My version of macaroni cheese deluxe elevates a simple mac 'n' cheese from delicious to 'oh my goodness - I can't stop eating this!' I've added German bockwurst sausages for extra protein and covered it all with a delicious grilled cheese and tomato topping. This is comfort food at its finest!
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Food to feed a family
Macaroni cheese has always been my go-to meal when I'm looking for a quick and easy meal that will feed the entire family, but not break the bank.
When I was a single Mum with three small children to feed, a meal of macaroni cheese was a lifesaver. Luckily they all loved it. I don't know if it was the addition of the sausages or the cheesy tomatoes on top, but whenever I served up this mac 'n' cheese I was guaranteed empty plates.
And when they said 'Mum can I bring my friend round for dinner?', I'd say 'of course you can', and just throw another couple of handfuls of pasta into the pan to stretch it out to feed another mouth.
Why I think you'll love this recipe
- It's economical - pasta is still cheap and filling, and you can pick up a packet of German bockwurst sausages for next to nothing. And if you want to be even more economical you could even leave out the cream cheese.
- A little goes a long way. If you want to stretch the macaroni cheese out to feed more people, just add extra pasta and add extra milk to the sauce.
- Everyone loves it - I've never yet met a child who had to be coaxed into eating a plateful of cheesy macaroni - especially when there were sausages in it.
- You don't need much by way of sides - I like to eat it with a fresh green salad and perhaps a slice of garlic bread. But I've often been told 'Oh Mum, please open a tin of baked beans to go with the macaroni'.
- It doesn't take long to make - the most intensive part is making the cheese sauce, and even that only takes 5 minutes.
What you will need
You will need 2 saucepans - one for cooking the macaroni, and another for making the cheese sauce.
For baking the macaroni cheese you will need a baking dish large enough to hold everything. These baking dishes are similar to the one I used for the photos and they come in various sizes.
This recipe will feed 4 people.
**You can get the exact quantities and instructions for making macaroni cheese deluxe on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Macaroni - you can use any short pasta shapes you prefer.
Sausages - I've used a German bockwurst, but normal Vienna sausages or frankfurters work just as well. And if you don't have sausages, you can substitute them with chopped bacon (just brown it in a pan before using it).
Cheese - for the cheese I've used a mixture of grated cheddar and mozzarella, but any cheese that melts easily will be fine. This is used both for the sauce and for sprinkling on top.
Cream cheese - this adds an extra element of creaminess to the sauce. If you don't have any cream cheese, just add extra cheddar to compensate (or leave it out altogether). For making sauces, I tend to use my supermarket's own brand of cream cheese.
Mustard - I've used Dijon mustard because it is quite mild and adds flavour without the heat. You can substitute it with English mustard.
Butter, flour, and milk - these form the base of the sauce.
Tomato - for slicing on top of the macaroni cheese.
Salt and pepper - for seasoning.
What to do
Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet, but give it 1 to 2 minutes less than the time stated on the packet. The pasta should be slightly undercooked as it will continue to cook in the oven and you don't want to end up with a soggy overcooked pasta.
Drain the pasta in a colander and then run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the cooked pasta to a baking dish.
Make the cheese sauce
Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until it is completely melted.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir well to remove any lumps.
Return the pan to the heat and stir for one minute to give the flour time to cook.
Add one-quarter of the milk and stir until the sauce starts to thicken, then add the remaining milk and continue to stir on a medium heat until the sauce has thickened completely.
If you happen to find any lumps in the sauce, use a balloon whisk to whisk them out.
The sauce should just coat the back of a spoon. It will thicken more when we add the cheese.
Now add the grated cheese, the cream cheese and the mustard and continue to stir on a medium heat until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.
You are looking for a thick pourable consistency.
Taste for seasoning and add salt and plenty of ground black pepper.
Assemble the macaroni cheese
Transfer the pasta to a large baking dish.
Slice the sausages into one-quarter-inch rounds and mix them into the pasta.
Pour the sauce over the sausages and pasta, and mix well to coat all the pasta in the sauce.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on top of the pasta and season them with salt and ground black pepper.
Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake the macaroni cheese in a hot oven (200C / 400F) for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.
If you want to brown the cheese, pop it under a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes, but keep your eye on it. It will burn easily.
