Best Mac and Cheese Recipe – Easy Macaroni Cheese UK Recipe

Mac and Cheese is a family classic meal and one that is so easy to make. My Easy Macaroni Cheese UK Recipe is creamy and crispy, baked mac and cheese with bread crumbs it has extra texture and is full of flavour. My best Mac and Cheese UK is perfect as a family meal but also the leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day.

scooping out the mac and cheese from the Le Creuset stoneware dish

Creamy mac and cheese is the best comfort food and this recipe is the best mac and cheese recipe you’ll find! In my families opinion at least. It uses a creamy, cheesy mac and cheese sauce and the best bread crumbs for mac and cheese. You’ll be coming back to this baked mac and cheese recipe time and time again.

I absolutely love Macaroni Cheese UK, and this recipe is one of the first things I learned how to cook, passed down to me by my mother.

golden brown easy Macaroni Cheese UK Recipe fresh from the oven

Why you’ll love this macaroni and cheese recipe

  • This Mac and Cheese is so easy but my best advice is to keep stiring and keep your eyes on it too.
  • It is absolutely essential to make this best mac and cheese recipe from scratch using fresh ingredients. This helps as you can choose how cheesy you want to make it, how strong you want the cheese to be, and you can even mix and match different cheeses to make the absolute best adult mac and cheese that will be the talk of all your friends.
  • I’ve taken this creamy baked mac and cheese to dinner parties and BBQs and it is often gone in seconds! You simply have to try it for yourself. Macaroni Cheese UK is a classic dish, which means that there has been plenty of time to perfect the creamy mac and cheese to your exact tastes.

freshly made Creamy baked mac and cheese recipe with a side salad

Top Questions

How do you keep mac and cheese creamy?
Is it better to use cream or milk for mac and cheese?
What can I use instead of heavy cream for mac and cheese?
Why do people add breadcrumbs to mac and cheese?
What can I add to macaroni and cheese to make it taste better?
What’s the best cheese to use for macaroni and cheese?
How can I make mac and cheese more interesting?
What is mac and cheese called in the UK?

Best Mac and Cheese UK Ingredients

For the full recipe and instructions scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe card.

Creamy baked mac and cheese recipe ingredients on a table

MACARONI

The macaroni cheese recipe UK wouldn’t be complete with the perfect macaroni. Whilst some call it elbow pasta due to its bent shape, it’s perfect for this easy mac and cheese.

When you’re eating you get mouthfuls of the creamy cheese sauce from biting into the macaroni. It boils quickly too so you can enjoy the creamy mac and cheese quicker.

CHEDDAR

One of the most underrated cheeses, a strong cheddar is perfect for the best mac and cheese recipe, its strong flavour and creamy melt make it amazing for the adult mac and cheese recipe.

You can swap out the cheddar for your favourite cheese, you can pimp your macaroni cheese recipe UK by using gruyere, it has a slightly salty taste and fills out your mac and cheese sauce.

DIJON MUSTARD

Some food magic for you here, the mustard makes the flavours of your easy mac and cheese UK pop. You can’t taste the mustard in your creamy mac and cheese sauce but it works together perfectly like chilli and chocolate.

BREAD CRUMBS

This best mac and cheese recipe would not be complete with my best breadcrumbs for mac and cheese. Baked mac and cheese takes your normal mac and cheese UK to a whole new level. All you need to do is pop a slice of bread in the freezer and once frozen, blend it to create the breadcrumbs to sprinkle over your creamy baked mac and cheese recipe.

The best bread crumbs for mac and cheese in my opinion are a 50/50 bread where you get a mix of white and brown.

How to make Creamy baked mac and cheese recipe – step by step

Before starting to cook my best mac and cheese recipe I really recommend that you measure out all the ingredients beforehand. The cheese sauce needs almost constant attention whilst it’s cooking to prevent the cheese from burning, so having the ingredients to hand really helps.

