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

Best ever macaroni cheese recipe

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(158 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins

Easy

Serves 4

This perfect baked 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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…

  • 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 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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Jon Noble's picture
Jon Noble
27th Jun, 2020
4.05
Not tried this recipe , but I will as it looks a little dry and I want to compare it to my version ‘Cowbridge kitchen’ we like to mix up the flavours of the cheese and add a bit more sauce.
bethbiscuits's picture
bethbiscuits
26th Jun, 2020
5.05
So good! I studded mine with Roquefort and cherry tomatoes. A firm favourite
klee34
18th Jun, 2020
5.05
I followed the tip of using 280g, rather then 350g pasta and found it delicious.
GiSora's picture
GiSora
5th Jun, 2020
5.05
I incorporated the "Southern-style Mac 'n' Cheese" recipe into this and had to mix manchego cheese to make up the amount of cheese needed as I didn't have enough. And I only used 225g of macaroni plus the sweet potatoes (as the other recipe directed). Turned out so yummy.
Mayavilliers2
24th May, 2020
5.05
Amazing. I don't like really runny macaroni cheese and this is the perfect recipe for it to be not too dry but not swimming in the sauce either. I added 1tsp of liquid mustard rather than powder and worked fine. I also added a dash of worcestershire sauce and it tasted great. 100% making this again.
Samantha Guyan's picture
Samantha Guyan
12th May, 2020
4.05
This was amazing! I read the comments that it was a little dry. This macaroni cheese is not like the ones with lots of extra sauce, it is more like the ‘finest’ versions you find in the shops. However I didn’t want it to be too dry so I only used 280g of pasta and it turned out amazing. Not dry and not too runny either. I followed the recipe exact apart from using less pasta. For anyone wanting to convert tbsp to a measurement it is 14.3g per tablespoon.
Alex Kay's picture
Alex Kay
18th Apr, 2020
5.05
This is now a family favourite, how something so simple can taste so good is beyond me. I have recently started to add extra mustard powder.
Misha Patel
14th Apr, 2020
5.05
Didn't have any baguette so cooked some garlic bread slices and crushed to top instead and its delicious
FlyByMe909
12th Apr, 2020
5.05
I don't bother with the bread topping and it's still a 10/10 mac 'n' cheese. You can reheat the leftovers covered in the microwave with a bit of milk and tastes almost as good as freshly baked.
Chris Oakley's picture
Chris Oakley
10th Mar, 2020
5.05
Absolutely loved this when I made it for my family last week. Really wonderful comfort food!

Pages

Colz87
9th Oct, 2018
5.05
As anyone tried this in the slow cooker and of so how did they do it?
Gordan ramsey
16th Nov, 2019
You put it in and turn it on
Samantha Guyan's picture
Samantha Guyan
12th May, 2020
4.05
This was amazing! I read the comments that it was a little dry. This macaroni cheese is not like the ones with lots of extra sauce, it is more like the ‘finest’ versions you find in the shops. However I didn’t want it to be too dry so I only used 280g of pasta and it turned out amazing. Not dry and not too runny either. I followed the recipe exact apart from using less pasta. For anyone wanting to convert tbsp to a measurement it is 14.3g per tablespoon.
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!
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