Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

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(46 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus infusing


Serves 4
A simple step-by-step guide to making a classic supper dish for quick fix. An old favourite

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled / halved
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal860
  • fat40g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs97g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre4g
  • protein36g
  • salt1.72g
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  • 700ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 1 onion, peeled and halved



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 350g macaroni
  • 50g butter, plus a little extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • 175g mature cheddar cheese, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 50g Parmesan, grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 50g coarse white breadcrumb


  1. Prepare the pasta: In a small pan, warm the milk, onion, garlic and bay leaf until almost boiling. Remove from the heat, leave covered to infuse for 10 mins, then strain. Cook the macaroni according to pack instructions until just soft, but still with a little bite (this is called al dente in Italian). This will take about 10 mins. Drain in a colander, then run under the tap and stir to stop the pasta sticking together.

  2. Make a roux: (A roux is simply flour and fat, cooked together, then used to thicken sauces.) Heat oven to 190C/ fan 170C/gas 5 and butter a 25 x 18cm ovenproof dish. Melt the butter in the medium pan. When foaming, add the flour, then cook, stirring constantly, for 1 min on a low heat.

  3. Finish the sauce: Slowly stir the warm infused milk into the roux until smooth. Simmer for 3-4 mins, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened and has a coating consistency (run your finger through the sauce on a spoon – it should leave a trail). Remove the pan from the heat, then add the cheddar and mustard powder. Season, then stir until the cheese has melted.

  4. Assemble and bake: Mix the cheesesauce through the macaroni to coat it well, then tip into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan and breadcrumbs over the top, then bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and bubbling. Serve piping hot on its own or with a green salad.

  5. EQUIPMENT: 1 small saucepan with lid, 1 large saucepan, 1 medium saucepan, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, grater, wooden spoon, ovenproof dish

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Comments (67)

grammar's picture

My 14 year old daughter attempted this recipe on her own but came to grief over the incorrect quantity of butter (5g...! It should have read 50g). Beware, this is integral to the succes of the Roux sauce.

samala's picture

Used 5g of flour instead of 50g. Haven't got enough flour or milk to start over!! Would it be possible to have the list changed? I don't seem to be the first person to have done this.

nickd1980's picture

Just given this recipe a bash as a family meal and after seeing my 4 year old daughter woof down a rather large potion I can confirm it's a winner!!!!
Fairly easy to make although a little time consuming but the end result is excellent, a very succulent meal with a very pleasant taste to it.


christyb213's picture

NOT impressed- dont giggle but ive never made a rou before and trusted the recipe using 5gm of butter.... my sauce was like porridge. Cheers!!!

clomojo's picture

Now guys this will sound outrageous...but its pretty damn tasty!

Bag of salt & vinegar or bacony flavoured crisps, instead of a bread crumb topping. Mmm tastes great & its easy!

casey42's picture

I'm not sure why everyone thought this was so good. Very bland, lacking any real flavour.

mkouimtzi's picture

Yummy! I absolutely love the faint onion flavour, it gives the dish another dimension! I use 50g of butter instead of 5 (that's a typo) and I use more milk as I like the sauce a bit runny. Sometimes I add some blue cheese, depending on what I have in the fridge

7468chriss's picture

I would just like to point out a mistake in this receipe it states 5g of butter for the roux this ithink should read 50g and as this is the first time i have made a roux it caused some waste . Now i have sorted out the roux it is a very good reciepe yum yum :).

scogla's picture

!!!!!!Warning! 50g of butter for the roux not 5!!!!!!!

staceydelahaye's picture

we love this recipe, great mid-week quick and easy dinner. So easy that even my husband makes it for us!

babygirlchef's picture

Served on a bed of baby spinach this was absolutely gorgeous, the milk infusion made a big difference. I had no breadcrumbs or parmesan so I just topped with half fat grated cheddar.

cduggan's picture

For a lighter, less fattening, sauce, first make white sauce with just cornflour, couple of tbsps, and semi-skimmed milk, no butter, whisk over heat to make smooth and prevent sticking until thickens, then add the cheese and seasoning.

dandepom's picture

To prevent any pasta sticking together after straining it, save about a tablespoon of the cooking liquid and mix this through the pasta.

LuluLolly's picture

This is a superb recipe! We added some paprika and garlic granules to the breadcrumbs and stirred some mascarpone cheese into the cheese sauce before adding the macaroni. The onion, garlic and bay leaf make all the difference to the flavour of the sauce. Super creamy and delicious!!

momof3's picture

I made this the other night. Simply delicious. Added a little cream instead of all the milk and it made it extra yummy! Also, substituted English Mustard for Dijon - just personal taste, and it worked fine.

maireverrall's picture

There is a mistake in this recipe. 5g butter would not absorb 50g flour. The proportions should be 50g butter to 50g flour.

talisha_mantripp's picture

Easy to make and good results, next time I will add some ham and mexican chedder cheese to mix things up.

karakavanagh's picture

really tasty-i used leek and mushrooms as suggested and topped with sliced tomato -made nice leftovers for lunch the next day

laureana's picture

i didnt find this recipe that exciting, i followed the recipe exactly, but found that when the macaroni was cooked there wasnt enough sauce, went down well with my boyfriend and little girl though, wil probably make again when the fridge is empty and im stuck for ideas!!

richardm's picture

I also disagree with all those who say not to bother with the onion and bay. A classic white sauce which is the base for cheese sauce is made with milk infused with these flavours. I grate the onion also a stick of celery and a carrot and throw in a few black peppercorns. It really makes a difference. Try it, you'll see!!


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