Try this recipe for a mix 'n' match mac and cheese bar, then check out our classic mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, butternut squash mac and cheese and more macaroni cheese recipes.


  • 500g macaroni
  • butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1.2 litres milk
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated
  • 200g cheddar, grated
  • 200g gruyère, grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


  • 200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • a small bunch basil, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 4 slices sourdough
  • 1 tsp of chopped rosemary
  • 12 rashers streaky bacon
  • 300g mixed wild mushrooms
  • pickled jalapeños, from a jar
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
  • hot sauces (sriracha, Tobasco)
  • truffle oil, to serve
  • chilli oil, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

  • STEP 2

    Cook the macaroni until just tender with a bit of bite, then drain well and rinse under cold water. Drain again. Melt 75g butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour to make a smooth paste and cook for 3-4 minutes. Gradually stir in the milk until you get a lump-free sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a few minutes until thickened, then take off the heat and stir in half the parmesan, all the other cheeses, the mustard and some seasoning.

  • STEP 3

    Stir in the pasta and tip everything into a large, buttered ovenproof dish. Scatter with the remaining parmesan and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and piping hot. While the mac is cooking make the toppings.

  • STEP 4

    Mix the tomatoes, shallot and basil with 1 tbsp olive oil and season well. Cut the crusts off the sourdough and break into pea-sized breadcrumbs. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and the rosemary then bake alongside the pasta for 10-15 minutes until golden.

  • STEP 5

    Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry or grill until crispy. Fry the mushrooms in a little butter and seasoning.

  • STEP 6

    Put the breadcrumbs, bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños and onions into separate bowls. Put the mac ‘n’ cheese in the middle of the table along with the toppings, sauces and oils and let everyone add their own toppings to finish.

Looking for the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe? Check out our favourite mac and cheese recipes here.

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Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

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