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a ceramic bowl with 5 minute mac and cheese for one

5 Minute Mac and Cheese for One

This 5 Minute Mac and Cheese for One is the perfect quick, easy, and tasty dinner or snack. Made either in the microwave or the stove top, and with a bit of pumpkin puree to lighten it up and give it a healthy spin, it's a simple back pocket recipe you'll come back to again and again.
Course Main Course, pasta
Cuisine American
Keyword 5 minute meal, Mac and cheese
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 429kcal


  • 1/3 cup elbow macaroni noodles uncooked
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk I used whole milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese*
  • 1/8 tsp cornstarch*
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin purée
  • pinch sea salt


Microwave Instructions

  • Place the macaroni noodles and the water into a microwave-proof bowl (I used a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup).
  • Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Stir.
  • Microwave for another minute. You'll need to watch it closely to ensure it doesn't boil over (don't worry if it does, just wipe it up and move on). Give the noodles a good stir.
  • Microwave for another minute, and then check to see that all the water has been absorbed.
  • Stir in the milk, cornstarch, shredded cheese, and pumpkin purée. Microwave for a final minute.
  • Stir well, and let stand for about 30 seconds to a minute. Stir again. Enjoy.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Combine the macaroni noodles and water in a small heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil until the water is nearly all absorbed and the pasta is cooked. This will take about 5 minutes. Note - you may have to add a bit of extra water.
  • Stir in the cheese, milk, pumpkin purée, and cornstarch.
  • Let stand for one minute before serving.


  • Nutrition values are an estimate only.
  • Use a mug or bowl with at least a 2 cup capacity.
  • Use elbow macaroni - anything bigger won't cook quickly enough. If you're using really tiny macaroni it may be cooked after 3 minutes - just check after every time when you stop and stir.
  • If using pre-packaged shredded cheese you can leave out the cornstarch
  • Also, I'm totally aware that a Tbsp of pumpkin purée is a totally obnoxious amount to ask for. If you don't have a can of pumpkin on the go, you can leave it out and double the cheese instead.


Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2716IU | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 1mg