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)

anya_eva's picture

This is so delicious. I could eat it ALL THE TIME. But then I would get super fat.

Really good idea to use onions, garlic and bay leaves to flavour the cheese sauce. Makes a massive difference.

Dead easy too.

suborbitcom's picture

For quite a lot of effort the results were quite average.

Suggestions: less mustard and forget about the whole infusion thing.

kjbutche's picture

I disagree with those who say not to bother with the onion and bay leaf - to make an extra special macaroni cheese they really are worth it to add a lovely flavour to the sauce.

theedda's picture

This a great recipe. You could probably stretch it to five or even six portions.

tyejersey's picture

This is a lovely dish, the topping especially was delicious. I would add more cheddar next time.

sarahlou52's picture

Gorgeous! We left out the seasoning so our nine month old could have some and he loved it! I'd say 'serves four' is a little low, it fed us for days!

kevinfields17's picture

I cut open a waitrose bouquet garni and mixed same with the breadcrumbs. The flavours were amazing. Im refusing to state to my gang where I got the initial recipe. Gorgeous. Mmn !

emilybarrallo's picture

I cooked this a few days ago and it was very nice! i added 2 garlic cloves because i love garlic. i swapped full fat milk to semi skimmed milk. i also used extra mature cheese instead of mature to give it lots of flavour. it was lovely and i will definatly cook again! thanks very much!

phinugget's picture

Very very nice and yummy. This recipe must be tried!

icelesley's picture

I made the sauce quite thin, but the end dish has thickned up. I also put some veg in and served with bacon and roasted cherry tomatoes, very satisfying on a cold evening.

anya_eva's picture

Really tasty. Also found that the 5g of butter for the roux was a lie! Put in 50g instead. I as dubious about bothering with the bay leaf and the onion in the milk to start, but it made such a delicious difference!!!!!! Really tasty, and easy to make. yumyum.

rosw-s's picture

Just a note for those who are trying to feed vegetarian guests and family members, although this recipe has the green veggie V please note that Parmesan is NOT vegetarian. You can buy alternative 'Parmesan' made for vegetarians.

This is a good site to see what cheeses are available for vegetarians.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

This was gorgeous. Very tasty. One of the best recipes I have tried. Added some sweetcorn with red peppers.

jgfg50's picture

Agree with 'Harvest's comment - Mac cheese doesn't need onion or garlic and an alternative to a thick stodgy sauce is to just add 300ml natural yoghurt with your cheese to the fresh-cooked pasta,top with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 mins,seasoned well with just pepper [enough salt in the cheese],you don't have to spoil it with continental flavours,adding some bacon/smoked bacon will lift the flavour and leave it palatable for small children as well!

ellecantere's picture

Yep the old 5g of butter instead of 50g trick caught me out too! Thanks Good Food! I fed this to four hungry and active teenagers, plus a passing grazing husband and got thumbs up all round. Will do again for certain.

jandrew's picture

Lovely!! Should be 50g of butter though!

jackieann's picture

Is the quantity for butter correct 5g? Isn't a roux mix usually more equable?

laevans's picture

Yum! Added broccoli and bacon as suggested above. Also used red onion cos that's what i had - kids were v disappointed sauce wasn't pink!'s picture

very nice recipe.
Use 50 grams of butter, not 5 grams.

chloem86's picture

mmmmmmm delicous


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