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How Long to Cook Macaroni

Macaroni is one of the best pasta varieties for soaking up rich sauces, adding a pleasing chewy quality to soups, and even serving as the foundation for a great pasta salad. Knowing how to perfectly cook macaroni for that al dente perfection in order to ensure that whatever macaroni-based recipe you end up making is truly a masterpiece.

In this article, we’ll show you different ways to cook macaroni, as well as the ideal timing for each cooking method in order to ensure the best results.

Macaroni Nutrition Facts

How Long To Cook Macaroni

Tips for Cooking Macaroni

Pay attention to the following helpful tips and guidelines when cooking macaroni, in order to get the best results with your recipe:

Style variations to try – There are so many different ways to cook macaroni and achieve delicious results. Consider the following:

Simmering Macaroni in Milk

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients (for 3 to 4 servings):

Cooking Steps

  • In a big pot on the stove, combine ½ cup of milk and ¼ cup of water.
  • Decrease the quantity of water, milk and noodles by half if you want to produce a single serving. This recipe can be made with low-fat milk, but whole milk will generally result in a creamier pasta.
  • Remove the pot’s lid and heat the liquids until they start to bubble vigorously. If the liquids are heated too quickly, the milk may burn at the saucepan’s bottom.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add 2 cups of the macaroni noodles.
  • Remove the lid from the saucepan and allow the noodles to gently bubble until they reach your desired softness.
  • To keep the noodles from clumping or burning, stir them every few minutes. If the liquid begins to evaporate, top it with a quarter cup of milk anytime the liquid level appears to be low.
  • Make a decision on whether or not you’d like to use the hot milk in another recipe or drain it. Set a large basin in the sink and cover it with a strainer or colander if you wish to save the milk. Otherwise, don’t put a bowl underneath the colander. Either way, make sure to pour the cooked macaroni into the strainer with care.
  • Put the hot macaroni noodles in an air-tight container or use them right away in your recipe. The cooked macaroni can be refrigerated for up to 3 or 4 days before use.

Cooking Macaroni in a Microwave

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients (for 1 to 2 servings):

  • ½ cup to 1 cup of macaroni noodles, dry
  • Water


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Cooking Steps

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, place ½ cup to 1 cup of dry macaroni noodles. 2 inches of water should be enough to cover the noodles.
  • Because the noodles will typically soak up the water while they cook, select a basin that can accommodate their expansion.
  • Set a microwave-safe plate underneath the bowl to catch any spilled water. Microwave the plate and bowl together.
  • Heat the noodles in the microwave until the water boils and the macaroni noodles get soft. When the timer goes off, examine the noodles to determine if they’re soft enough.
  • Microwave the noodles for an additional 1 to 2 minutes if you need softer noodles.
  • In the sink, place a colander or strainer. Take the bowl of cooked macaroni noodles out of the microwave using oven mitts. To drain the water, pour the macaroni with the water into a colander.
  • Feel free to use the cooked macaroni in any of your favorite sauces or soups at this point. You can also refrigerate the leftover macaroni for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

There are many other cooking methods to explore with macaroni recipes, it just depends on your preferences and the ingredients you have at your disposal. Feel free to explore as you please to reach the results you desire.

Cooking Time for Macaroni

The ideal cooking time for macaroni-based recipes has been described in the table below:

Cooking procedure Cooking time
Cooking macaroni on the stovetop 9 to 12 minutes
Cooking macaroni in a microwave 3 to 4 minutes
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Macaroni recipe (5 Servings)

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  1. To make this delectable dish, clean a cutting board, then chop all of the vegetables once they have been washed. Keep the chopped vegetables in a separate container for later use. Fill a pot halfway with water and add the macaroni. Mix in ½ a teaspoon of salt. Allow the macaroni to cook until it gets soft over a medium burner.
  2. After that, heat a wok over medium heat. In it, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions, corn, bell peppers, and sauté until the vegetables are soft. To keep them crispy, keep stirring them. If you cover the pot with a lid, the vegetables will get limp.
  3. After the vegetables have been sauteed, add the tomato ketchup. In the wok, stir in the white pepper powder, chili powder, and salt. Cook the mixture for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, toss in the boiled macaroni and cook them for an extra 5 minutes in the wok.
  4. Place the cooked macaroni on a platter and top with shredded cheese (optional). Serve immediately. Make a balanced dinner out of this delicious macaroni recipe by serving it with a beverage of your choice.

Macaroni recipes are rather delicious and satisfying, especially when cooked following the right cooking instructions. Also, be mindful of the timing guidelines to keep from overcooking your pasta and getting soggy results. The entire cooking duration for this recipe is 35 minutes, including a prep time of 15 minutes.

If you’d like to see more recipe ideas for delicious macaroni, then you may want to check out this video recipe.


  1. Always cook macaroni till it reaches an al-dente quality, which means half-cooked, when making it at home.
  2. Turn off the heat from under the pasta after only 10 minutes to prevent it from overcooking. To keep it from sticking together, submerge it in cold water.
  3. Use colorful vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, and herbs to add color to your macaroni. This would not only add color but also a healthy and flavorful twist to the dish.
  • Author: Bobby