macaroni cheese recipe

Macaroni Cheese

  • Author: Just Easy Recipes
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6


A traditional macaroni cheese recipe that is quick and easy to prepare with the option of adding extra ingredients.


  • 500g Macaroni
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups for the sauce and 1 cup for the topping)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Optional Extras

These are optional, tasty extras to add more flavour to your Macaroni Cheese. In a small pot or pan, add the butter to a small frying pan, add the onions and fry until soft and translucent. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mustard and the ham and mix with the onions and garlic. Now add this mixture to the cheese sauce and then add to the cooked macaroni.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 23 slices ham, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Parsley, chopped, for garnishing


  1. Cook the macaroni according to packet instructions and set aside
  2. While the macaroni is cooking, grate the cheese*
  3. Now, prepare the cheese sauce by heating the butter (medium heat) in a large pot. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk to combine.
  4. Keep whisking to make a smooth mixture (this is called a roux).
  5. Add the milk, little by little, and keep whisking to ensure the sauce is smooth – I usually have the whisk in my right hand and the jug of measured milk in my left and I just keep whisking the whole time in a figure of 8 shape*
  6. Once all the milk has been incorporated, allow the sauce to thicken a little more – you don’t want it to be too runny and you don’t want it too thick either! You need to be the judge here!
  7. Add the 2 cups of cheddar cheese as well as the salt and a little freshly cracked black pepper and stir to combine. 
  8. Add any optional extras that you cooked in a separate pan (see instructions under “optional extras”) and add to the cheese sauce and stir through.
  9. Now add the Macaroni to the sauce and stir through to coat all the pasta. 
  10. Transfer to an ovenproof pot or dish and top with the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese
  11. Grill for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has turned brown and crispy. Garnish with freshly chopped Parsley (optional)*. Enjoy!


* If you don’t have enough cheese to make 3 cups, then you can easily use less – you will use less in your sauce and less as a topping.

* You are adding about 100ml at a time but the whole process of adding the milk doesn’t take too long. As the sauce thickens, you add a little milk and whisk to keep the sauce smooth and then the sauce thickens again and you repeat the process. 

*Serve with a green salad or a crunchy veg like steamed green beans.