Skip to main content

The 3-ingredient mac and cheese recipe you should add to your Thanksgiving menu

This easy mac and cheese recipe will make a believer out of you


Mac and cheese is one of America’s favorite comfort foods. Its ooey gooey melty goodness satisfies in a way few dishes can. Kraft sells millions of its little blue boxes every minute, most casual restaurants have at least one version of the dish on their menu, and almost every family has their own favorite homemade recipe. But despite the love we have in this country for some good ol’ fashioned mac and cheese, people seem to be pretty divided about whether or not it belongs at the Thanksgiving table.

We’re here to put that debate to rest. This staple of American cuisine most certainly deserves a front-and-center spot on turkey day, and this mac and cheese recipe will make a believer out of even the most avid of skeptics.

Of course, there are thousands of mac and cheese recipes out there. It’s one of those dishes that can be as pretentious as possible, incorporating expensive and indulgent ingredients like lobster and truffles. On the other hand, you can pick up a cheap boxed version at a gas station for about a buck. Overall, it’s a pretty versatile dish, and we love all the versions. But if you’re wondering how to make mac and cheese in a way that will please everyone, this recipe is the way to go. Easy, quick, inexpensive, and stupidly delicious, this is the perfect dish for every single day of the year. Including- nay, especially Thanksgiving.

3-Ingredient stovetop mac and cheese recipe

Facebook/Serious Eats

(From Serious Eats)

This recipe calls for cooking the macaroni in a small amount of water. If you’re unfamiliar with this method, its purpose is to create a high concentration of starch in the water, which will emulsify and form an exquisitely creamy texture to your cheese sauce.


  • 6 ounces elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces evaporated milk
  • 6 ounces mild or medium cheddar cheese, or any good melting cheese, such as Fontina, Gruyère, or Jack, grated


  1. Pour macaroni in a medium saucepan and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Continue to cook, stirring until water has almost completely absorbed and macaroni is almost al dente, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add evaporated milk and bring to a boil.
  4. Add cheese, reduce heat to low and cook until cheese is melted and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer.
  5. Season to taste with more salt and serve immediately.

Editors' Recommendations