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Small Batch Mac and Cheese

Homemade Mac and Cheese is the BEST! This small batch recipe offers all the flavors and all the goodness but does not leave a ton of leftovers! 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 3 tbsp Butter unsalted
  • 1/4 lb dried pasta shells or whatever you prefer
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese Vermont Cheddar is our preference
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp The Cowboy's Grill Seasoning


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8” cast iron skillet with cooking spray and set aside. 
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well. 
  •  Melt the butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown.
  • Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Add the salt, pepper, and 1 cup of cheese, and stir well. 
  • Add the noodles and stir well. Pour into the prepared skillet. 
  • Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese, the breadcrumbs and the grill seasoning together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. 


What are the best sides to serve with homemade Mac and Cheese?

What is the best cheese for homemade mac and cheese?

  • Vermont cheddar
  • Really any good sharp cheddar

Tips for a Small Batch Mac and Cheese  

  • I like to cook mine in an 8” cast iron skillet, really because I like the way it looks; however, you can cook it in a small baking dish or loaf pan.
  • You will use only about a ¼ of a box of pasta, which is cool because that means you will have pasta in your pantry for the next time you want to make mac and cheese.
  • When I am feeding a crowd, I will just double this recipe and cook it in a 10” skillet.
Keyword mac and cheese