Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

Macaroni cheese in 4 easy steps

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(95 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 Jul, 2011
I'm not sure why everyone thought this was so good. Very bland, lacking any real flavour.
21st Feb, 2011
Yummy! I absolutely love the faint onion flavour, it gives the dish another dimension! I use 50g of butter instead of 5 (that's a typo) and I use more milk as I like the sauce a bit runny. Sometimes I add some blue cheese, depending on what I have in the fridge
6th Jan, 2011
I would just like to point out a mistake in this receipe it states 5g of butter for the roux this ithink should read 50g and as this is the first time i have made a roux it caused some waste . Now i have sorted out the roux it is a very good reciepe yum yum :).
1st Jan, 2011
!!!!!!Warning! 50g of butter for the roux not 5!!!!!!!
10th Dec, 2010
we love this recipe, great mid-week quick and easy dinner. So easy that even my husband makes it for us!
2nd Dec, 2010
Served on a bed of baby spinach this was absolutely gorgeous, the milk infusion made a big difference. I had no breadcrumbs or parmesan so I just topped with half fat grated cheddar.
12th Oct, 2010
For a lighter, less fattening, sauce, first make white sauce with just cornflour, couple of tbsps, and semi-skimmed milk, no butter, whisk over heat to make smooth and prevent sticking until thickens, then add the cheese and seasoning.
7th Oct, 2010
To prevent any pasta sticking together after straining it, save about a tablespoon of the cooking liquid and mix this through the pasta. Dandepom
6th Sep, 2010
This is a superb recipe! We added some paprika and garlic granules to the breadcrumbs and stirred some mascarpone cheese into the cheese sauce before adding the macaroni. The onion, garlic and bay leaf make all the difference to the flavour of the sauce. Super creamy and delicious!!
14th Jun, 2010
I made this the other night. Simply delicious. Added a little cream instead of all the milk and it made it extra yummy! Also, substituted English Mustard for Dijon - just personal taste, and it worked fine.


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