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

Best-ever macaroni cheese recipe

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(52 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. An easy and classic family favourite.

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 constantly 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, then 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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johnkirk
8th Apr, 2017
0.05
I've rated this poorly, because the instructions are too vague and misleading. Recipe gives quantities of butter and flour in tablespoons, not in grams, so highly inaccurate. Sauce can end up being too runny or too thick if your idea of a tablespoon is more or less than Jennifer Joyce's interpretation of a tablespoon. She states the other ingredients in grams, so why not for flour and butter? So I've ignored this recipe.
louslittlekitchen
19th Mar, 2017
5.05
Yes- it really is the best ever! I love how the sauce is still gooey and cheesy even after you bake it in the oven... Most of the time with other recipes, the sauce dries up and it turns out more like a pasta bake. Not this one! Amazing. Will definitely be my go-to mac and cheese recipe from now on.
Olivia-W
20th Jan, 2017
Tip: I make this all the time. It's my favourite Mac n Cheese. Today instead of doing 250 of cheddar I did half cheddar and half mozzarella with the parmasean. It was amazing. I also served with chicken goujons which made it so good! Highly recommend adding mozzarella.
Sarahe97
30th Aug, 2016
5.05
Nicest Mac n Cheese I've had. I added pancetta to it. Definitely will make again.
vanessafreeman
2nd Aug, 2016
I chopped chorizo to add into the mix. Also with the milk, I added double cream - as I was running low on milk. Heart attack on a plate but delish!
abbyhorand
13th Jun, 2016
5.05
Added a big can of tuna and a can of corn...yummo!
w3ndy2
2nd Jun, 2016
3.8
Made this tonight and it was surprisingly good. I added cheese to taste and added peas and broccoli to the cooking pasta for the last minute. The outcome was lovely with the crunch from the topping adding a nice touch. Would make again.
BillyDragon1000
2nd Jun, 2016
5.05
Great recipe, I incorporated the 'Tip' at the bottom and it was delicious.
Mr Moaner
29th Apr, 2016
This is a great macaroni cheese. I added a burger and a couple of baps and popped the mix between the baps. Really finished it off. Gorgeous.
chickens82's picture
chickens82
24th Mar, 2016
LUSH. I added cooked lardons, leftover broccoli and a handful of raw kale when it came to mixing the mac into the sauce. Highly recommend

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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!