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  • Peanut free
  • Vegetarian
  • No added sugar
  • Nut free
  • Egg free
  • Sesame free
  • Soy free
  • Shellfish free
  • Seafood free
  • High in protein

Macaroni cheese is a family favourite that is super easy to make from scratch. This version is topped with parmesan breadcrumbs for extra flavour and crunch.

  • Serves4
  • Cook time25 minutes
  • Prep time10 minutes
Basic mac and cheese in skillet


  • 375g macaroni
  • 60g butter
  • 1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups (625g) milk
  • 1 cup (120g) coarsely grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup (35g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan

Nutritional information

Per serve: Energy: 3293kJ/788 Cals (38%), Protein: 31g (62%), Fat: 33g (47%), Sat Fat: 20g (83%), Sodium: 512mg (26%), Carb: 90g (29%), Sugar: 11g (12%), Dietary Fibre: 3g (10%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling water following packet directions or until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mustard. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until the mixture bubbles and is grainy. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Add cheddar. Stir to combine. Season.
  3. Step 3

    Stir the macaroni into the sauce. Spoon into a 10-cup (2.5L) ovenproof dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni mixture in the dish. Spray with olive oil spray. Bake for 15 mins or until golden.

Recipe tip

Clever storage:
Store any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheating mac and cheese is a two-step process – first microwave your serving, then crisp up the topping again under the grill.

The only basic macaroni and cheese recipe you need

Comfort food doesn’t get much heartier than mac and cheese. The rich, creamy classic is known as an American staple, but its origins lie somewhere between Italy, France and England. The exact birthplace is unknown, but there are a few old cookbooks that claim to have published the first mac and cheese recipe. From there, US President Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing the dish into American cuisine, and while Americans are known for their love of the dish, it’s now a worldwide favourite. Pasta is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Try these quick and easy pasta recipes that fit the bill. 

The macaroni and cheese essentials

The macaroni component of this dish refers to elbow-shaped pasta, which is ideal for soaking up the creamy, cheesy sauce while holding some texture, as well as a little air pocket in every bite. The word itself is derived from a Sicilian term for kneading dough with force, which hints at the recipe’s Italian foundations. When it comes to the cheese, any number of varieties can be used to alter the flavour profile, and while Swiss cheese such as gruyére is a common choice today, old-fashioned baked macaroni and cheese has typically used cheddar – a hard cow’s milk cheese from England. While you could use almost any combo of pasta shape and cheese, the best mac and cheese recipe is the one that uses a pasta shape that will hold the cheese mixture as it travels to your mouth. 

Must-try mac and cheese variations

Tailor this recipe by mixing up the cheese and pasta and then take a look at some other variations of mac and cheese. These mac and cheese muffins are great in a lunchbox, while this corned beef mac 'n’ cheese can be made in individual dishes for single serves. For those that want something OTT, try this beer and bacon mac 'n’ cheese

To cut through the richness, you could top your baked mac and cheese with fresh chives or parsley, and here’s a healthy mac and cheese option for people wanting to indulge in a restrained way. For those who want to bring the heat, fresh or dried chilli also works brilliantly either as a topping or stir through the cheesy pasta before baking.

How to serve mac and cheese

A good baked macaroni and cheese can serve as the ultimate mood-boosting comfort food to soothe the soul and can be enjoyed as the solo star of the dinner show. However, it also makes a perfect pair when served as a side dish with slow-cooked meats like osso buco and steamed vegetables for balance.