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Make mac and cheese at a moment's notice with my mug recipe.

Microwave Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug (Microwave Mug Meals)

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In a time crunch? My macaroni and cheese is quick to whip up and calls for just a few ingredients, making this mug recipe a fan favorite.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Microwave Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug may change the way you make this family favorite forever! My macaroni and cheese recipe is made with real ingredients and ready in a few microwave minutes. Say goodbye to those dried macaroni boxes because from here on out you can make your mac and cheese cheaper, faster and better.

How To Cook Mac and Cheese in a Mug

My homemade mac and cheese can be mixed and cooked in a single mug. Many people are amazed that you can cook pasta quickly and easily in the microwave. If you are, then you might be blown away that you can add three other ingredients to make a deliciously cheesy sauce. Using just milk, cheddar and cornstarch, you can make this rich mug meal in no time.

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This mug recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner and will even work really well as a filling snack. To save you even more time, make your Microwave Macaroni and Cheese the night before and microwave the next day.

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4.33 from 58 votes
Make mac and cheese at a moment's notice with my mug recipe.
Microwave Macaroni & Cheese in a Mug
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
Servings: 1
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • cup (28g/1oz) pasta
  • ¾ cup (175ml/6fl oz) water, cold
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoons cornstarch (aka cornflour)
  • 4 tablespoons cheddar cheese , grated
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large microwavable mug or large bowl add in the macaroni and the water. You need a large mug as the water will boil up.
  2. Microwave for roughly 3 ½ minutes. You want the pasta to be fully cooked. (timing is based on my 1200W microwave so your timing might vary)
  3. Pour off the remaining cooking water.
  4. Stir in the milk, cornstarch and shredded cheese and microwave for a final 60 seconds to create your sauce. Stir well, season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Cooking time will vary greatly depending on your microwave and the width and depth of the mug.

Always keep a close eye on your mug while in the microwave so it doesn’t over flow or over cook.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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335 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Macyloves1d on June 30, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Love it I’m on my 2nd serving of it

    • Gemma Stafford on July 1, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Haha! Macy, short and to the point! good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Lauren P on May 31, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Made this recipe for lunch today and it was excellent! Love your website and recipes. thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on May 31, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

      Gemma.

  3. Arshi Kaur on March 10, 2018 at 12:17 am

    hi Gemma
    Could you please tell me the substitute for cheddar cheese

    • Gemma Stafford on March 10, 2018 at 2:12 am

      Hi there,
      Really what you want is a melting cheese, and a flavorsome one is best, that is why I say cheddar!
      Look to the cheese where you live, there will be one to match. Mozzarella will be good too!
      Gemma 😉

      • Janhavi on May 22, 2018 at 8:47 am

        Hi Gemma. Thank you for this amazing recipe. I tweaked it a bit and added some chopped garlic and instead of cheese, I used butter . But basically the recipe is just wonderful. Love❤️😋

  4. Jemma on March 9, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Hello Gemma, my name is ,Jemma I’m 12 years old and since I found your site my meals have been really yummy. I find you verry inspiring everyday since I saw your first recipe I’ve been making different mug meals. I just finnished making the mac and cheese, it was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing these recipes with the word, if you didn’t I wouldn’t be making these yummy meals. it’s nice to not here’s more than one Gemma that loves cooking. 😋

    • Gemma Stafford on March 10, 2018 at 3:04 am

      Hi there Jemma,
      Good that you are here with us, sharing a name too!
      I am delighted you are working the recipes well, such a lovely age to start baking, you will learn a lot!
      Stay tuned, we have lots more to come,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Najeeba Ahmed on March 4, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Hey Gemma,
    I tried this and it was amazing!!!!! I made this for my siblings as we had this for dinner! It was cooked perfectly (our microwave is 1200 watts) , the cheese combined perfectly with the pasta, it’s basically everyone’s dream mac and cheese. I have just one question though, if I was ever to make this on the hob, would it give a different result? And would I need to change the recipe slightly? If this is not possible, don’t worry because I’ll just stick to the microwave way as it is still incredibly quick. Thanks so much for the recipe ( my family loved it!) I would love to be a baker like you when I am older because I am currently 9 years old.
    Best of luck,
    Najeeba Ahmed

