One-Pot Fresh Corn Mac and Cheese

Two great dishes come together for one amazing side dish.

One-Pot Fresh Corn Mac and Cheese
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

Imagine that you're at a summer barbecue. The sun is out, the drinks are cold, and you've got a heaping plate full of all the Southern BBQ staples: We're talking pulled pork, collards, mac and cheese, and creamed corn. The creamed corn and mac and cheese get all mixed up on your plate in the best way. That's exactly what our One-Pot Fresh Corn Mac and Cheese tastes like.

Mix up your mac and cheese with the sweet addition of fresh summer corn. Chopped Vidalia onion, scallions, and Colby-Jack cheese bring serious flavor to this fresh, light take on a classic Southern dish, but it's the corn kernels that add wonderful crunch and a sweet pop to every bite of this mac and cheese. The one-pot method yields tender pasta and a super-creamy sauce with minimal effort. Since this mac and cheese recipe only calls for one skillet, it makes for an extra-easy weeknight dinner. The real genius comes into play when it's time to boil the pasta—simply add 2 ¼ cups of water right into the skillet along with the dried pasta. The pasta will absorb almost all of the water, leaving just enough starchy liquid to bind the sauce.

Pro Tip: Pre-shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking starch, which inhibits creaminess. That's why you'll want to be sure to use a block of cheese and grate it yourself for this recipe (and any homemade mac).


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears)

  • cup sliced scallions (from 1 bunch)

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 8 ounces uncooked large elbow macaroni

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add corn, scallions, and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Remove mixture from skillet, and set aside. Do not wipe skillet clean.

  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to skillet, and melt over medium-high. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add macaroni, 2 ¼ cups water, and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost fully absorbed and pasta is tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in corn mixture and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.

  3. Remove skillet from heat. Add milk and pepper; stir until combined. Gradually stir in cheese until smooth.

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