Cheesy mac

Cheesy mac

Half-Hour Hungries
15 mins
Cooking time
25 mins
Mark Roper

This is my idea of comfort food! It’s great enjoyed now and again, to satisfy that craving for something rich and creamy.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon salt, to add to pasta water
350g macaroni
40g salted butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
500ml milk
100g cheddar cheese, grated
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon firmly packed and finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish


  1. With adult help: Add one tablespoon of salt to a large saucepan and fill it three-quarters of the way up with water you have boiled in a kettle. Heat the salted water over high heat until boiling, then, wearing oven mitts, add the macaroni. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon, until al dente (cooked through but still firm), about 11 minutes. While the macaroni is cooking, make the sauce.
  2. With adult help: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute – this butter and flour mixture is called a ‘roux’. Turn off the heat and very gradually add the milk to the roux, whisking very well to avoid lumps.
  3. With adult help: Once combined, turn the heat back on to medium–high and whisk the sauce until it bubbles and thickens, roughly 3–4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the cheese, nutmeg, pepper, paprika, salt and parsley. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Switch off the heat.
  4. With adult help: Wearing oven mitts, pour the cooked macaroni into a colander positioned in the sink and drain well. Add the macaroni to the saucepan with the cheese sauce and stir the macaroni until it is well coated with cheese sauce. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with extra parsley and enjoy immediately.

Time-saving tips

  • Have all your equipment and ingredients ready. Find a kitchen hand to help you prepare the ingredients ahead of time.

    Boil and salt your pasta water while you prepare your ingredients. Use pre-grated cheese.
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