese recipe to try!
  • It’s made without any flour or breadcrumbs.

Key Ingredients

ingredients to make macaroni with cheese

Ingredient Notes

Macaroni– when making homemade mac and cheese, I like to use elbows, Conchiglie, or Gemelli pasta. You can use any small shaped pasta.

Cheese – Mild or Sharp Cheddar and Manchego cheese blend, freshly grated taste better.

Milk – whole milk for a creamier texture, feel free to substitute whole milk with another kind.

Nutritional Yeast – to enhance the “cheesy flavor” and add yellow color naturally.

Butter – I used salted butter, or use unsalted and add salt separately.

Dijon Mustard – course ground mustard would work the best.

How to Make One Pot Mac and Cheese

Step 1. Cooking the pasta. First, to make this creamy homemade mac and cheese, you’ll need to cook the pasta. Fill a large pot with water and cook macaroni in a pot following directions on the package. Once cooked, drain, don’t rinse, and leave to sit in the colander.

colander with cooked pasta inside

Step 2. Making the cheesy sauce. In the same cast-iron Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat, melt butter, add milk and mustard, whisking continuously. Once butter is melted, add shredded cheese, nutritional yeast, continue to whisk till combined. Remove from the heat, taste, adjust mustard and salt as desired.

Dutch oven with cheese sauce

Step 3. Combining macaroni with cheese sauce. Add cooked macaroni to the pot with cheesy sauce and stir to combine.

Dutch oven with macaroni and cheese sauce

Step 4. Baking mac and cheese- Optional step. You can entirely skip this step and not bake mac and cheese at all! Or bake it if you would like to turn this into a baked version with a cheesy crispy crust on top.

Sprinkle extra cheese and some nutritional yeast on top and broil for 3 minutes till crust is formed. Serve baked macaroni and cheese warm.

Dutch oven with baked mac and cheese

Tips For Success

  • For best pasta texture, cook pasta al dente.  
  • Cheese tips. I am using two kinds of cheeses plus nutritional yeast for the best cheese sauce for mac and cheese. Feel free to use Parmesan instead of Manchego cheese. For the best flavor in this dutch oven macaroni and cheese use freshly grated cheese, it tastes better and has no artificial ingredients or fillers.
  • When making the mac and cheese sauce, to avoid burning the milk, keep the heat on medium-low and whisk continually without stopping.
  • Taste the cheesy sauce before adding the pasta, adjust salt and mustard. If serving to adults you might want to add extra mustard. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • When reheating using stovetop add extra liquids (water, milk) since pasta will absorb all the sauce.

Mac and cheese Variations

If you are looking for ways to make this dish extra fancy, here are some ideas:

  • Add crumbled bacon or Prosciutto.
  • Add more veggies: broccoli, shaved Brussel sprouts, roasted asparagus.
  • Make it extra flavorful, add extra spices: powdered garlic, dry herbs like chives or parsley, garnish with chopped green onion.
dutch oven with baked mac and cheese inside

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is manchego cheese?

Manchego cheese is a firm cheese made from sheep’s milk. It’s less salty than Parmesan cheese.

How to make cheese sauce for mac and cheese?

To make the cheese sauce, you will need to melt butter; once melted, add milk and shredded cheese with the ingredients: mustard, salt, dry herbs, and spices.

How to make mac and cheese from scratch?

Making mac and cheese from scratch consist of 3 steps: cooking macaroni, making cheese sauce, combining pasta with sauce.

How to reheat mac and cheese?

To reheat mac and cheese in the oven, preheat the oven to 350F degrees; once the oven is heated, place the covered dutch oven with mac and cheese and heat for 15 minutes.

Best cheeses for mac and cheese?

The best cheeses for mac and cheese are Cheddar, Gruyere, Gouda, Havarti. These cheeses melt well and help create a creaminess in the mac and cheese dish.

spoon with elbows pasta in yellow sauce

More Pasta Recipes

Did you try this recipe? I love hearing from you! Don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below.

white bowl with creamy yellow mac and cheese

Dutch Oven Mac and Cheese

Natalia-Flavorful Home
This easy Dutch oven mac and cheese is made entirely in one pot. This comforting pasta dish is cheesy, creamy, and extra flavorful. It’s prepared with simple ingredients and without any flour or breadcrumbs.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 780 kcal

Equipment

  • dutch oven

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 12 oz brown rice pasta elbows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup Manchego cheese aged
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • some cheese to bake

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta. Add water to the Dutch oven pot, bring to boil on high, add salt. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, leave in the colander.
  • Make sauce. In the same Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add butter, melt, add milk and mustard, heat whisking continuously. Once butter is melted and add shredded cheese, nutritional yeast, continue to whisk till combined. Remove from the heat, taste, adjust mustard and salt as desired.
  • Combine. To the pot with cheesy sauce, add cooked pasta, stir to combine.
  • Broil. This is an optional step. Sprinkle extra cheese and some nutritional yeast on top and broil for 3 minutes on high till cheesy crust is formed.

Notes

For best pasta texture, cook pasta al dente.
Pasta tips. I used gluten-free elbows, seashell pasta shape would work great too. 
Cheese tips. I am using two kinds of cheeses plus nutritional yeast for the best cheese sauce for mac and cheese. Feel free to use Parmesan instead of Manchego cheese.For the best flavor in this dutch oven macaroni and cheese use freshly grated cheese, it tastes better and has no fillers.
When making the sauce, to avoid burning the milk, whisk continually without stopping.
Taste the cheesy sauce before adding the pasta, adjust salt and mustard. If serving to adults you might want to add extra mustard. 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
When reheating add extra liquids (water, milk) since pasta will absorb all the sauce.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 780kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 34gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1419mgPotassium: 241mgFiber: 9gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1002IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 890mgIron: 1mg
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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document easy real food recipes perfect for busy families. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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