Best-ever macaroni cheese

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(52 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4

Use up the remnants of a French stick to make a crunchy topping for this family favourite

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. 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.

  2. Boil the pasta for 2 mins less than stated on the pack. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan. 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. Take off the heat, then stir in all the cheddar and half the Parmesan.

  3. Stir the pasta and some seasoning into the cheesy sauce, then tip into a large ovenproof dish, or 4 individual dishes. 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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8th Apr, 2017
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.
19th Mar, 2017
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.
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.
30th Aug, 2016
Nicest Mac n Cheese I've had. I added pancetta to it. Definitely will make again.
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!
13th Jun, 2016
Added a big can of tuna and a can of corn...yummo!
2nd Jun, 2016
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.
2nd Jun, 2016
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
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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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!