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2018 at 4:17 am

      Hi there,
      How lovely to have you cooking with us at 9 years old. You express yourself beautifully too, well done you.
      Yes, you could cook this on the hob, and it really is the same recipe, it helps if you have a lot of people to look after. Multiply it up, all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Najeeba Ahmed on March 5, 2018 at 11:52 am

        Also, I can’t stop watching your videos! I subscribed!! Could you please do a video on how to make a coconut cake in a mug? If this is not possible, don’t worry. I just wanted to say, you are my inspiration. Your bakes are amazing! The only website I use is yours. This is for the best baker ever!!!!☺

        • Gemma Stafford on March 7, 2018 at 4:08 am

          Thank you!
          It is great to have you with us here on BBB.
          Do go through the mug recipes here, and download the E-Book too, this will help.
          Desiccated coconut is a great ingredient, and actually can easily be added to a sponge type recipe! creamed coconut too. Experiment, you will be designing your own recipes in no time,
          Gemma 🙂

  6. Ryleigh on February 22, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    This turned out great! I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to making mug meals because they can be hit or miss, but I really like this one! It ended up taking me about 11.5 minutes to cook the pasta properly, using a rather thick ceramic bowl (in case others are using the same type of bowl and struggling to figure out how long to cook the noodles). I also had to add a little extra water about half way through.

    I found that the key to getting it the right consistency was to add some extra cheesy after microwaving (I’m all about extra cheese) and then letting it cool for a few minutes. It thickened up perfectly!

    I wish this recipe made more (I’m a hungry person!) and I’m planning on doubling it next time, or at least increasing it a bit. Should I do anything special when I double it, like changing the ratios of ingredients, or is it good to just double the quantity of everything?

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 23, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Hi there,
      Ryleigh thank you, and you figured this out!
      Thick ceramics/pottery is not ideal for the microwave. There are great oven glass bowls which work well, and even some plastics. The lighter the bowl the quicker it will cook.
      Yes, you can readily double this recipe, you will need to increase the cooking water, but not necessarily double the time. It really does moatter which bowl you use, it will impact on the time.
      now experiment a bit with this, I agree, never can have too much cheese! I am happy that you are with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Amanda on February 15, 2018 at 8:19 am

    I just made this and yuk! It seemed curdled and really soupy. I used skim milk, maybe that was the problem?!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 18, 2018 at 4:14 am

      Hi Amanda,
      Yes, really skim milk is little more than water! You could not get a great result with this, unless you used something else with it.
      Did you also use a low fat cheese?
      The cornflour/cornstarch will help with the thickening, but it does not add richness.
      Try again!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Grace on June 18, 2018 at 1:10 pm

        I made it with skim and it was perfect- i used skim milk and flour instead of corn flour and it wasn’t soupy, it may have just been cooking it- i added one more minute to let it cook down some and that made it the perfect consistency.

        • Gemma Stafford on June 19, 2018 at 3:01 am

          Hi Grace,
          Thank you for this very nice review, and explanation too. It is a great help to others when they are trying the recipes. Allowing the food to stand for a minute when you take it from the microwave allows the heat to distribute, and finishes out the cooking. Well done you,
          Gemma 🙂

  8. Salza Dimitrova on February 14, 2018 at 9:48 am

    This recipe is amazing! I made it for my whole family and they loved it! Everyone asked me for the recipe! And also I am rubbish at cooking and I am quite lazy so… this helped me loads! Thanks for the recipe.

    Salza Dimitrova

    • Gemma Stafford on February 15, 2018 at 4:30 am

      Hi Salza,
      I think you are not as lazy as you say! You took the trouble to let me have this very kind review, and i am really happy to have it.
      Good for you, you will be the top chef in your house now!
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Pat on January 19, 2018 at 3:50 am

    Hi again! I made the dish with penne and it was scrumptious. But the quantity was far too less. I took 28g of pasta as given in the recipe. Is it okay if I increase the quantity?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2018 at 3:59 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, I am happy that you worked this out. Any pasta really will do, though the finer ones will cook quicker.
      Use a bigger bowl too, the lighter the bowl the quicker it will cook, a pudding shape will be good, oven proof glass or plastic will work well for this.
      Thank you for being ni touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Andrea Lu on January 16, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I really liked this recipe but next time I’ll use a bowl my mug was too small. Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 17, 2018 at 2:34 am