flour, milk and butter mac and cheese sauce
  • Pour all the milk into a large pan and put it on low heat, adding the butter and flour and stirring constantly with a whisk. The butter will slowly melt and mix in with the flour and milk.
  • Fill a second large pan with water and put over high heat to bring to a boil. Don’t forget to salt your pasta water. When the water begins to boil, add the macaroni and cook for the time printed on the packet.
  • Be sure to regularly scrape the bottom and sides of the pan with the spatula to remove buildup, so make sure you use a spatula that won’t damage your pan.
  • After fifteen to twenty minutes, the mixture will start to thicken, and large bubbles will begin appearing.
cheddar cheese cubes being added to the white sauce for mac and cheese
  • Slowly add your chosen cheese to the sauce mix, continuing to stir as the cheese melts. Add a teaspoon of mustard to the cheese sauce and continue to stir whilst the pasta cooks.
  • If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more milk and stir it in. Turn your grill (broiler) on and let it get to temperature.
creamy sauce for mac and cheese being mixed together with the cooked macaroni
  • When the pasta is cooked, strain the water out and take the cheese sauce off the heat, mixing the pasta into the cheese sauce.
tomato slices on the macaroni cheese
  • Pour all the cheesy goodness into a large casserole dish, then cover with more grated cheese, sliced tomatoes, and breadcrumbs.
Creamy baked mac and cheese recipe golden brown after being put under the grill

Place it under the grill for four to six minutes, until the top is brown and crispy.

Remove and let cool for five to ten minutes before serving, melted cheese is VERY hot as it’s fat so do let it cool a bit before serving and be careful when sharing it with your little ones. 

Top Tips

Don’t worry too much if the cheese sauce builds up on the sides of the pan whilst cooking your adult mac and cheese recipe, as soon as you find a buildup scrape it off and break it up with a spatula. 

Have a folded piece of kitchen paper out to hand to rest the mac and cheese sauce spatula and whisk on to avoid mess.

Don’t use the whisk to beat the cheese sauce, use it to stir – it will help break up and spread any flour lumps throughout the milk. Making your creamy mac and cheese even creamier!

Add a few slices of tomato to the top of your baked mac and cheese recipe, it adds a little juiciness to the mix and also looks lovely.

A slice of mac and cheese on a blue plate with cutlery.

Best Mac and Cheese UK Serving Suggestions

Basil and tomato pair very well with cheese. You could add a few basil leaves to the cheese sauce whilst cooking the macaroni cheese UK. It brings out the flavour and with the added tomatoes on your baked mac and cheese UK, it’s almost like eating a mac and cheese pizza!

This recipe is very cheesy, and not very healthy. So pair it with some roasted vegetables to really make a full meal out of the easy mac and cheese.

Serving this baked mac and cheese with a big mixed leaf salad is also a delicious way to serve it.

However, I am a big believer that everything is healthy in moderation, thus enjoy this creamy mac and cheese without guilt.

Equipment

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  • Kitchen Scales
  • chopping board
  • knife
  • 2 saucepans (large)
  • spatula
  • whisk
  • medium oven proof dish

Substitutions and variations

You can use whatever cheese you like to make Macaroni Cheese!

I find the best cheese to use as a base is mature cheddar, but you can mix and match it to taste. Mozzarella, goat’s cheese and parmesan are all good cheeses to add to it, but make sure you change the volumes of cheese you’re using in the creamy mac and cheese depending on the strength of the cheese.

A lovely idea is to chop up some bacon and grill it whilst you mix the sauce and pasta, and then mix the bacon into the Macaroni cheese before adding the toppings.

If you like to make your own pasta, it tastes even better with homemade macaroni!

Creamy mac and cheese recipe UK

You can also make a gluten-free or vegan creamy mac and cheese by swapping out the ingredients for ones that work with your dietary requirements. That’s what makes the best breadcrumbs for mac and cheese, its the best recipe all around. This recipe is so adaptable which is why it is the best mac and cheese uk recipe.

Creamy baked mac and cheese recipe being mixed together
golden brown mac and cheese with bread crumbs and tomato slices

Storing / Making ahead of time options

Whilst cheese sauce can be saved in the fridge, I prefer fresh creamy mac and cheese. If you do decide to store it, be sure to reheat the mac and cheese sauce by adding it to a large pan over low heat and adding a little more milk to help thin it out as you heat it, stirring regularly. You can also make the pasta fresh but use leftover mac and cheese sauce.

I recommend using it fresh. Creamy mac and cheese is at its best when the cheese sauce is thick and cheesy and those bread crumbs are perfectly crisp!

However, leftover baked mac and cheese is great to have in lunch boxes and it reheats really really well. So we will always make extra to store in the fridge for lunches that week.

FAQS

How do you keep mac and cheese creamy?

