Close up of macaroni cheese in a serving dish with a serving spoon alongside

Best ever macaroni cheese recipe

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(64 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins

Easy

Serves 4

This perfect macaroni cheese recipe comes with a creamy cheese sauce, a hint of mustard and uses leftover French stick for its crunchy topping

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal860
  • fat42g
  • saturates25g
  • carbs88g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein38g
  • salt1.92g
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Ingredients

  • 50g baguette, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter, plus 1 tbsp melted
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

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

  • 350g spiral or other short pasta
    Pasta

    Pasta

    pah-stah

    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
    Mustard

    Mustard

    muss-tard

    A condiment made by mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with a combination of…

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml whole milk

    Milk

    mill-k

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

  • 250g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated
    Cheddar

    Cheddar

    Ched-ah

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

  • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
    Parmesan

    Parmesan

    parm-ee-zan

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

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

  2. Spread the chunks of bread over a baking sheet, drizzle with the melted butter and season. Bake for 6 mins until crisp, then set aside.

  3. Boil the pasta for 2 mins less than stated on the pack. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan.

  4. Add the garlic and mustard, cook for 1 min, then stir in the flour. Cook for 1 min more, then gradually whisk in the milk until you have a lump-free sauce. Simmer for 5 mins, whisking all the time until thickened.

  5. Take off the heat, then stir in all the cheddar and half the Parmesan.

  6. Stir the pasta and some seasoning into the cheesy sauce. Tip into a large ovenproof dish, or 4 individual dishes.

  7. Scatter over the bread and remaining Parmesan, then bake for 20 mins until crisp and golden. Can be frozen before baking – defrost thoroughly before cooking.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Sarah Ellen's picture
Sarah Ellen
17th Mar, 2018
I'm trying out this recipe... I've added paprika, little bit of chilli and the tiniest bit of nutmeg (I was curious and overly cautious so not even half a teaspoon as I've never used it in cheese sauce before... It's a thing tho! I bought a morrisons own brand blue cheese and broke it up in the sauce which I was also curious about as I thought maybe it would make the sauce a little bitter... didn't!! They are little slightly sweet mouthfuls of melty goodness. Added a nice strong cheddar and parmesan too. Pushing the boat out a little bit tonight and adding shredded bbq pulled pork on the top, shoved in the oven for a further 5 mins. Am excited to try it so felt like I should tell everyone!!!
Olivia-W
25th Feb, 2018
5.05
Love this recipe, been using it for years. So so tasty! I use loads of different cheeses as long as it's the right amount I like to use a four cheese and some mozzarella to get that extra stringy cheesey goodness! Any bread works but I love tiger loaf or even a seeded one for an extra something. Definitely recommend! :)
tanhump
13th Feb, 2018
3.8
Was fine for a weekday dinner but a little dry maybe next time I will add less pasta.
rjg277
29th Nov, 2017
5.05
Definitely the best mac and cheese recipe I've tried. Super easy to make and tasty. I used a mix of Cheddar and Red Leicester and added leeks and mushrooms for extra flavour. Delicious!
Red69
10th Nov, 2017
0.05
Sorry, found this really bland - used extra mustard, cheese and garlic but I still felt it had no oomph.
Jlynch10
3rd Oct, 2017
5.05
I have been making macorni cheese for years but this recipe deserves it title. Use a small whisk rather than a spoon when stirring the flour and milk together as this helps to get a smooth sauce. Absolutely delicious and timeless comfort food.
MrsGM2002
20th Sep, 2017
5.05
Absolute winner!! I recently ate a shop bought mac and cheese that my relative described as "bloody good." It was very mediocre so when I found this recipe, I really wanted to try It. This was 1000% better!! I added a splash of double cream and some chopped chunky ham before placing in the oven. DEVINE!!
MrsGM2002
20th Sep, 2017
5.05
Absolute winner!! I recently ate a shop bought mac and cheese that my relative described as "bloody good." It was very mediocre so when I found this recipe, I really wanted to try It. This was 1000% better!! I added a splash of double cream and some chopped chunky ham before placing in the oven. DEVINE!!
nlamb4
17th Sep, 2017
5.05
Delicious, used wholegrain mustard as didn't have mustard powder. Used 150 cheddar and 150g gouda.
coasterstep
18th Aug, 2017
3.8
Made half the recipe as it was just for 2 people. Unfortunately it turned out very stodgy in spite of careful measuring, but suspect this was because I used "quick cook" pasta as this was the only suitable pasta I had. Only pre-cooked it for one and half minutes, but will try again with normal pasta! Crumb topping was a tasty touch.

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lola33
9th Jan, 2017
5.05
We use this over and over again. I replaced the cheddar with Edam and don't add parmasan, personal taste really. Also I use dijon mustard because that's what I have and 2 garlic cloves and a chicken stock cube in the white sauce. Sometimes I like to prince parsley. I'd I see that it's too dry I add water that I reserved from the pasta. It's really a versatile dish and you can do what you want with it. It's a family favourite!