Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch)

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
Easy Baked Mac and Cheese.  I don't know about you, but Mac and Cheese has to be one of my all time favorite pasta dishes.  It is something I never get tired of eating and I am always on the lookout for a new recipe to try.

This recipe I am sharing with you today is an adaptation for Easy Baked Mac and Cheese which I found in a cookbook of mine entitled,  One Pan Wonders, by Cook's Country.

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
This is one of the few cookery books I chose to bring over from the UK that I had collected through the years, for several reasons.

One, you cannot fault the recipes from Cook's Country, and two, I love one pan cooking.  The least amount of dishes that I have to wash at the end of the day the better!  Yes folks, I can be that lazy at times! 

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch)

I did cut the original recipe for this  mac and cheese down by half, so that it only serves two people, but I will add that they are generous servings.

You could easily use this recipe to feed three if you chose to serve it as a side dish. 

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
One thing which really appealed to me was that it all cooked in the one dish.  A casserole dish. No need to precook the macaroni.

No need to precook a cheese sauce. You don't even have to heat up any water!

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
It is as simple to make as stirring things together in a casserole dish and baking them in the oven.  Dry macaroni, cream and water are stirred together in a buttered casserole dish.  You can also use evaporated milk in the place of cream.

If you use the low fat/no fat evaporated milk, this cuts the fat and calories down by a fair bit. 

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 

This gets covered tightly with some aluminum foil and banged into a fairly hot oven, where it starts to cook.  If there is any faffing about at all, it is having to stir it periodically.

I broke it down into 10 minute increments, and stirred it every ten minutes, which worked very well. 

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch)

At the end of that time your macaroni should be perfectly cooked, al dente.  Now all you do it to stir in a bit of additional water and some cheese.

Two kinds of cheese are used, a strong cheddar (grated) and a process or American cheese (grated.)  The two combine to make a rich cheese sauce along with the additional water.

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch)

Its an amazingly creamy and delicious sauce. You would not think these few simple ingredients could form such a great cheese sauce, but they do.

It has to be chemistry because it totally works! 

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 

Toasted Panko bread crumbs are sprinkled on top of the dish to serve. I toasted mine in a skillet over medium high heat along with a small touch of butter, which added a brilliant richness.  

All in all this made for one very delicious meal, served with some sliced ripe tomatoes.  If there is one thing I love more than mac and cheese, it is mac and cheese with some tomatoes. 

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
The two things just go together very well. Very well indeed. Like peas and carrots.

Mac and cheese was never anything my mom ever made when I was growing up. I am not sure why. I suppose she thought cheese was a bit on the expensive side, I don't know.

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
She mixed macaroni together with ground beef and onion and tomatoes sometimes.  I cannot remember her ever adding cheese to that mixture.

In any case, I didn't like it.  Probably because I was never overly fond of ground meat mixed with things. Mom was a very thrifty cook and she never bought great quality ground beef.

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
It always had loads of fat in it and gristle and sometimes even bits of bone.  You could guarantee if any of those things were in it, it landed on my plate.

As soon as it touched my teeth or mouth that was it, I couldn't eat it.  I had and have a very strong gag reflex and it just ruined it for me.

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch) 
I can't even hold a piece of paper between my teeth without gagging, so you can imagine how much fun it is for me to go to a Dentist. Not fun at all! 

In any case I had hoped I would out grow that problem and I have to a degree, but I still can't stand to eat cheap ground meat, and would prefer my pasta without any meat at all.  Call me fussy if you want to, but it is what it is!

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch)

In any case, if you are looking for a quick and easy mac and cheese supper for two, you have just struck gold!  This one spells winner.

Easy to make and incredibly cheese and delicious, it went down a real treat!  I will probably have the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow. Yes, I am that person! 

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch)

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese (small batch)

Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 2 MinCook time: 38 MinTotal time: 40 Min
No need to boil water and cook the macaroni for this rich and delicious mac and cheese dish. Everything cooks right in the casserole dish for a quick and easy supper dish for two.


  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
  • 6 fluid ounces of cream
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup (90g) grated sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup (98g) grated  processed cheese (3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (30g) panko bread crumbs, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F/ 190*C/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 5 by 7 inch casserole dish really well, or one equivalent to the size. (3 cup) Spread the macaroni out in the dish in an even layer.
  2. Whisk together the cream, 1 cup (240ml) of the water and the mustard powder.  Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Pour into the baking dish and stir everything gently together to combine.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil. 
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for thirty minutes, stirring it every ten minutes or so. By the end of that time all of the liquid should be absorbed. Remove from the oven and stir thoroughly, scraping up from the bottom and sides of the dish.
  4. Stir in  the remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) water and the cheeses.  Recover with the foil and return to the oven.  Bake for a further  5 to 8 minutes until the macaroni is tender and the cheese has melted.
  5. Remove from the oven, stir to coat the pasta evenly with the cheese. Let cool for ten minutes. Sprinkle with the toasted panko bread crumbs and serve.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #TheEnglishKitchen
This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com 


  1. What an easy recipe for mac and cheese. The tomato looks so pretty with it. Grated processed cheese has me stumped? Is it like Velveeta cheese? This would be great to have on a Friday night, perhaps with a salad. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. To be honest Elaine, I just tore up a few cheese slices because I didn't have any processed cheese to use. I think yes, like Velveeta or American cheese if that makes sense. I get these cheese slices called Extra Cheddar by Kraft and they are delicious. Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. We didn't have pasta at all when I was growing up. There was Heinz spaghetti in tomato sauce in tins, but I never saw dry pasta anywhere and was an adult before I tasted real pasta. I did read about Mac 'n Cheese in American books but never knew what it was, though I now understands it's a favourite comfort food.

    I LOVE one pan dishes and this looks easy to make and a tasty side dish. I think the grandkids would love it (probably served with fish fingers if I know them), so I will try it out and see what they think. There's nothing like Kraft cheese here, but I've seen slices of something they call "Hamburger Cheese" and I think that would work well in place of the processed cheese.

    1. This makes a great simple meal or side dish Marie and as you say perfect for children, especially with fish fingers and peas. There will be NO complaints! Yes, those hamburger cheese slices will work fine! You are right, it is a favorite comfort food here in North America! xoxo

  3. Your recipe has cream but your blog mentions evaporated milk? Can I sub evap for the cream? I love Mac and cheese (homemade) but it’s such a faff for one! This seems very simple. Thanks.

    1. You can use either cream or evaporated milk Amanda! (I often sub low fat evap milk for cream because it is not as fattening.) Just make sure you use evaporated milk and not sweetened condensed, you would be surprised as how many people think they are the same thing! This is simple and very delicious! xoxo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!