Probably one of the tastiest macaroni cheese recipes EVER!

Macaroni cheese is one of the best forms of comfort food invented. It was the absolute favourite thing my mum cooked for us as kids – especially when she topped it with bacon!

I found a fab little version of it in one of my Jamie Oliver books this week, and decided to put it to the test.

There are so many ways to make a cheese sauce, but this one i’d not tried before.

Making the cheese sauce

Making the cheese sauce

You gently heat a bowl of grated cheddar, Parmesan and creme fraiche over a pan of boiling water until you get the most divine and silky cheese sauce. Stir in a wodge of chopped parsley and a little seasoning before combining it with the cooked macaroni and cauliflower – and there you have it.

You can then go ahead and bake it, but it was so perfect looking I didn’t dare mess with the consistency of the sauce. Also Sam’s a bit funny about the crust that forms on the top of pasta bakes.

So we just tucked in and in and in… seconds were had by all!

Matthew’s normally not keen on cauliflower but the sauce transformed the often unloved vegetable into a taste sensation. Sam positively inhaled the dish and even complemented my cooking. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!

Quick, cheap and tasty – tick, tick and tick!

So here’s the recipe:

Macaroni cauliflower cheese bake – Jamie Oliver


1/2 medium cauliflower
200 g cheddar cheese
100 g parmesan cheese
1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
1 pinch to taste sea salt
400 g macaroni, uncooked
200 g creme fraiche


1: Remove the outer green leaves from the cauliflower and discard. Slice the end off the cauliflower stalk. Cut the head into small florets. Halve the thick stalk lengthways then slice thinly.

2: Grate the cheddar cheese and parmesan into a large heatproof bowl. Finely chop the parsley stalks and leaves.

3: Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the macaroni and all of your cauliflower and cook according to the macaroni packet instructions.

4: Place the bowl of cheese over the saucepan (I used a separate panwith water in not the pasta/cauliflower pan) and add the creme fraiche. Carefully stir every so often until the cheese is smooth and melted. Add all the chopped parsley to the melted cheese and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Carefully remove the bowl of cheese using a towel or oven gloves and set aside.

5: Drain the macaroni in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, pour in the melted cheese and stir. It should have a lovely silky consistency, but if it’s too thick, add a splash of your cooking water to thin it out a bit.

6: At this point you can either serve the macaroni as it is, or finish it under the grill to make it crispy and golden on top. To do this, preheat your grill to medium heat. Add 150ml of the reserved cooking water to the macaroni, stir in, then transfer to a baking dish. Place under the grill until golden and bubbling.


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
This entry was posted in One pot suppers, Pasta dishes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Probably one of the tastiest macaroni cheese recipes EVER!

  1. With all the decent weather we’ve had I’ve not done macaroni cheese for ages. Do you have Nigella Express? The version I do is in there with evaporated milk and grated red leicester, there’s no need to make a sauce first, you just chuck it all in.

    Cauliflower in it sounds very good – sneaking those veggies in some how!!!

    • rhwfoodie says:

      Yes macaroni cheese is perfect for this not so summery weather! It’s really blustery here today. I’ve tried Nigella’s version but wasn’t blown away – it was quite dry – but that could easily have been my harsh oven. I must try it again!

  2. Rosemary Hamilton says:

    That sounds yummy and so simple, I’ll be giving it a try and you could still serve it with bacon!

  3. Emma says:

    Urrrgggghhh…..Normally I hate Mac ‘n’ Cheese but yours actually looks quite tasty!! xx

  4. I haven’t tried making it this way either. It looks great so I’m going to have to give it a go. I like the idea of cauliflower in it too. I tend to put sliced tomatoes on top of mine.

  5. Great way to get in some veggies! 🙂

  6. Robert Thompson says:

    My top top is to bung in some mustard (also works brilliantly when you’re making cheese straws too) really gives it a nice kick.

  7. Michelle says:

    Yumdiddlyscrumptious! I’m always chucking things into my macaroni cheese – leeks and bacon are best. It’s also nice with a good dash of worcester sauce and coarse grain mustard stirred through the cheese sauce – but maybe that’s a version for the grown ups. Like the easy peasy cheese sauce recipe.

    • rhwfoodie says:

      Defo grown up version, but no reason why I can’t serve the boys up first and then bung in some of those ingredients for matthew and I. Leeks and bacon sounds like a fab idea – Esp with mustard.

  8. Pingback: Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | Nellbe's Gluten Free Kitchen

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