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

Best ever macaroni cheese recipe

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(97 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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biloo01's picture
26th Sep, 2019
Great recipe. Usually add a little more mustard and some white pepper to the sauce. Sometimes I add chopped smoked trout. Perfect comfort food!
Caroline Marshall's picture
Caroline Marshall
22nd Apr, 2019
Excellent. Added nutmeg, bacon lardons and leeks, scrumptious!
Paul McGee's picture
Paul McGee
1st Mar, 2019
Better with macaroni? Vegetarian cheese is?
8th Feb, 2019
I’d never made macaroni cheese before always bought a ready meal well not anymore this was absolutely delicious I will definitely be making it again. Can’t recommend it enough.
Anna B's picture
Anna B
30th Dec, 2018
I made this as it is and loved it. Since then I’ve evolved it into a slightly different variation and it’s even better: I use 300ml milk and 200ml double cream instead of 500ml milk and always add some Serrano ham. Delicious and easy to make.
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.
biloo01's picture
26th Sep, 2019
Hey John Tablespoons are still a standard measurement since your 2017 comment. Regards.
2nd Dec, 2018
A tablespoon does not vary in size. It is a measure. You can either buy a set of spoon measures or use the old fashioned method - i.e. one tablespoon = one LEVEL tablespoon. It has to be a table spoon and not a desert spoon. Hope this is helpful.
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


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!
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