Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

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(53 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, questions and tips

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28th Feb, 2018
Never really liked mac n cheese, but feeling poorly and snowing outside I fancied something comforting. This was cheap, easy and very tasty. I added broccoli As I like a bit of a crunch. Plenty left over. Definitely adding this to my stash of recipes.
17th Jan, 2018
Added chopped smoked sausages and tasted great. Made 8 kid portions kept in freezer for my 6 yo.
19th Jan, 2017
Good basic recipe. I fried smoked bacon, celery and garlic and added to the macaroni before mixing in the sauce. Just right for a cold night.
4th Jan, 2017
I thought this was rather dry. I like a macaroni cheese with some sauce still apparent in it. The flavour was OK and the family were happy but I prefer it when it can't be served in slabs. Perhaps less macaroni would prevent all the moisture being soaked up.
dees cooking.
22nd Dec, 2015
A lovely recipe, common sence would tell you it was approx 50 grams and not 5 grams of butter.i added the suggested smoked bacon for added flavour and double cream to the final mixture for richness..yum.highly recommended.
21st Jul, 2015
I read the other comments and I used 50kg of butter instead of 5. It tastes really good but I think it would have been better if I used more pasta because there was not much pasta for each butter.
17th Sep, 2014
it was discusting
21st Jan, 2014
I was so annoyed that the ingredients list has not been corrected. I did not think to read the comments as this has 4 stars!! Obviously 5g of butter is ridiculous and I should have realised but I have never made this dish before. The sauce was ruined and I had to start again. CAN SOMEONE UPDATE THIS ERROR PLEASE?
19th Jan, 2014
I made this tonight and have to say that both my husband and I are dreadfully disappointed at the blandness of this dish! I wont be making this again.
24th Sep, 2013
Yes, use 50g of butter, thinking this should really be updated! It's a lovely recipe though, my kids are eating every scrap on their plates! I think it makes way more than 4 servings though!


14th Sep, 2015
You list an onion in the ingredients, but don't mention it in the method. Am I right in guessing it goes into stage 1
30th May, 2017
Good recipe, however, this was way too much for 5 people. It can easily serve double that. Also, we found it a little too cheesy. I will lessen the amount of cheese the next time