Make this classic mac 'n' cheese recipe then check out our vegan mac 'n' cheese, cauliflower mac 'n' cheese, crab mac 'n' cheese and bacon mac 'n' cheese.

Recipe tip: This recipe gives you the option of making baked mac and cheese in the oven, or finishing it off under the grill. Either method will ensure a beautifully crisp cheese topping and gooey centre to this comforting pasta dish.

How to make a mac and cheese... step-by-step video


  • 400g macaroni
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 200g grated mature cheddar, plus 2 tbsp for the top


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven (if using, see step 3) to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling salted water following pack instructions until al dente, then drain well.

  • STEP 2

    Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Tip in the flour and stir well. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture turns sandy and smells slightly nutty. Tip the milk into the pan and whisk really thoroughly to get rid of any lumps. Bubble for a few minutes to thicken, then tip in the grated cheddar. Whisk again until fully melted, then season to taste.

  • STEP 3

    Stir the macaroni into the sauce, then tip into a 20cm x 30cm baking dish. Scatter over the remaining cheddar, then bake or grill for 20 minutes until golden and crisp on top.

More mac and cheese ideas below:

Vegan mac and cheese

Our vegan expert shares his secrets to perfecting this plant-based version of a comforting classic, made extra rich and indulgent with white miso.

Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

Mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon

How do you make mac 'n' cheese better? Add bacon of course! This oozing cheesy pasta bake is also rich with Red Leicester and finished with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Double up the recipe for a family meal.

Mac And Cheese Recipe With Bacon

Cauliflower mac ’n’ cheese

Cauliflower cheese meets macaroni cheese in this dream of a recipe, perfect for feeding a hungry crowd.

Cauliflower mac n cheese

Butternut squash mac and cheese

Add cubes of roasted butternut squash to creamy macaroni cheese for an autumnal twist on this comforting, crowd-pleasing pasta bake.

A white baking dish filled with baked macaroni and a golden cheese topping

Crab mac and cheese

This spin on a classic features crab for extra decadence, and uses crème fraîche in the béchamel to make it lighter.

A white oven dish willed with golden mac and cheese on a blue cloth with a silver fork

Lobster mac ’n’ cheese

Check out our easy yet impressive mac 'n' cheese recipe with lobster. Everyone loves mac ’n’ cheese, but the addition of sweet, rich lobster turns this into a luxurious treat. This would make a brilliant Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve celebration dinner.

Lobster Mac and Cheese Recip


Adam Bush Chef Portrait
Adam BushDeputy food editor

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