You keep mac and cheese creamy by using lots of milk and cheese in your mac and cheese recipe UK. It helps your mac and cheese sauce from becoming too thick and sticking to your pan. If your sauce does become too thick, simply add a little more milk to make it creamy again.

Is it better to use cream or milk for mac and cheese?

It’s better to use milk for mac and cheese, the cream can be too thick and you have to adjust your quantity of cheese. I also found that adding cream to the mac and cheese recipe UK makes it too heavy and filling.

What can I use instead of heavy cream for mac and cheese?

You can use milk instead of heavy cream for mac and cheese. It helps your easy mac and cheese sauce stay thin enough to be creamy and the meal is a little lighter, especially for anyone wanting to keep the fat content of the UK macaroni cheese recipe down.

Creamy baked mac and cheese recipe with bread crumbs on top and slices of tomatoes

Why do people add breadcrumbs to mac and cheese?

People add breadcrumbs to mac and cheese to create a wonderful crispy topping for your creamy mac and cheese. It’s tasty and following my best breadcrumbs for mac and cheese recipe will make it so easy.

What can I add to macaroni and cheese to make it taste better?

You can add a couple of slices of juicy tomato to your macaroni cheese to make it taste better, pop them on when you add your breadcrumbs and pop it under the broiler (grill in UK).

What’s the best cheese to use for macaroni and cheese?

The best cheese to use for macaroni cheese is cheddar and mozzarella! They are equal parts cheesy and delicious and make for a perfectly creamy sauce for your easy mac and cheese.

How can I make mac and cheese more interesting?

You can make mac and cheese more interesting by adding the best breadcrumbs for mac and cheese on top and popping it in the grill to crips up the top layer of cheese. Or you can pimp your easy mac and cheese by adding different cheeses, try blue cheese, parmesan or your favourite vegan cheese alternative. You could even add bacon lardons in to make the mac and cheese more interesting.

What is mac and cheese called in the UK?

Mac and cheese is usually called macaroni cheese in the UK but it can also be called mac and cheese. PAsta with cheese sauce is good in any country!

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Recipe

Mac and Cheese

Sisley White
Mac and Cheese is a family classic meal and one that is so easy to make. My Easy Macaroni Cheese UK Recipe is creamy and crispy, baked mac and cheese with bread crumbs it has extra texture and is full of flavour. Mac and Cheese is perfect as a family meal but also the leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, International
Servings 6 portions
Calories 673 kcal

Equipment

  • Kitchen Scales
  • chopping board
  • knife
  • 2 saucepans (large)
  • spatula
  • whisk
  • medium oven proof dish

Ingredients
 
 

  • 50 g Flour
  • 50 g Butter
  • 475 ml milk (1 pint)
  • 300 g mature cheddar cheese (chopped plus 50g grated)
  • 1 slice brown bread (crumbs)
  • 2 large tomatoes (sliced)
  • 500 g Macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

Instructions
 

  • Mix the 50g Flour, 50g Butter and 475ml Milk in a large pan on low heat, stirring regularly until simmering.
  • Add the 300g chopped cheese and gently stir until it has melted in the sauce.
  • Stir in 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook 500g of the Macaroni according to the packet instructions
  • While the macaroni is cooking put the 1 slice of bread in the blender to make bread crumbs and grate 50g of cheese.
  • Strain the Macaroni and mix with the sauce. Make sure it's all coated.
  • Add the mixture to a large casserole dish.
  • Top with half of the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
  • Chop the tomato and add the slices on top.
  • Add the remaining bread crumbs and grated cheese to the top of the mac and cheese.
  • Place under the grill (broiler) for 3-5 minutes until golden brown then let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 673kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 27gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 450mgPotassium: 463mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1184IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 485mgIron: 2mg

Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

Keyword cheddar, cheddar cheese, cheese, Dijon mustard, mac and cheese, macaroni, macaroni cheese recipe uk
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

10 thoughts on “Best Mac and Cheese Recipe – Easy Macaroni Cheese UK Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Such a cozy, classic, comforting recipe! I love the addition of tomatoes on top and SO appreciate all of the step by step photos. Super helpful!!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I was just in the Uk two weeks ago for a trip and the Mac and cheese was fantastic! So glad I found your recipe so I could try it! Love the addition of the tomatoes!

    Reply

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