One-Pot Caprese Macaroni and Cheese is a really simple weeknight meal. No draining required. Really delicious with bursts of fresh flavours from tomatoes and basil.
This ebook was provided to me by the publisher free of charge but all the delicious opinions are my own.
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I’ve been a fan of Tiffany from Parsnips and Pastries site for a while now. Her recipes are delicious and down to earth and her photos are beautiful and real. So, when I found out that she wrote a cookbook, I knew I wanted to check it out and I’m so glad I did.
The Modern Cast Iron Cookbook by Tiffany La Forge is a great collection of recipes from breakfast to mains to sides and to desserts, all made in various forms of cast iron pans.
The cookbook consists of traditional chapters: Breakfast and Brunch, Biscuits and Bread, Vegetables and Sides, then there are chapters on Vegetarian Mains, Fish and Poultry Mains, and Meat Mains, and, of course, Dessert recipes. The book also starts with a well-written chapter about cast iron pans, seasoning, washing, how to choose one, and many more useful facts.
One of my favourite thing about this cookbook is that each recipe has a note right at the top to show what cooking pan is needed. Whether it’s an 8″ skillet or a Dutch Oven or a sheet pan, this information is very easily accessible at a glance, which makes choosing a recipe much easier.
I loved the recipes in The Modern Cast Iron Cookbook. They are very accessible and delicious. They have lots of fun seasonings and variety.
I actually do not own a real cast iron pan. Well, it’s a lie. I do have an old grill cast iron pan but it’s all rusted and I am terrified of cleaning and seasoning it.
So, for this cookbook review and the post, I chose a recipe that is done in a Dutch Oven. This is the pan that I have. And I have to say, this One-Pot Caprese Macaroni and Cheese is delicious!
It is super simple and fast to make as everything cooks in just one pot together, there’s no need to drain pasta or mix sauce in a separate pot. It also tastes amazing, super cheesy and also fresh because of all the tomatoes and basil. Just a perfect pasta for summer!
Ingredients for Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
- Fresh tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
How to make One-Pot Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
What I love about this One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese is that it is truly a one-pot dish. You don’t even need to drain the pasta.
- Cook pasta in a mixture of water and milk until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop the tomatoes and basil and grate the cheese.
- Add the prepared ingredients to the pan with the cooked pasta and mix.
Isn’t it the simplest Mac and Cheese recipe?
Tips and variations for One-Pot Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
- Make sure that the macaroni you buy are not a quick-cook version. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find macaroni that aren’t cooked in 3 minutes, so make sure to check the directions on the package.
- You can use any other short pasta instead of macaroni, such as small shells for example. Do not use soup pasta though, the texture will be different.
- The original recipe called for whole milk but I successfully made this with 2% milk.
- Most likely you could even use 1% milk but I haven’t tried myself. I would also suggest not to use skim milk.
- Just as Tiffany mentions in the cookbook, it is imperative to grate your own cheese.
- Pre-packaged grated cheese has anti-clamping additions that prevent from cheese melting properly.
- You can use any combination of your favourite melty cheeses for this recipe.
- You do want to deseed the tomatoes, so make sure you do that.
- Insides of the tomatoes are a bit too juicy, so they’ll mix into the sauce and make it a bit watery if not properly removed.
- You could easily double the amount of tomatoes also.
- I am personally not a big fan of basil so I used only 1 tablespoon of basil instead of 4 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup).
- I do think that it adds a wonderful freshness to the dish, so I wouldn’t skip it entirely.
- I absolutely loved that the recipe called only for salt and black pepper. Sometimes you want just simple seasonings to let the rest of the food shine.
- If you prefer stronger flavours, feel free to add a bit of garlic powder, cayenne, red hot chili flakes, or paprika.
Can you reheat Caprese Macaroni and Cheese?
Because of the way the sauce for this pasta is done, it is really much better to eat the meal right away. However, if you have leftovers, they are best reheated on low heat with a splash of milk added to the pan. The milk will help the hardened cheese melt into a sauce a bit better.
More pasta recipes
- Quick 15 Minute Blue Cheese and Pesto Pasta
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo (vegetarian)
- Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Creamy Pasta and Meatballs
Did you know I wrote a cookbook?
Did you know I also wrote a cookbook a year ago? It is called The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook, so if you like this recipe then you will absolutely adore my cookbook as it is full of delicious and easy one-pot wonders, all cooked in the oven!
One-Pot Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
- Dutch Oven
- 8 ounces dry elbow pasta (macaroni)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup water (use vegetable or chicken broth for extra flavour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used only 1 tablespoon)
- 1 cup seeded and diced ripe fresh tomatoes
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the medium dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the dry macaroni, milk, water, and salt.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent pasta from sticking.
- Let the pasta simmer until la dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. The pasta will absorb most of the liquid but there will still be some in the pot. Do not drain. It will become the basis for the sauce.
- While the pasta is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to watch the pan closely as milk tends to bubble out of the pan if the heat is too high.
- Once the pasta is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, mozzarella, and parmesan. Mix well until the cheeses melt.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and basil and mix.
- Season with pepper and serve immediately.
Recipe is published with the permission from the author.