Kirbie's Cravings

Microwave Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug

close-up of macaroni and cheese in a mug

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

a spoon scooping out some macaroni and cheese in a mug

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.

a close-up photo of macaroni and cheese in a blue mug

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.

a close-up photo of a spoonful of macaroni and cheese

Recipe now updated with video! You can also find all my recipe videos on my youtube page.

If you like this easy macaroni and cheese in a mug you might like my Microwave Avocado Mac and Cheese or Omelet in a Mug, too.


Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
This macaroni and cheese in a mug is ready in less than 5 minutes. It makes a quick, easy meal for one.
5 from 4 votes


  • 1/2 cup small elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper or hot sauce optional, adds more flavor


  • Add water and macaroni into an extra large mug (I recommend at least 20 ounce mug/2.5 cups). Place the mug on a large plate (this is to catch the overflow of water that occurs when cooking). Your macaroni should only rise to 1/3 or at the most 1/2 of the mug. Microwave at full power for 1 minute. Remove mug and stir macaroni, making sure to loosen any macaroni that may be stuck to the bottom of the mug.
  • Microwave for an additional 1 minute and stir again. During this 2nd minute is when the water tends to overflow a little. If it's only a little water, then it should be fine. If it's a lot of water you may need to add a little water to your macaroni later. Macaroni should be almost cooked after the 2nd minute mark and most of the liquid should be almost gone, but your macaroni should still be moist. How much more you need to cook will depend on your microwave. 
  • Continue to cook the macaroni at 30 second intervals, stirring in between. If your macaroni gets very dry, add 1 tbsp of water. However, adding water will increase cooking time so you only need to add the water if your macaroni is dry. If it's moist but not watery, do not add more water. The microwave will cook the moist macaroni. After the first 30 seconds, my macaroni was just cooked but still al dente. Almost all the water was evaporated though the pasta was still very moist. I then microwaved for 30 more seconds. At this point my noodles were completely cooked and soft and no water remained. My macaroni cooked for a total of 3 minutes.
  • Working quickly, add in cheese and stir until cheese completely melts and evenly coats the macaroni. Add salt, ground black pepper or hot sauce if desired. Eat immediately.



  • Because microwaves vary in power, your times may not be exactly the same. My microwave is 1200 watts. If you have a stronger microwave, you may need to do less time or even reduce the power rather than cooking at full power. If you microwave is less powerful, you may need to cook your pasta longer.
  • Your macaroni can still cook with just a little water so don't keep adding water unless it's drying out. Adding too much water will actually make it take longer to cook. If you lost more than a few tbsp of water in overflow, then you may need to add 1-2 tbsp of water, otherwise the 1/2 cup should be enough.


Serving: 1mug, Calories: 455kcal, Carbohydrates: 47.3g, Protein: 20.9g, Fat: 19.7g, Saturated Fat: 10.8g, Sodium: 377.3mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1.9g, NET CARBS: 45g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!



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Related Posts:

Avocado Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug

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71 comments on “Microwave Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug”

  1. Will Kraft cheese singles work?

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. Can you use Bow Tie noodles?

    • 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

    • 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.

  9. 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 😉

  10. What if I dont have macaroni pasta? what type of pasta could i use??
    Thanks 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

    • 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

  13. 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!

    • 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.

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

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

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

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

  18. 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!

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

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