Homemade Easy Mac! Learning how to make Mac and Cheese in the microwave makes it easy to make your favorite treat at home. And you’ll know what’s in it.

Oval brown bowl of macaroni and cheese on a white wooden background. Text overlay reads, "DIY 'Easy Mac' (mac & cheese in the microwave!)"

OXO sent my free products to try for this post. I was not compensated to use them, or for my opinions.

It’s a little embarrassing how much Easy Mac I ate when I was in college. And when I say a little embarrassing, I mean a LOT embarrassing.”

I had (still have!) this big gigantic blue mug and that was my Easy Mac mug. Mac and cheese was a frequent late-night study snack in the dorm and we all know late night snacks (especially ones made out of pasta and cheese powder) aren’t good for your waistline. Hellllllo, freshman 15!

To commemorate my college days, I knew I had to make a DIY version of one of my favorite snacks in college.

White grated cheese in a box grater. An orange bowl of uncooked macaroni sits nearby, salt and pepper shakers are in the background.

All you need is pasta, water, a microwave safe bowl, milk, and sharp cheddar for this microwave macaroni and cheese recipe. You can’t take a shortcut and buy pre-grated cheese for this recipe. You’ll end up with one big blob of cheese that doesn’t coat the pasta at all.

White cheese being grated into a box grater, on a marble surface.


Take it from me. I know.

A small brown and white glass oval bowl filled with white macaroni and cheese. A fork sits next to the bowl.

Yes — it doesn’t look exactly like the blue box version. This is a good thing, my friends. High quality sharp white cheddar makes this a very tasty replacement to my blue box love (which I still love, mind you).

Overhead view of white cheddar cheese being grated on a box grater.

This is also a really easy quick lunch. With two toddlers, easy quick lunches are a very good thing. Pop it in the microwave while you slice some veggies and cut up some fruit and you have a well balanced meal for your cute little one. Or yourself.

White cheddar cheese being grated on a orange plastic box grater.

I used this awesome Grate and Slice Set from OXO to prep this recipe. This slicer/grater makes grating cheese so easy. Plus it grates right into a  container for easy measuring. No more messy grating. 

I also used OXO’s pepper mill when I was seasoning this DIY Easy Mac. I’m completely smitten with these salt and pepper mills. First of all, they sit upright (turn them over to grind the salt and pepper) so you’re not left with little piles of salt and pepper everywhere you set these down. Secondly, they easily adjust to customize size of grind you want. See the little dots? You just adjust it to what you want. No more guessing games. Plus they look great sitting on my table.

A pepper mill tipped over on a white and gray marble surface, pepper spilling out of it.

So if you’re wondering what to eat for lunch today, wonder no more. Make this microwave macaroni and cheese recipe and you’ll have a happy belly.

Overhead view of macaroni and cheese on a fork in a brown and white oval bowl.

Mac and cheese mania:

May I tempt you with more macaroni and cheese recipes? Here you go:


Macaroni pasta and a white cheese sauce in a brown and white bowl on a wooden backdrop.

Copycat “Easy Mac” {microwave macaroni and cheese recipe}

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

Homemade Easy Mac! Learning how to make Mac and Cheese in the microwave makes it easy to make your favorite treat at home. And you'll know what's in it.


  • 1/3 cup macaroni
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (do NOT use pre-shredded)


  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the pasta and the water. Microwave on high for two minutes and then stir. Microwave for two more minutes, stir again. Microwave for 1-2 more minutes or until the water is absorbed and the pasta is cooked. Watch carefully so it does not burn.
  2. Add milk and cheese, stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat in one minute intervals, stirring well between each interval until macaroni and cheese is thickened and creamy.
  3. Eat immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 431mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 18g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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Disclaimer: OXO sent my free products to try for this post. I was not compensated to use them, or for my opinions.