This macaroni and cheese in a mug is ready in less than 5 minutes. It makes a quick, easy meal for one.

While Fall may be just around the corner, we’ve been experiencing the hottest weather of the summer so far in San Diego. As a result, there hasn’t been much cooking or baking happening in the kitchen.

I was making some quick and easy macaroni and cheese in the microwave for another recipe when I decided it was time to update my macaroni and cheese in a mug post. It also gave me an excuse to make a few extra servings (for testing purposes of course).

This is perfect for when you want to make a single serving rather than an entire pot of macaroni and cheese. It comes together so quickly and I didn’t break a sweat making it.

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Print Print Recipe

Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug

Yield: 1

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 4 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup milk or water (milk will make the macaroni and cheese creamier)
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

 

Directions:

1. Add milk/water and noodles into an oversized mug (I used a 20 ounce mug). Place the mug on a large plate (this is to catch the overflow of water/milk that occurs when cooking). Microwave for 1 minute, then stir, making sure noodles do not stick to the bottom. Microwave for an additional 1 minute and stir again. Noodles should be almost cooked at this point and most of the liquid should be gone. How much more you need to cook will depend on your microwave. I microwaved mine an additional 30 seconds.

2. If you are using water, you may have a little water left. Pour this out. If using milk, it should be mostly gone and you can keep any that remains. Immediately add in cheese and stir until it completely coats the noodles. If you're using very finely shredded cheese, it should completely melt. If you are using thicker shredded cheese, you may need to microwave for an additional 20 seconds and stir again before it's uniform. Eat immediately.

Related Posts:

Avocado Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug

   
Yum

40 Responses to “Microwave Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug”

  1. Tina — September 16, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I am so impressed by your ability to make anything delicious in your microwave! I will definitely be trying this soon :D

    • Kirbie replied: — September 16th, 2014 @ 9:47 am

      I think it comes out of laziness. haha!

  2. Leanne — September 16, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I think this would also be perfect for those times when I just want a bit of mac n cheese, but don’t want to make a whole pot. I usually just escape cooking in a hot kitchen by going somewhere else!

    • Kirbie replied: — September 16th, 2014 @ 9:47 am

      yes, we’ve been eating out a lot too!

  3. Katie @ The Semisweet Sisters — September 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Love how quick & easy this recipe is! Looks yummy!

    • Kirbie replied: — September 16th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

      it is super quick and easy! =)

  4. susan — September 17, 2014 at 7:08 am

    perfect recipe for my 13yo to make after school, thank you!!

    • Kirbie replied: — September 17th, 2014 @ 7:48 am

      yay!

  5. Serene — November 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    This may be a silly question, but did you use cooked or uncooked noodles?

    • Kirbie replied: — November 2nd, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

      uncooked! they cook in the microwave =)

  6. Vicky — December 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    By uncooked noodles you mean dry pasta right? Like the hard shelled pasta? You sure that’s gonna cook? :S 

    • Kirbie replied: — December 13th, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

      yup, and yes! It’s such a small amount and the microwave is strong. I’ve done it plenty of times.

  7. Hanh — December 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    i just tried this! our microwave is really strong, nonetheless it took us 5mins too cook the noodles anywhere near edible..maybe it was because of it? because we had to stop the microwave a few times else it would have flooded!

    • Kirbie replied: — December 13th, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

      You should stop every minute so the water doesn’t flood out, like I state in the instructions. I’m not sure why yours took so long though. Did you make sure to stir in between each minute? And also did you make sure you used a dry measuring cup to measure out the noodles and a liquid measuring cup to measure out the water? One last thing, this is US measuring cups. from your email it looks like you’re not coming from the US so that’s another thing to keep in mind. I also wonder if perhaps the microwave strengths are different.

  8. Mac — February 8, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I also had a lot of issues with this recipe. I used milk, a big soup mug, and the exact measurements. I stopped it every 30 seconds because milk flooded over the top every time. By the end I was frustrated and had to eat it half cooked since hot milk was flooded over the plate and my microwave. Thanks for the idea though.

    • Kirbie replied: — February 9th, 2015 @ 12:50 am

      Hmm, the milk shouldn’t overflood that much if your mug is really big. Maybe you can use a big tall bowl? Or it might be that your microwave is too powerful. What is the wattage? You might try cooking it at a reduced power setting

  9. Susie — February 26, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Made it tiice, First time followed directions using milk, Took over 5 min for noodles to cook, milk flowed over 20 oz mug (stirred every minute).
    Second time, used more milk, bigger mug –still took over 5 min. doesn’t matter it was still good!