      Hi Andrea,
      Good call, try to use a light bowl, not a heavy pottery bowl, as this will steal the energy from the microwaves.
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Daisy on January 1, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I’m currently making this recipe, and my noodles were not done in the 3 minutes, they were still quite hard.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 2, 2018 at 5:12 am

      Hi Daisy,
      I hope you kept on cooking, some microwaves are quicker than others,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Nicole Pattenick on November 27, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t have cornstarch, is there anything I could replace it with? Would flour work?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 28, 2017 at 1:35 am

      Hi Nicole,
      Do you have cornflour, this is the same thing as cornstarch.
      Potato flour, or arrowroot will work too. Flour will not be so good, it is a bit too glutenous,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. LIsa on November 5, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Excited to have my son try this recipe. Followed directions to a tee, but first it created a mess in the microwave as the water all boiled over – despite using a large mug. And, the sauce ended up soupy. Maybe because we used quinoa pasta? But, disappointing.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      Quinoa is a different thing really, more akin to couscous, bulgar wheat, but not pasta. I am not sure if you mean you got a noodle made from quinoa, which I do not know about, but I am sorry you were disappointed. It has been a big success for lots of people. Changing the ingredients will change the results too, I hope you will try this one again, it is great that your son was trying it,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. John Gordon on October 31, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Do you have anything with chia seed or quinoa in the recipe ? Thanks John

    • Gemma Stafford on November 2, 2017 at 5:28 am

      Hi John,
      Good question!
      Chia can be used as an egg substitute in baking in the same way as flax seeds, this is a useful thing to know, and a great way to incorporate them into your diet.
      Quinoa generally needs cooking, just like rich, though there are some flakes, which are processed to be instant. This can then be used in the same way as rice really.
      I will add this request to my list though, as it is a great healthy idea, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂
      Gemma

  15. Rory on October 27, 2017 at 3:09 am

    This recipe blew the mind of my family it’s very easy and very delicious and I made it with my favorite kind of cheese.
    Thank you gemma for all those wonderful recipes .

    • Gemma Stafford on October 27, 2017 at 3:14 am

      Hi Rory,
      Many thanks, happy to hear this,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Sylvia Riley on October 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I made this recipe as stated. It took awhile for my pasta to cook as I have an older microwave. It turned out very good. I liked the feeling that I was eating my mac and cheese without all the added preservatives. A keeper for sure

    • Gemma Stafford on October 6, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Hi Sylvia,
      Great to hear thank you. Yes, microwave technology has really changed, a lot! My oven is a Panasonic with inverter technology! now, I am no tech genius, but it seems to mean that the heat is distributed well through the food, without spot coking, which can be a problem in older models. So, as you are cooking, move the container every 30 seconds or so, turn it, shift its’ position, this will help to speed things up for you. Thank you for being in touch, we learn from each other here on BBB,
      Gemma 🙂

    • haylekwane on October 23, 2017 at 5:28 am

      I just loved the recipe. it’s very yummy..and tasty

      • Gemma Stafford on October 24, 2017 at 2:09 am

        Thank you, I am really happy to have your kind review,
        Gemma 🙂

  17. Robyn Bapari Leszczynska on September 10, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Love this recipe, easy instructions and simple to follow! Easy for anyone to make and I can’t even cook 😁

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2017 at 2:59 am

      Hi Robyn,
      Well it seems that now you can cook! Thank you for your kind review,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Ryan armstrong on October 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      was very good to try

  18. Dalal Isaac on September 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    It’s so easy to make, with no time.
    I love everything that involves Pasta 🍝 😋

  19. Sara Khan on September 9, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Mac n cheese its the best thing… And this recipe is great gift for me

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2017 at 5:16 am

      Hi Sara,
      Thank you so much for your very kind reviews, i appreciate your taking the time.
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Ttipton11 on September 9, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Really great idea and so delicious! Thank you for this! 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2017 at 5:33 am

      Thank you for your kind review,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Wuxia princess on September 9, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Cheddar. Yummy. Goodness! :)🙋🙋🙋

  22. Peter on September 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Very quick and easy to make. Only one thing missing in it for me and that’s bacon so I cooked some up in the microwave first then cut it into small pieces and mixed it in with the cheese. Yer made all the difference. TOP MARKS

    • Gemma Stafford on September 9, 2017 at 3:31 am

      Hi Peter, thank you so much for those lovely reviews, I appreciate them, and so will other bold bakers,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Cookie007 on September 9, 2017 at 8:21 am

      Yes, I love it as well!

