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A Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe With a Twist

Editor Chad January’s famous Mac n Cheese is absolutely to die for. We teach you the basics (cooking pasta, bechamel sauce & which cheese to use) PLUS flavourings to add in, vegetarian options as well as incorporating more crunch for added texture. 


Chad’s ultimate mac ’n cheese 

Serves 4-6 • Total Time 1 Hr 


1 packet macaroni
Olive oil 


1L milk  
1L cream  
¼ onion, sliced  
Handful fresh thyme  
2 fresh bay leaves  
2 cloves garlic, sliced  
¼ cup butter  
3 Tbsp flour  
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
½ tsp ground nutmeg  
Salt and milled black pepper  
400g streaky bacon, chopped  
1 cup grated mature cheddar  
1 cup grated Gruyère chees
1 cup grated mozzarella  
Handful fresh thyme, parsley or sage, chopped



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. 
  2. Add pasta and give it a quick stir so pasta doesn’t stick together. Cook, partially covered, for about 6-7 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water, and rinse pasta well under cold water. 
  3. Toss through oil to prevent pasta from sticking together. 
  4. Cook milk, cream, onion, thyme, bay leaves and garlic in a saucepan on medium to low heat for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain and set aside. 
  5. Heat a glug of oil in a large pan and fry bacon for about 5-7 minutes or until crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
  6. Melt butter in a pot over medium-low heat and whisk in flour until smooth. 
  7. Add milk and cream mixture a ¼ cup at a time, whisking vigorously until white sauce thickens. Repeat until all liquid has been added and sauce has thickened nicely. 
  8. Whisk in mustard and nutmeg. Season generously. 
  9. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  10. Add cooked macaroni to a large, greased ovenproof dish and pour half the white sauce over. Toss through to coat pasta evenly. 
  11. Combine cheddar, Gruyère and mozzarella in a bowl. Add half of cheese mix to macaroni and mix through evenly with a spoon. 
  12. Fold through bacon and herbs. 
  13. Pour over remaining white sauce (do not mix through) and top with remaining cheese. 14. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and bubbles. Serve immediately. 

Chef’s Tip
For a more affordable dish, swap Gruyère for white Cheddar, streaky bacon for bacon bits and the cream for milk.  


Photography: Zhann Solomons  


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