    • Kirbie replied: — February 28th, 2015 @ 8:10 pm

      i’m so glad it worked out for you! thanks for letting me know!

  10. Emma — March 22, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    What if I dont have macaroni pasta? what type of pasta could i use??
    Thanks :)

    • Kirbie replied: — March 23rd, 2015 @ 9:36 am

      some other really small type of pasta. the bigger ones will take too long to cook

  11. Emma — March 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    ok thanks

  12. Tascha — April 8, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Just tried this. It did take me 5 mins to get the macaroni cooked but my microwave is pretty weak so I expected that. It’s great! Though I might need a bigger mug so I can make a bit more next time ;)

    • Kirbie replied: — April 8th, 2015 @ 12:55 pm

      yay! Glad you got it to work out for you. =)

  13. Libby — April 19, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I made this today!
    I didn’t have any macaroni in the house though, so i used regular pasta tubes, and cooked with water for 3 minutes 40 seconds.
    i think UK dried pasta is different to US hence why it takes longer (in reference to the other person having to cook it longer).
    I added a tiny knob of butter in with the water+pasta as we didnt have any milk, and the starch from the pasta thickened up the left over liquid- whole turned out super nice!

    • Kirbie replied: — April 20th, 2015 @ 1:14 am

      thanks for letting me know! I’m so glad you got it to work, and yes you’re probably right about the pasta being different.

  14. Amy — May 12, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Hey this looks like a good option for college students especially during exam season! :) What’s the wattage on your microwave, so I can figure out how to adjust cooking times?

    • Kirbie replied: — May 12th, 2015 @ 9:52 am

      1000 watts. hope that helps!

      • Lara Diemont replied: — June 15th, 2015 @ 4:17 pm

        Mine also took 5 minutes.

  15. Morgan P. — October 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Can you use Bow Tie noodles?

    • Kirbie replied: — October 12th, 2015 @ 9:00 am

      Bow Tie pasta probably won’t work as well because it takes much longer to cook due to its bigger size and the thick mid-section

  16. Brittanyann — January 10, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I’m not sure what went wrong but this did not work for me. I measured everything out into a 1 qt bowl and put in a 700 watt microwave that is not even 2 months old. I stirred at the 1 minute mark like suggested and when checked at the 2 minute mark. I went up to 5 minutes as I saw on another recipe that was similar to yours except that she went up to 10 minutes. I ended up stirring every 30 seconds because the milk would boil up and if I used a mug then it would have been a huge mess. After 5 minutes I gave up because I wasn’t that hungry anyway and based on reviews I was only 50 percent sure this would work. Do you know why your time is so much shorter than all the other recipes for microwave Mac and cheese? I really wished it had worked. Yours was one of the few that called for cooking it with milk and that caught my eye. I hope this isn’t upsetting, this is my first negative review and I only wrote it to help others.

    • Kirbie replied: — January 10th, 2016 @ 10:24 pm

      I’m not sure why this recipe didn’t work for you. I make this one regularly with no issues. How tall is your bowl? If it isn’t tall enough than maybe too much milk is spilling out and there isn’t enough left to cook your macaroni. Your microwave wattage is a little low (the average one is usually 1000 watt), so likely it will take longer than the time mine took. As for why my recipe cooks faster, it’s because it’s cooking in the milk rather than the water.

  17. Denise — February 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Super loved this idea but it took 8 minutes of heating/stirring/dumping the icky plate to get these to not be crunchy. And my microwave usually cooks faster then most directions. Not sure this saved me any time from stovetop prep.

    • Kirbie replied: — February 22nd, 2016 @ 9:11 am

      hmm, I haven’t had to cook mine as long. sorry it didn’t seem to work out as well for you

  18. Tobin — June 11, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I just happened to have some table cream and some Italian blend cheese that was getting close to its expiry date, so I used your recipe as a base. It absolutely took 5 minutes, 1 minute, then intervals of about 30 secs of stirring when it got close to over-flowing. I topped it with some Italian seasoning and some pepper….pretty good! This is a quick and easy snack that, obviously by the comments, can have a lot of variables. Certainly does the trick.

    • Kirbie replied: — June 13th, 2016 @ 12:08 am

      so glad you got it to work!

  19. Sarah — August 25, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Yum! Just tried this. It also took 5-6 mins for my noodles to be cooked. Glad I didn’t give up when they weren’t done, because it is delicious! Thanks!

    • Kirbie replied: — August 25th, 2016 @ 10:50 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Chloee — September 5, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Will Kraft cheese singles work?

    • Kirbie replied: — September 7th, 2016 @ 11:43 pm

      I have not tried it with kraft cheese. I think it should work

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