  23. CHarlotte on August 23, 2017 at 9:21 am

    AND also if yours turns out soupy just microwave it for a minute longer mine ended up soupy then I microwaved it for a minute longer then it said at the end and it ended up tick and creamy!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 24, 2017 at 2:14 am

      Hi Charlotte,
      good advice! Thank you for this input,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Rose Etao on August 27, 2017 at 9:29 am

        Hello, I loved this recipe!! It was delicious. However, I didn’t get a creamy consistency. Could you tell me what I could’ve done wrong? Anyways, this recipie is a keeper, and I will use this recipe when I am feeling lazy!

        Thanks!

        • Gemma Stafford on August 27, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          Hi Rose,

          did you add the corn starch and mix it up well? also cheese makes it extra creamy so maybe a little more of that too 🙂

  24. Charlotte on August 23, 2017 at 9:06 am

    IT worked out great for me will definetally be doing this again!

  25. Joseffa Niji on August 13, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I made this recipe for the first time a couple of days ago.
    The taste was great – but the texture was all wrong.
    The sauce was more like soup and it was gritty instead of creamy. I’m not sure what I did wrong.

    I used elbow macaroni, whole milk and mature cheddar.
    The macaroni cooked quickly but did boil over – I’m using a bigger bowl next time. 🙂

    Should I add a little more cornstarch? Or maybe use som half and half? Or is there something else I can do to get the sauce thick and creamy instead of soupy and gritty?

    I love mac and cheese and want this to work, but I am not sure where to start “tweaking”.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 14, 2017 at 2:32 am

      Hi Joseffa,
      The gritty bit has me puzzled!
      You certainly may use 1/2 and 1/2, and it will be delicious. The ‘gritty’ art can only come from under cooked pasta, I think.
      Yes, use a slightly larger bowl next time, pudding bowls are great for this, a light one will be best. I think this will actually sort out the issues for you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Diane on December 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

        I find some cheddars turn gritty when overheated. I would suggest adding the cheese afterward and stir until melted. Also, packaged pre-grated cheeses are coated to prevent them from sticking together. Not sure if that might add to the problem, but might.

        • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 3:25 am

          Hi Diane,
          This is a good point. Pre shredded cheese is treated to prevent it sticking in the pack, and some old cheddar can be gritty. A medium to strong young cheddar may be the best choice.
          Thank you for being in touch,
          Gemma 🙂

  26. ginagirlio on July 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Second time making the mac and cheese. This time I used elbow macaroni and velveeta cheese. I used a 4 cup glass bowl and cooked it for 7 minutes on my 800 watt microwave. Using a 4 cup bowl kept the water from bubbling over through the cooking process. The pasta was perfectly cooked and It came out really creamy using the velveeta. My new favorite mug meal. Even if it’s not technically cooked in a mug it’s the perfect serving size for one person.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2017 at 4:48 am

      YEA! this is so good to hear, well done you for getting this to suit your own need.
      Thank you for your input here, it will help other bold bakers!
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Gina on July 20, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Yummy!! Mine came out great! I used pasta shells, which are bigger in size than elbow and my microwave is a 800 watts so mine took about 6 1/2 minutes to cook. I did have to stop my microwave the last two minutes of cooking time every 20 seconds or so because the water was bubbling over the top. I just used pre shredded cheese, I’m sure buying a block of cheese and shredding it myself would result in a creamier better tasting cheese taste but it was still delicious. I used a 2 cup soup mug, I might use a 3 cup glass bowl next time, and see if that solves the bubbling over.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2017 at 3:38 am

      Hi Gina,
      Great, thank you for adding this note here, always great to get your tips and tricks, well done you,
      gemma 🙂

  28. Sophie on July 11, 2017 at 8:35 am

    This mac and cheese tastes SO GOOD!! Obsessed!!??

