Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

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(94 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus infusing


Serves 4
A simple step-by-step guide to making a classic supper dish for quick fix. An old favourite

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled / halved
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal860
  • fat40g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs97g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre4g
  • protein36g
  • salt1.72g
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  • 700ml full-fat milk



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

  • 1 onion, peeled and halved



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 350g macaroni
  • 50g butter, plus a little extra for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 50g plain flour
  • 175g mature cheddar cheese, grated



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

  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 50g parmesan, grated



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

  • 50g coarse white breadcrumb


  1. Prepare the pasta: In a small pan, warm the milk, onion, garlic and bay leaf until almost boiling. Remove from the heat, leave covered to infuse for 10 mins, then strain. Cook the macaroni according to pack instructions until just soft, but still with a little bite (this is called al dente in Italian). This will take about 10 mins. Drain in a colander, then run under the tap and stir to stop the pasta sticking together.

  2. Make a roux: (A roux is simply flour and fat, cooked together, then used to thicken sauces.) Heat oven to 190C/ fan 170C/gas 5 and butter a 25 x 18cm ovenproof dish. Melt the butter in the medium pan. When foaming, add the flour, then cook, stirring constantly, for 1 min on a low heat.

  3. Finish the sauce: Slowly stir the warm infused milk into the roux until smooth. Simmer for 3-4 mins, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened and has a coating consistency (run your finger through the sauce on a spoon – it should leave a trail). Remove the pan from the heat, then add the cheddar and mustard powder. Season, then stir until the cheese has melted.

  4. Assemble and bake: Mix the cheesesauce through the macaroni to coat it well, then tip into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan and breadcrumbs over the top, then bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and bubbling. Serve piping hot on its own or with a green salad.

  5. EQUIPMENT: 1 small saucepan with lid, 1 large saucepan, 1 medium saucepan, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, grater, wooden spoon, ovenproof dish

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Comments, questions and tips

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25th Sep, 2012
I made this with a little extra parmesan on top and added diced smoked bacon, sweetcorn and spring onion! It made it very very tasty. Far better than leaving the recipe as it is which I think is tasty enough but also quite plain. Try it!!
10th Sep, 2012
It's quite a lot of work for rather an average dinner, but its tasty and keeps the hunger away for several hours.
1st Jun, 2012
Yup, used 50g of butter and reduced the cheddar cheese as I didn't want diabetes. Added various dried mushrooms to mine too. A winner.
26th Apr, 2012
Simple to follow and a very tasty crowd pleasing tea suiting kids & adults. I used semi-skimmed milk, (read the comments for the butter!) & added sweetcorn & ham. Will definitely be a fixture on our menu!
esbehawe's picture
14th Feb, 2012
Great dish, made it lots of times. I don't add anything, but I will try adding bay leaf and garlic. Plus, I mix the cheddar with some old gouda.
22nd Jan, 2012
My 14 year old daughter attempted this recipe on her own but came to grief over the incorrect quantity of butter (5g...! It should have read 50g). Beware, this is integral to the succes of the Roux sauce.
21st Jan, 2012
Used 5g of flour instead of 50g. Haven't got enough flour or milk to start over!! Would it be possible to have the list changed? I don't seem to be the first person to have done this.
22nd Nov, 2011
Just given this recipe a bash as a family meal and after seeing my 4 year old daughter woof down a rather large potion I can confirm it's a winner!!!! Fairly easy to make although a little time consuming but the end result is excellent, a very succulent meal with a very pleasant taste to it. GREAT FAMILY DISH
28th Sep, 2011
NOT impressed- dont giggle but ive never made a rou before and trusted the recipe using 5gm of butter.... my sauce was like porridge. Cheers!!!
22nd Sep, 2011
Now guys this will sound outrageous...but its pretty damn tasty! Bag of salt & vinegar or bacony flavoured crisps, instead of a bread crumb topping. Mmm tastes great & its easy!


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