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One Pot 6 Cheese Mac and Cheese Recipe

This one pot 6 cheese mac and cheese recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal or a quick side dish! Loaded with 6 cheeses and tons of flavor. This one pot recipe makes clean up a breeze. Even better, the mac sauce is made while the noodles cook. The starch from the pasta creates a thick, rich sauce. Customize the different types of cheese and seasonings based on your preference.

One Pot Six Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
shredded cheese in a bowl

Highlights of this easy mac and cheese recipe:

  • One-pot means easy clean up
  • Customizable
  • Leftover and freezer friendly
  • Comes together in about 30 minutes
  • Family favorite

Tools I used for this recipe:

mac and cheese in a Dutch oven

If you like this one pot 6 cheese mac and cheese recipe, you’ll love these other easy recipe ideas…

One Pot Tortellini Soup

Chicken Pesto Pasta

One Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pan Butternut Squash Risotto

Grocery Store List & Substitutions:

  • Whole milk, skim milk, or Heavy Cream (could substitute a non-dairy milk such as unsweetened almond milk)
  • 6 types of good cheese (such as Colby jack cheese, extra sharp cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, mild cheddar cheese, or Monterey jack)
  • Dry Pasta, and small shape such as elbow macaroni, rotini, cavatappi, or small shells
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Ground mustard
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Chicken stock or chicken broth (could substitute vegetable broth)

Combine milk, stock, and seasoning in a large Dutch oven. Once simmering add in pasta and cook until al dente.

Is it ok to use pre shredded cheese for mac and cheese?

Pre shredded cheese is great if you’re in a pinch, but you only save minimal time and give up flavor and texture. Freshly grated cheese has a better texture and melts down to a better consistency as it doesn’t have extra ingredients added as pre shredded cheese does. If you have an extra 5 minutes, I recommend shredding your own using a food processor or box grater, it is usually cheaper to shred your own as well.

What is the best cheese to use for mac and cheese?

Cheddar is a classic cheese for mac and cheese as it is hearty and melts well. There are many types of hard and soft cheese that work well for mac and cheese. Any type of cheddar (sharp, medium, mild), mozzarella, pepper jack, Monterey Jack, ricotta, and more. Or combine multiple types of cheese and make your mac and cheese using a cheese blend.

mac and cheese

This is a perfect recipe for family meals or weekend gatherings!

Instructions for the one pot 6 cheese mac and cheese:

  • In a large 5 qt. Dutch oven combine the milk, cream, chicken stock, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and ground mustard. Whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Once simmering, add in dry pasta, stir to combine. Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, uncovered stirring frequently. If needed, add in a splash of milk or stock/water if the mixture is too thick. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 3-4 more minutes until pasta is al dente.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the cheese. Stir to combine, it will take a few minutes for all the cheese to melt. Again, at this point if the mixture is to thick, add in a splash of milk or water/stock until desired consistency is reach. If the mixture is to thin, allow to cool a little longer to reduce.
  • Adjust seasoning, serve immediately or store leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Notes:

*Substitute any small pasta shape, see variations above.

*Substitute a non-dairy milk such as unsweetened almond milk

*You may need to add a splash more cream at the end if your mac sauce gets to thick

shredded cheese being melted into pasta

One Pot Six Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

No ratings yet
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: Mac and cheese, One Pot Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 480kcal
Author: The Hearty Life
Cost: $$
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Equipment:

  • Dutch Oven

Ingredients: 

  • 16 oz. Rotini pasta, or other small shape*
  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Milk*
  • 1 cup Half and half or heavy cream*
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock, or substitute water
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup Pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Medium cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Extra shard cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:

  • In a large 5 qt. Dutch oven combine the milk, cream, chicken stock, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and ground mustard. Whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Once simmering, add in dry pasta, stir to combine. Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, uncovered stirring frequently. If needed, add in a splash of milk or stock/water if the mixture is too thick. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 3-4 more minutes until pasta is al dente.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the cheese. Stir to combine, it will take a few minutes for all the cheese to melt. Again, at this point if the mixture is to thick, add in a splash of milk or water/stock until desired consistency is reach. If the mixture is to thin, allow to cool a little longer to reduce.
  • Adjust seasoning, serve immediately or store leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Notes:

*You can substitute any small pasta shape, see variations above.
*You can substitute a non-dairy milk such as unsweetened almond milk
*You may need to add a splash more cream at the end if your mac sauce gets to thick

Nutrition:

Calories: 480 kcal | Carbohydrates: 39 g | Protein: 30 g | Fat: 25 g | Saturated Fat: 13 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g | Cholesterol: 67 mg | Sodium: 1052 mg | Potassium: 241 mg | Fiber: 8 g | Sugar: 11 g | Vitamin A: 704 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 532 mg | Iron: 6 mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

cooked pasta with black pepper on top

Did you make this recipe?

I would love to see it! Take a picture and post to Instagram with the tag @theheartylife and the hashtag #theheartylife – You can also leave me a question or comment below! If you’ve tried this recipe, feel free to give it a star rating on the recipe above.