What to serve with macaroni cheese deluxe
This dish is a meal in itself so you don't need much by way of side dishes.
I like to serve it with a fresh green salad, and if I'm feeling particularly hungry, with a slice of toasted garlic bread.
For the youngsters, a helping of baked beans is always appreciated. And if all else fails, just serve a helping of macaroni cheese with a dollop of good old tomato ketchup!
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You could use bacon instead of the sausages. Just cut the bacon into roughly one-inch pieces and fry it lightly before adding it to the pasta.
Back in the day, when money was tight, I've even been known to make this with a can of bully beef (corned beef).
Why not try adding a handful of peas or whole kernel sweet corn for extra vegetables? And if your family likes onions, fry up a chopped onion until it softens (don't brown it) and add it to the pasta with the sausages.
You CAN freeze macaroni cheese, but I wouldn't recommend it because the pasta will become stodgy once it has been defrosted and reheated.
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days and reheat them in the microwave. But once again, the pasta may be stodgy.
You can make this up to 2 days in advance but store the ingredients separately in the refrigerator. Assemble the dish when you are ready to put it into the oven.
I prefer smaller shapes such as elbow macaroni or fusilli (twisted pasta). You could make this dish with spaghetti if that's all you have in the cupboard, but it will be more difficult to get it out of the serving dish. (It will still taste good though).
Save for later
If you would like to make macaroni cheese deluxe why not pin the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it easily? Just click on the image below.
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Other pasta recipes
If this recipe isn't quite what you are looking for, why not take a look at some of my other easy pasta recipes:
- Cheesy lasagne
- Cheesy bully beef pasta bake
- Easy one pot American goulash with corn
- Cheesy garlic bread pasta bake
- Cheesy mince pasta in only one pan
Macaroni cheese deluxe
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 9 ounces 250 grams macaroni or your favourite small pasta shape
- 8 ounces 225 grams bockwurst or other smoked sausage such as viennas
- 1 cup / 120 grams grated cheddar cheese divided into 2 half cups
- ½ cup / 60 grams grated mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces / 110 grams soft cream cheese
- 2 ounces / 60 grams butter
- 2½ tablespoons / 20 grams flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 large tomato
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet, but give it 1 to 2 minutes less than the time stated on the packet.Drain the pasta in a colander and then run it under cold water to stop the cooking process.9 ounces 250 grams macaroni, salt
- Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until it is completely melted.Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir well to remove any lumps.Return the pan to the heat and stir for one minute to give the flour time to cook.2 ounces / 60 grams butter, 2½ tablespoons / 20 grams flour
- Add one-quarter of the milk and stir until the sauce starts to thicken, then add the remaining milk and continue to stir on a medium heat until the sauce has thickened completely. If you happen to find any lumps in the sauce, use a balloon whisk to whisk them out.The sauce should just coat the back of a spoon. It will thicken more when we add the cheese.2 cups milk
- Now add half of the grated cheddar cheese, all the mozzarella, the cream cheese and the mustard and continue to stir on a medium heat until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.1 cup / 120 grams grated cheddar cheese, ½ cup / 60 grams grated mozzarella cheese, 4 ounces / 110 grams soft cream cheese, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and plenty of ground black pepper.salt, ground black pepper
Assemble the macaroni cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200°Cc / 400°F
- Transfer the pasta to a large baking dish. Slice the sausages onto ¼-inch rounds and mix them into the pasta.8 ounces 225 grams bockwurst
- Pour the sauce over the sausages and pasta, and mix well to coat all the pasta in the sauce.
- Slice the tomato and arrange it on top of the pasta. Season the tomato with salt and black pepper.1 large tomato
- Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Bake the macaroni cheese in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If you want to brown the cheese, pop it under a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes, but keep your eye on it. It will burn easily.
- You could use bacon instead of the sausages. Just cut the bacon into roughly one-inch pieces and fry it lightly before adding it to the pasta.
- Back in the day, when money was tight, I've even made this with a can of bully beef (corned beef).
- Why not try adding a handful of peas or whole kernel sweet corn for extra vegetables. And if your family like onions, fry up a chopped onion until it softens (don't brown it) and add it to the pasta with the sausages.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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