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

Best ever macaroni cheese recipe

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(74 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


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



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

  • 350g spiral or other short pasta



    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



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

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml whole milk



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

  • 250g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated



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

  • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated



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


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

  2. Spread 50g baguette chunks over a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp melted butter and season.

  3. Bake for 6 mins until crisp, then set aside.

  4. Boil 350g spiral or short pasta for 2 mins less than stated on the pack, then drain. Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan.

  5. Add 1 clove finely chopped garlic and 1 tsp English mustard powder, cook for 1 min, then stir in 3 tbsp plain flour.

  6. Cook for 1 min more, then gradually whisk in 500ml whole milk until you have a lump-free sauce. Simmer for 5 mins, whisking all the time until thickened.

  7. Take off the heat, then stir in 250g grated mature cheddar and 25g grated parmesan.

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

  9. Scatter over the bread and remaining 25g grated 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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John Kirk's picture
John Kirk
28th Oct, 2018
Very misleading and ambiguous quantities! For example, in ingredients the quantity of flour is stated as 3 tablespoons. Too vague. How many grams is that? Tablespoons all vary in size, and how much you load them. Same applies to butter quantity stated. Too hit and miss for me to even consider this recipe.
19th Sep, 2018
BEST Mac and cheese so far! Loved it! I had no mustard powder though but I was making it with chicken, corn, plantain and coleslaw so I just substituted the mustard powder for Jerk seasoning. It was too tasty!
23rd Aug, 2018
This is so damn tasty every time I make it and always goes down a massive treat with my girlfriend :D
Martin Stannard's picture
Martin Stannard
16th Aug, 2018
I may be being a little bit stupid here, but should not "macaroni cheese" be made with macaroni? What we have here is a recipe for "pasta cheese". But I'm sure it's very nice.....
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!!!
25th Feb, 2018
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! :)
13th Feb, 2018
Was fine for a weekday dinner but a little dry maybe next time I will add less pasta.
29th Nov, 2017
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!
10th Nov, 2017
Sorry, found this really bland - used extra mustard, cheese and garlic but I still felt it had no oomph.
3rd Oct, 2017
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.


9th Oct, 2018
As anyone tried this in the slow cooker and of so how did they do it?
9th Jan, 2017
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!