Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Pot Smokey Mac N' Cheese #meatfree

I turned my go-to mac n cheese recipe into a trendy one-pot pasta recipe....yeah, it's officially hipster now.  I was craving homemade smokey mac n cheese, yet had no oven.....lemme explain.....

The one-pot pasta craze has set in; if you haven't tried it yet it's going to blow your mind!  No boiling a pot of draining pasta facials!  Just enough liquids are added with the dried pasta creating an al dente-cooked macaroni and a creamy, velvety sauce.  The smokey flavors are achieved by the use of canned fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked cheddar.  Both alone are amazing, together with pasta:  ta.die.for.

As you read this post, I am kicking back stateside; back in the good ol' USA!  Having just traveled 2000-ish miles Beverly Hillbillies-style  - complete with our gas grill, pet cages, and way too many suitcases (all wrapped in 3ml heavy duty contractor garbage bags *hillbilly* because of course, it was raining), all of this strategically stacked (stuffed) into the back of our truck -  S, Notch, Duke, Big Bird and I are giddy to be back east with friends and family.  Five days, 400 miles per day, and five complimentary hotel breakfasts later - from Regina, Saskatchewan to Warwick, Rhode Island - we survived without inflicting bodily harm onto each other.

One Pot Smokey Mac N Cheese with #FireRoastedTomatoes and #SmokedCheddar by

Subsequent to our departure we stayed at a Best Western Plus Eastgate in Regina for a week.  Our suite was equipped with a two burner cooktop, refrigerator/freezer, and microwave....your typical hotel kitchenette.  Oh, and the bed? was heaven!  Such is NOT always the case with hotels, so I feel the need to give them a shout-out.  Soft cotton sheets, a lofty down comforter, and comfortable abundant was like sleeping on a cloud (the cat loved it too...he slept for 7 consecutive days on the bed...I had to check him for a pulse once or twice).  Absolutely phenomenal.  The entire staff was friendly; overall a great stay.

One Pot Smokey Mac N Cheese with #FireRoastedTomatoes and #SmokedCheddar by

Now, back to the cheesy mac!  This version is half of the original recipe, it can easily be doubled if serving more than two people.  If you prefer to boil and drain your pasta... if your real old school mac n' cheese crazy, (I get it, no judgy) - then check out the original recipe linked HERE.  

One Pot Smokey Mac N Cheese with #FireRoastedTomatoes and #SmokedCheddar by

Me, being me, had to have a crusty crumb layer of some kind on my homemade mac n' cheese.  Given my circumstances, I had to use an additional non-stick skillet to toast up the topping (a few minutes under the broiler would have been ideal, but again, I had no oven).  So much for the ONE pot, right?  

One Pot Smokey Mac N Cheese with #FireRoastedTomatoes and #SmokedCheddar by

The true test:  Did S think this version was just as good as our favorite oven-baked recipe?  
Answer:  No.  It was better.
(Good answer S, good answer.)

Print THIS Recipe
One Pot Smokey Mac N Cheese (adapted from, Muir Glen)
makes 4,  1 1/4 cup servings

For The Pasta:

1/2 pound dried small shaped pasta (I used egg squares)
8 oz heavy whipping cream
1 14.5oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup (8oz) of water
4 oz smoked cheddar cheese, grated
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Frank's Red Hot
1/2 tsp dried mustard

Crumb Topper (optional):

3 TBS bread crumbs
3 TBS Grated Cheese
1 TBS Olive Oil

Add the pasta, whipping cream, canned tomatoes, hot sauce, dried mustard, and water into a medium sized, heavy weight pot.  Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to a simmer , stirring often to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot, simmer for about 10-15 minutes.  When the pasta is tender and most of the liquids have been absorbed, and when you scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon it leaves drag marks (as pictured above), you are ready for the cheese.  Stir in the smoked cheddar cheese and the scallions.  Remove the pot from the heat and cover for 10 minutes to thoroughly melt the cheese.

If a crumb topper is desired, combine the bread crumbs, grated cheese and olive oil in a small bowl, set aside.  Preheat broiler to high.

Divide the mac n' cheese into serving bowl(s), top with bread crumb and cheese mixture.  Broil for 1-2 mins until crumb topping is browned, watching constantly as not to burn the topper.  

Serve immediately!


  1. This sounds great and easy, Kim! So glad to see you again! pinned this!

  2. If you cook like this at home. I think you are right. We can be friends. I look forward to following your blog. Meg Kra from Hey Listen: Life By Meg Kra!!

  3. One pot wonders - fabulous! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  4. Hello - I made this last night and it was great! I do have a question. I am confused about the amount of Frank's that I should use? Can you clarify? THANKS!

    1. Yes, that one slipped by me :) SHB 1/2 tsp, but I must admit we don't actually measure the Franks! I guess start with that, taste and add more to suit your taste. Glad you enjoyed this, it's one of our faves. Thanks Meg!!

  5. Oh man that looks amazing! We love mac n' cheese in this house so I'm going to try this.

  6. Your back - You've been missed! And you came back with an awesome recipe!

  7. Never thought to make a smoky mac and cheese. Will have to try. Visiting via Great Ideas Thursday.

  8. Sounds great I love any mac and cheese!

  9. Mac and cheese but the healthy stuff! Delicious!

    Coming from Mix it up Monday! Visit me on my blog!

  10. Whoo this looks and sounds delicious :) Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays...

  11. This sounds lovely, I love smokey element to it. Thanks for sharing at Sweet and Savoury Sundays, I'd love you to stop by this weekend and link up!

    1. Thanks Laura; and yes, I did link up already ;0)

  12. The red hot and the mustard make this a real adult mac n cheese. I love it. Thanks for bringing it by foodie friday. Good to see.

  13. Sounds wonderful!!! Found your site from Hungry Harps. Looking forward to following along here, beautiful site!! Angela ~ LeMoine Family Kitchen {http:://}

  14. Hi Kim! Glad your trip was successful and you arrived safely! Stopping by to let you know that I featured you on #GetHimFed Friday this week. Hope you will come by and link up again! Thanks and have a great weekend!



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