One Pot Mac n’ Cheese

This mac n’ cheese is an easy way to make a hearty carb bowl, one pot style – without a time-consuming flour roux needing to be prepped. Once your water is boiling, you will be eating within 10 minutes!

One Pot Mac n’ Cheese


  • 8 ounces small pasta shapes
  • 2 Tbsp dry milk
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces sharp or medium cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter or 2 Tbsp olive oil (2 packets)
  • Salt

At home prep:

At home, pack the pasta in a sandwich bag. Mix the dry milk, onion, garlic, and pepper together, pack in a snack size bag. Pack separately cheese and butter, see notes below for tips.

To make:

Dice cheese, set aside.

Bring 4 to 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot (2 Liter size), liberally salted. Add in pasta, cook as directed on package, stirring often. Lower flame as needed on stove to maintain a gentle boil. Take off heat, drain carefully, reserving ½ cup of pasta water in pan. Sprinkle on dry milk bag, and cheese, along with butter/oil. Stir until it is melted and creamy. Season with more salt if desired, and a splash of hot sauce if desired.

Serves 2.


Cheddar cheese (the real stuff mind you, not lower fat or grated) carries quite well. It will get soft and oily in hot weather, but is fine to consume. You can find small bricks of cheese that are dipped in wax. These are a great option. Always wash your hands before cutting it – and if it is from a larger brick, handle it as little as possible. Grubby mitts can make cheese go funky 😉

Butter, the real stuff, carries quite well, although it gets very soft in the heat. If you are hiking in summer, use olive oil instead.

If you are doing long-term hiking or in very hot temperatures for extended time, your best bet would be to substitute an equivalent amount of freeze-dried cheese.