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. I loved this I saw it and had to try it. I have been looking for a good recipe for a while now and I found it. It did take a little longer to cook but I think that’s because of my microwave but overall this recipe is so good!! 

  2. its delicious!!!!!

  3. This great I never want to stop eating this mac and cheese

  4. I just have to say that this was soooo delicious. I made some 2 hours ago and I’m ready for more. I did have to cook it longer but you did say that it depend on our microwaves. I love it!! Thanks so much ? 

  5. It was so good! Thank you so so much. Since I made this for my kids, they make this almost everyday as an afternoon/after school snack! Though, personally, I like adding ,along with the cheese, 3 tablespoons of milk to make the mac n cheese creamy! Then I microwave after I stir in the cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. That make it melty! I LOVED IT TOO! It was great thanks again, Kirbie!

  6. Hi Kirby. My name is Irene. This sounds incredible. I have a question. Could I add, lets say, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, white pepper before I add the water and then after the macaroni is cooked could I add a little bit of milk and butter? What are some other add-ins I could try?

    • You could try adding seasonings to the water. As far as butter and milk, we haven’t tested it with those so can’t say how much you should use.

  7. awesome recipe! thx kirbie!

  8. I’m amazed so many people are having problems. This is a great recipe but a lot are trying to use mill to cook the pasta and the recipe clearly says water. Pasta does not cook well in milk as milk has milk fats, solids and whey,  all of them reduce the amount of Free water molecules and block the pastas ability to soak up the water. It simply won’t give you the results you need. Once your pasta is cooked in WATER to your desired fineness, if you must have milk, add it the and only about a tablespoon. It’s hard to get the cheddar to melt smoothly with the milk. Instead, stir in a tablespoon or so of cream cheese, any kind works, along with your cheddar. No butter, n milk, just cheesy goodness. Or use a processed American cheese. It melts beautifully. My favorite, and I’ve a lot of American cheese brands I’d Walmart’s White American cheese slices. No yellow die, it’s not too salty and it melts into a luscious sauce 

  9. Ok.. This is a perfectly Awesome recipe! I would like to mention that milk heats faster than water due to it CONTAINING FAT. Also.. knowing that you need to stop the microwave and give a little stir every 30 seconds or so.. shouldn’t you be able to STOP THE MICROWAVE EARLY to prevent a total boilover problem?  Also.. please note.. there is a DIFFERENCE between a cup and a mug and also hollow or solid. 
    Do NONE OF YOU COOK? You can’t even boil water.

  10. I enjoyed this simple recipe.  Although not the best mac and cheese recipe in the world, I don’t think it’s intended to be and it’s very y good for a quick craving or snack.  
    My simple advice is to put any overflow on the plate back in the cup so the liquid measurements stay accurate, add 1tsp butter and 1 tbsp milk to the last cooking cycle, and stir that cheeese in there ASAP so it gets all melty. 

  11. Milk and I don’t get along. Can I use water instead?  

  12. It took forever to cook and I have a strong microwave ! I followed the directions to the t !!

    • I’m sorry to hear yours took so long to cook. If you do attempt it again, make sure you don’t add more water during cooking unless absolutely necessary. I think a lot of people get nervous when they see the water evaporate and feel like they need to add more water. This will slow down the cooking time. The microwave will cook the noodles if they are moist without sitting in any water and that is why I am able to cook the pasta in the times I described.

  13. I followed your directions exactly. This was terrible. 
    Uncooked pasta,, really messy. Sorry

    • I’m sorry you had bad results. Please keep in mind that microwaves do vary. It may require longer time for yours to cook so I do recommend you cooking it until the pasta is done. Also you should cook in intervals to avoid mess. the water will boil over if cook it for too long at once which is why I cook my pasta in 30 second intervals.

  14. My 17 year old and 12 year old kids just devoured the mac and cheese straight from the microwave ( yes, it was very hot!). We microwaved the noodles with water for 2 minutes then stirred.  We went ahead and gave it 2 minutes more but before the 2 minutes was up, I saw that the water is beginning to overflow so I took it out of the microwave and stirred again. The noodles were almost done after this so I poured out the remaining water and added the milk and cheese.  After 2 more minutes, kids were already seated and ready to eat. It was fun and really easy to do but you do need to check that the water/milk does not overflow. 

  15. Easy and delicious. My micro is 1200 watt, and i followed your recipe just as you directed, and it turned out fantastically. Thanks, also i chipped up a little ham and added it, and it was delicious also. Yummy

  16. I made this today. It took longer to cook but it was great. I added a little milk after I added the cheese and it made I even creamier. Great recipe!

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