How to Make 3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

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Here’s the world’s easiest creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe. Three ingredients, about ten minutes of time, and a single pot are all you need.


– Cooking in a small volume of water concentrates the starch from the pasta, helping the cheese form a creamy emulsion.
– Some similar recipes call for cooking pasta in milk, which can scorch. Cooking in water and adding evaporated milk toward the end avoids this problem.
– Evaporated milk contains protein micelles, which help keep an emulsified sauce smooth and creamy.


6 ounces (170g) elbow macaroni
6 ounces (180ml) evaporated milk
6 ounces (170g) grated mild or medium cheddar cheese


1. Place macaroni in a medium saucepan or skillet and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Continue to cook, stirring, until water has been almost completely absorbed and macaroni is just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.

2. Immediately add evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Add cheese. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until cheese is melted and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with more salt and serve immediately.


Roman Doronin says:

Kenji, what can I use instead of evaporated milk? In our country, all evaporated milk is highly sweetened

Paelorian says:

I’m lactose intolerant. 🙁

Casey Smith says:

Made this with vegetable rotini and colby jack because thats all I had on hand, still turned out wonderful!

babsa90 says:

I like to scramble an egg and throw it in after taking the mac & cheese off the heat. You don’t taste it but it makes the sauce thicker and creamier.

emmereffing says:

lots of 6’s… this is the devils mac and cheese

Riam says:

There’s something really cool about the minimalism to this, reminds me of the 2 ingredient biscuits. Seems like it could be adapted to a 3 ingredient Fettucine Alfredo(maybe penne would be better for this method?)

Shane Taylor says:

He came for Kraft lmao

mえ says:

You mentioned a possibility of milk scorching, but given the amount of water and evaporated milk used, could I in theory just *simmer* the pasta in whole milk while stirring occasionally to achieve the same result?

Buk Lau says:

Can I use mozarella cheese?

Eric Bathke says:

Blue Box

jungkook fighting! !! says:

I have everything but no cheese

TheXgamer30 says:

the stuff from the blue box tho…

Howard B says:

I made this for dinner tonight, and my husband who is a very fussy eater had two servings of this mac & cheese. I did make one change, I didn’t have evaporated milk so I substituted with almond milk and it turned out great. I also used three different cheeses, Since that’s what I had on hand ( Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Velveta). I wasn’t expecting my finished dish to turn out as well as it did. This recipe seems to be indestructible LOL

GQue BBQ says:

Thats as easy as it gets! Great recipe and tutorial. Lots of good info in your videos! Gimme a bowl of that any day of the week and twice on Sundays over the stuff from the blue box haha!

atxtrojans002 says:

Super simple, great video!

Carloshache says:

As a European our cheddar is quite pale so I add annato oil to get that orange artificial color. 🙂

Jus Wonderin says:

Thumbs down because of the background music.

Machin says:

Never ever had mac n cheese before…

Jerk Of All Trades says:

Alt as on alternative or is that a real last name?

Internet Shaquille says:


Alphatales says:

Is it possible to use evaporated creamer instead of evaporated milk?

acrophobe says:

Kenji you madman. You brilliant madman.

Christoper Wiese says:

Made this last night and it works perfect! I’m currently living in Thailand with my wife and all we have is a hot plate and a rice cooker. Made this first and then put it in the rice cooker to keep warm while I made some fried chicken tenders with the now available hot plate. Turned out so great! Thanks for the recipe!!!

Michael Hoff says:

WATER AND SALT!? We’re already up to 5 ingredients here Kenji.

MyBluePlanet says:

retard units

Elias Bardis says:

this…this is the food guy

B G says:

I tried this, it was OK but a little gummy / grainy. maybe i need to add a little more water?

Frank Audun Kvamtrø says:

European here. Do you measure by fluid amount for the evaporated milk or do you use pure weight for all the ingredients (I have never understood the meaning of fluid oz 🙂 ).

Paul Arteaga says:

Blue box

Afifah Latif says:

What happens if i add cream cheese along with the cheddar cheese? Thanks!!

Duster Hoegaarden says:

Super quick to make and delicious to boot. Thanks!

Jesse Taylor says:

Kenji, this recipe. . . it’s hard to thank you enough for this recipe. Thanks, man.

My mom loves your book! Thank you!

Brandon Schilling says:

It’s better with a mixture of Cacio de Roma and Pecorino Romano cheeses. The younger Cacio de Roma melts better and creates a creamier sauce.

nin non says:

is it ok if i use normal milk??

aurablaze says:

Would this work with cream and different cheeses?

CiCi LPS says:

Can I use normal milk

Berkana says:

I like the simplicity of this, but which of these are volumetric ounces, and which are mass ounces?

*EDIT* never mind. I just rewatched it. I see that these are mass ounces.

Nicole Mensah says:

why is America cheese orange?

RocketPawnch says:

Saw it, made it, love it. Thanks Kenji!

Adam Drumonde says:

Kenji you’re so god damned smart!

Shane Boylan says:

excellent recipe Kenji, do you plan to do any pizza ones (like the skillet-broiler method) any time soon?

Qasim says:

can sweetened condensed milk be used instead of evaporated milk?

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