The Creamiest Mac And Cheese Recipe From A Total Carbs Addict

Cheesy pasta has been voted the nation's favourite comfort food – here's how to achieve gooey perfection.

Anyone under the age of five knows that yellow food rules supreme. And it doesn’t get yellower than a good mac and cheese. It might be a basic combination, but that doesn’t make it any less of a comfort food superstar.

In fact, in a recent survey carried out by cake shop, Jack and Beyond, 71% of Brits picked cheesy pasta as their all-time best comfort food (followed by pizza and roast dinner). Clearly, the carbs can’t keep us away. We get why.

Mac and cheese is the dish that pats us on the tum and tells us it’s all going to be okay. Its key ingredients combine all the best features of comfort food: gooey, rustic, warming... and yellow (because we’re all big kids really).

Food writer Laura Goodman keeps things joyously simple with the macaroni cheese recipe in her brilliant cookbook, Carbs. “There are recipes out there that do things like use cottage cheese instead of sauce, insist that cheddar needs help from obscure French friends, and allow only 37g of macaroni per person,” says Goodman, who suggests none of this is really necessary.

“For a classic macaroni cheese you can count on, you need to stand over a large pot of béchamel and personally load it with cheddar and some key accessories,” she adds. Read on for a guide to how it’s really done.

Macaroni Cheese

Serves: 5–6 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

Louise Hagger


500g macaroni pasta

100g unsalted butter, plus 3 tbsp for the top

75g plain (all-purpose) flour

1.2 litres milk

275g mature Cheddar cheese, grated, plus 50g for the top

1 tbsp English mustard

1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

50g breadcrumbs salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and get some salted water boiling for the macaroni.

2. Cook the macaroni for 2 minutes less than the packet indicates, drain it, and leave it to one side, keeping back half a ladle of pasta water.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. When it’s melted, add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and beautifully beige. Add the milk bit by bit (about 100ml at a time). It’ll take you on a whole journey, thickening up before it smooths back out again. All you have to do is keep stirring. Switch to a whisk if it helps. Once you’ve added all the milk, keep the sauce on the heat and stir through the cheese, followed by the mustard and nutmeg, and then salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add the macaroni to the sauce, along with the pasta water, and stir until even. Tip this straight into a wide, shallow oven dish, using a flexible spatula to get to all the sauce.

5. Melt the extra butter and mix it with the extra cheese and the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mix over the macaroni cheese.

6. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown all over.