    • Gemma Stafford on July 12, 2017 at 2:29 am

      I am happy when you are happy Sophie,
      Gemma 🙂

  29. Bella.tasties on June 25, 2017 at 10:38 am

    When I first saw this recipe on Youtube, I was hungry (like always), and wanted to see if it actually worked. I followed all the instructions and it turned out just like the picture and just as yummy! I now make this recipe all the time and it is great in the summer time when you want a quick, easy, cheesy, meal. Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

      I absolutely love to hear this!!! well done 🙂

      Happy Baking this Summer!

  30. got a little grainy Boni on June 22, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    This was ok as written but the cheese got a little grainy. When I made it with evaporated milk it was it was much creamier. Another way to avoid grainy cheese is to cook with milk and cornstarch and add the cheese after the cooking is done but mac is still hot. It’s always best to grate your own cheese, but I am too lazy….

    • Gemma Stafford on June 22, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      good to know. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  31. Brooke on June 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    It did not work

    • Gemma Stafford on June 9, 2017 at 3:06 am

      Hi Brooke,
      You need to try again!
      Do not give up. Cooking is a learning curve, and takes practice. Mug recipes are a great place to start. If at first you don’t succeed, try again!
      Gemma 🙂

  32. Min on May 22, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Yummy and quick! I used penne, which took longer to cook, as well as Parmesan as that was what I had at the moment, and added a pinch of nutmeg. The result was a fantastic, gooey and delicious mac n cheese! Thank you for the recipe 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on May 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that. Thanks for trying my recipes 🙂

  33. leahgboyd on March 3, 2017 at 11:57 am

    my mac and cheese turned out great! it took a while for the cheese to become “saucy” but it was delicious!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 4, 2017 at 3:34 am

      That is great. The size and shape of the mug you use will change how it cooks. this is because of how heat is distributed in microwave cooking. Try a different mug, a small cereal bowl will work too. wider is better than deep for this type of cooking,
      Gemma 🙂

    • selena ramsdell on May 6, 2017 at 9:48 am

      I tried to cook the pasta and it did not work looking for the best outcome love your recipes

      • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2017 at 3:51 am

        Ah! that is too bad, but do not give up. Try again!
        Gemma 🙂

  34. Junbao on January 25, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    I tried this without the cornstarch, and, although the consistency wasn’t thick, it still tasted great! Thanks for the recipes! Watched most, if not all of these mug vids and am looking forward to making much more! 😀

    • Gemma Stafford on January 27, 2017 at 2:01 am

      That is the idea, and then you will be able to adjust them to your taste too, well done,
      Gemma 🙂

  35. Samantha on January 25, 2017 at 11:05 am

    my mac and cheese was really watery. I think I did something wrong but I don’t know what.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 27, 2017 at 2:12 am

      Samantha, it sounds as though you did not thicken it! The cornstarch does this, makes the sauce really,
      Gemma 🙂

  36. Greenwatch7 on January 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Absolutely wonderful!!! It tasted great and it is so easy to add different things to make it your own!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2017 at 1:34 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, that is the idea, the recipe is just your starting point, the rest is up to your own creativity.
      Good job! thank you for letting us know,
      Gemma 🙂

  37. Hannah on January 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    The pasta cooked great but then I added the rest of the ingredients after draining the water and it was a soupy mess. Nothing mixes together, milk on the bottom and cheese stayed on the top. I did stir it very thoroughly before adding it to the microwave.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2017 at 1:42 am

      Hi Hannah,
      Did you add the cornstarch/cornflour?
      This is the binder which holds the ingredients together, and thickens the sauce.
      Gemma 🙂

  38. Ilana on January 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Gemma- This recipe is great! I make it almost everyday after school for a snack and I actually made it for a little kid I was babysitting! Thanks so much for this great recipe!

    Sending love to you, kevin and waffles!

    Ilana

    • Gemma Stafford on January 22, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Good for you Ilana,
      You are making great use of your babysitting time too, well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

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