How to make macaroni cheese in the microwave

macaroni cheese

Mac 'n' cheese in the microwave in minutes? We didn't believe it either. But it can be done – giving you more time to add delicious toppings to this firm family favourite.

Microwave macaroni cheese recipe


  • Pasta (any type)
  • Cheese
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Salt


1. Put the amount of pasta you want into a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Add water to cover the pasta.

3. Then add a pinch of salt and give it a stir.

4. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes (if your microwave is of low wattage, you may need a bit longer).

5. Check the pasta. If it's not quite done, stir and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds.

6. Take pasta out (be careful, it will be hot!).

7. Add 1/4 of a cup of milk.

8. Grate in your cheese.

9. Put back in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Again it may need a bit longer depending on your microwave. So check it, stir and put in for further bouts of 30 seconds, until the cheese is how you like it.

Simple as that. You can enjoy it on its own or add a topping of your choice…

How Mumsnetters do macaroni cheese

The stronger the cheese, the less you will need. Mild cheddar is a waste of time in dishes like this. Go for extra mature or mature cheddar. I like to use some double Gloucester or red Leicester as well for the colour.

I add mascarpone, taleggio, mozzarella and parmesan. It is not good for you.

I add a handful of frozen peas to the pasta towards the end of cooking to make it vaguely healthy. It also makes me feel less guilty for giving it to my son more often than I probably should! (Such a quick easy tea though.)

Put as much bacon as it takes to cover the dish.

My tip is to use grainy mustard with the cheese.

I do a lovely one with carrots, courgette and broccoli cooked in stock, and then that stock mixed with milk to make up the cheese sauce… delish.

Put sliced tomatoes on top, cover with grated cheese and then grill. Put some tabasco over the top when serving.

Anybody who thinks broccoli or tomatoes belong anywhere near macaroni cheese is clearly bonkers.

I find rigatoni much better than macaroni – make sure it's al dente and very well drained.