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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23rd Dec, 2009
There is a mistake in this recipe. 5g butter would not absorb 50g flour. The proportions should be 50g butter to 50g flour.
8th Dec, 2009
Easy to make and good results, next time I will add some ham and mexican chedder cheese to mix things up.
24th Nov, 2009
really tasty-i used leek and mushrooms as suggested and topped with sliced tomato -made nice leftovers for lunch the next day
14th Sep, 2009
i didnt find this recipe that exciting, i followed the recipe exactly, but found that when the macaroni was cooked there wasnt enough sauce, went down well with my boyfriend and little girl though, wil probably make again when the fridge is empty and im stuck for ideas!!
6th Aug, 2009
I also disagree with all those who say not to bother with the onion and bay. A classic white sauce which is the base for cheese sauce is made with milk infused with these flavours. I grate the onion also a stick of celery and a carrot and throw in a few black peppercorns. It really makes a difference. Try it, you'll see!!
5th Aug, 2009
This is so delicious. I could eat it ALL THE TIME. But then I would get super fat. Really good idea to use onions, garlic and bay leaves to flavour the cheese sauce. Makes a massive difference. Dead easy too.
27th May, 2009
For quite a lot of effort the results were quite average. Suggestions: less mustard and forget about the whole infusion thing.
22nd May, 2009
I disagree with those who say not to bother with the onion and bay leaf - to make an extra special macaroni cheese they really are worth it to add a lovely flavour to the sauce.
14th May, 2009
This a great recipe. You could probably stretch it to five or even six portions.
10th Apr, 2009
This is a lovely dish, the topping especially was delicious. I would add more cheddar next time.


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