Old Fashioned Easy Baked Mac & Cheese (small batch)

Monday 20 September 2021

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese

 A few people had asked about the Mac & Cheese that I served with my fish cakes the other day and so today I thought I would share that recipe with you. Old Fashioned Easy Baked Mac & Cheese.

This is the type of Mac & Cheese our grandmother's would have made. Easy to make, no faffing about, simple ingredients, done well.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
It does not boast a creamy sauce, nor is it rich, but I can still promise you that it is filled with plenty of cheesy flavors!  Its also incredibly easy to make.

You do want to make sure you use a really well flavored cheese for this. I wouldn't use anything less than an extra strong cheddar.  The taste will really shine through, whereas if you used a milder cheese, the flavor might get lost.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 

I adapted the recipe from one I found here, on Rachel Cooks to suit the smaller family, so instead of making 6 servings it now makes 2 generous servings.  

Its actually really close to a mac and cheese recipe I used to make years ago that I got from my friend Leona. It was basically just cooked macaroni mixed with cubes of cheese and milk which was then baked until the cheese was meltingly ooey gooey.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese

My children always loved that. I would mix cubes of velveeta with cubes of cheddar in equal parts and I always topped it off with more cheese and buttered cracker crumbs.

It really was very simple, even simpler than this one.  This one uses dry mustard powder and some flour, in addition to the cheese.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
The milk gets absorbed by the macaroni, which is why you only want to cook your macaroni to al dente.  This means tender, but still maintaining a bit of a bite.

If you overcook the macaroni, once it absorbs the milk the macaroni will get mushy, which is not ideal.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
I say that but then I remember my Mother In laws (2nd one) macaroni and meat. Her macaroni was not cooled al dente and cooked even longer in the baking dish, and was soft when it came to serving it up.

But nobody minded, because it was delicious. It was the same with my Aunt Thelma's macaroni casserole, which begs me to ask the question.  When did soft macaroni become a bad thing?

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
A number of months back I made a version of macaroni and cheese that I got from the book, Hopes Table which was written by Hope Helmuth of Hopeful things. You can read about my experience with that tasty recipe here.  

That slow baked Mac and Cheese, cooks in a very low oven for 3 hours.  Yes the end result is a well cooked macaroni . . . but the flavour is amazing.  

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
It almost takes you back to the nursery and has huge comfort appeal, so I had hopes that this one would as well, without a cheesy sauce.

The cheese kind of melts into the macaroni and the milk curdles a bit, which doesn't sound very appealing I guess, but you need to taste it to believe it.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 

It is incredibly delicious and the macaroni gets all crispy around the edges, almost crusty.  Very buttery and moreish.

I am a great lover of Mac and Cheese. In fact of all the pasta dishes, I would consider Mac and Cheese to be amongst my top few favorites! High praise indeed because I am a real mac and cheese lover!

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
It is not something that my mother ever made for us when we were growing up. If we had mac and cheese at all, it was the stuff in the blue box, and that was very rare indeed.

My father had a huge dislike for "foreign" food. He had very simple tastes.  Still does. 

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 

When I was married to my first husband, we were poor students at Uni.  We used to buy the boxed macaroni and cheese. Quite often you could get it on special at 10 boxes for $1.

Quite the bargain compared to todays prices where it is often over a dollar just for one box.  It was a real  boon in those days to students.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
My second husband and I often made it (the boxed variety) in the evenings to enjoy as a snack while we watched tv.  I could never do that now. Indigestion would keep me up all night.

Its funny how your body and tastes change as you age, also your food tolerances.  Its a whole different world!

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
In any case this is totally delicious.  Very simple and easy to make.  As simple as stirring together a few simple ingredients.

Cooked macaroni, milk, grated strong cheddar cheese, flour, mustard powder and seasoning. That's it.  Not a long list of ingredients.

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese 
The end result is chewy in spots, creamy in others, and delicious in all.  The past not too over cooked nor under cooked.

Just to perfection. I quite enjoyed this and I think you will too!  Make it! You won't be sorry, and you may even discover a new favorite!

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese (small batch)

Easy Baked Mac & Cheese (small batch)

Yield: 2 -3
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 55 Min
Deliciously old fashioned. This is the type of mac and cheese our grandmother's might have baked.


  • 1 1/2 cup (170g) dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups (240g) grated extra strong cheddar cheese
  • 1 TBS all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 cup (240ml) full fat milk
  • 1 TBS butter, cut into bits


  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F/190*C./gas mark 5.  Butter a 2 cup casserole dish really well and set aside.
  2. Cook the macaroni, just until al dente according to the package directions.
  3. While the macaroni is cooking, stir together the 2/3 of the cheese with the flour, dry mustard powder and seasoning in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Drain the macaroni and rinse, then toss it together with the cheese mixture in the bowl. Pour this mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Pour the milk over top and then sprinkle the remaining cheese over all evenly.
  5. Dot with butter.
  6. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, at which point most of the milk will have been absorbed.
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  1. I love mac and cheese. This looks so good. Nice to have on a Friday perhaps with a piece of cod sautéed to perfection with a green salad. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. Thanks so much Elaine. Like you, I love Mac and Cheese in any way shape or form! There are not enough days left in my life to eat all the things I want to. Your Friday dinner sounds lovely! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. This looks good and pretty easy! Thanks, Marie!

    1. You are very welcome Jeanie! Thanks! Its quite simply delicious! xoxo

  3. This sounds like a perfect recipe and so easy! My grands love mac and cheese (don't most kids?)

    1. Thanks Elaine, they sure do! It is an excellent recipe! xoxo

  4. Novice, here. Do you use unsalted butter? I’m trying to recreate my mother’s baked mac and cheese of which there was no written recipe. I can’t wait to try this.

    1. Unless I specify otherwise Julianne I always use lightly salted butter. You can always adjust the salt in a recipe to reflect this if you are concerned! I find that most of the time it doesn't really matter. Often I will leave extra salt out altogether. I do hope that you enjoy this! Keep me posted! xoxo


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