Take your homemade mac and cheese to new heights by adding Roasted Garlic. The caramelized hint of the garlic makes this baked mac and cheese truly irresistible!
The BEST Garlic Mac and Cheese
There’s a million different variations of mac and cheese and so much debate over the best way to make it. For me, it’s gotta be gooey with a crispy top. This time we’ve got exactly that, just with a little extra goodness… Garlic. This is actually one of my most popular recipes, and for good reasons. Here’s why you’re gonna LOVE it:
- Simple – No fuss comfort food even the most beginner of cook can master.
- Flavour – I’ll show you a top tip to bring this garlic mac and cheese to life.
- Baked – Baked for extra deliciousness!
Just look at that dreamy creamy garlic goodness 😍
Mac and Cheese with Garlic
When I first started testing this recipe I naturally used regular garlic (as in finely diced it & fried it off). And as much as I LOVE garlic, it was kind of one-tone. Just literally mac and cheese with garlic. Then it hit me 💡
If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while you’ll have noticed I’m a little obsessed with roasted garlic. I literally eat the stuff with a fork 😂 (100% serious). When you roast garlic low and slow it caramelizes and completely transforms the flavour into something sweet and nutty. You get a gorgeous hint of garlic, without it being all up your face.
I usually add a small amount of garlic powder to mac and cheese, which works wonders. But it can be quite pungent if you put more than about a tsp in. With roasted garlic, you can put an entire large bulb of garlic in and you’ll still be wanting more.
How to Roast Garlic (quick summary)
- Slice off the tip of the bulb to expose the cloves.
- Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil.
- Roast at 356F/180C for 45mins-1hour or until golden brown and buttery.
Baked Garlic Mac and Cheese
Okay roasted garlic done, let’s talk mac and cheese.
Best Cheese for Garlic Mac and Cheese
- Sharp Cheddar
No need for artsy fartsy cheeses, these 3 together are a force to be reckoned with. These cheeses pack a punch, but also allow the roasted garlic to shine through.
Another non-negotiable in all mac and cheeses is a good dollop of mustard. This emphasises the cheese an insane amount. Whether you like mustard or not, trust me, it makes the world of difference. Very subtle as well, you won’t notice it’s there, but gives an awesome background flavour.
How to make Baked Mac and Cheese (quick summary)
- Melt butter and stir in roasted garlic.
- Add flour and stir into a paste.
- Gradually add milk and whisk until thickened, then add mustard, seasoning and cheese.
- Add al dente pasta and stir to combine.
- Add everything to a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and extra parmesan.
- Bake until golden and sprinkle with chives.
And there we have it! All my garlic mac and cheese top tips have officially leaked from my brain 🤣 If you like the sound of this mac and cheese, then be sure to check out my other recipes!
Fun Mac and Cheese Recipes
- Spicy Baked Mac and Cheese
- Brie Mac and Cheese
- Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Chipotle Mac and Cheese
Roasted Garlic Recipes
- Roasted Garlic Bread
- Roasted Garlic Aioli
- Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash
- Cheesy Roasted Garlic Mash Potato
Okay, let’s tuck into the full recipe shall we?!
How to make Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)
Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese
- 9x13" Baking Dish (or similar size)
- Large Deep Frying Pan or Pot (to combine mac and cheese)
- Large Pot (for boiling pasta) & Colander
- Foil (for roasting garlic)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Wooden Spoon
- Cheese Grater
Ingredients (check list):
- 14oz / 400g Elbow Macaroni (or other short-cut pasta)
- 4 cups / 1 litre Milk, at room temp
- 1 large bulb of Garlic
- 2 cups / 200g Sharp Cheddar, grated
- 2 cups / 200g Mozzarella, shredded
- 1 cup / 80g Parmesan, grated (save half for top)
- 1/2 cup / 30g Breadcrumbs, or as needed
- 3 heaped tbsp Plain Flour
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- Fresh Chives, finely diced to garnish
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil / Oil Spray
- Slice the tip off the garlic bulb to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Pop in the oven for 45-60mins at 356F/180C or until golden brown and soft as butter.
- Squeeze out the garlic & mash with a pinch of salt to completely smooth it out. Add to a large saucepan over medium heat with 3 tbsp butter and stir to combine. Stir in 3 heaped tbsp flour to form a paste, then very gradually pour in 1litre/4cups milk, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Important to make sure the sauce thickens before adding the cheese, don't use the cheese to thicken the sauce. If it's watery by the time you add all the milk just rapid simmer until it can coat the back of a spoon, then stir through cheeses (step 4).
- Meanwhile, cook 14oz/400g pasta in salted boiling water until only JUST cooked. You want it still a bit hard. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water then drain and combine with cheese sauce. Pre heat oven to 200C/390F.
- Once thickened, add 1 tbsp dijon mustard and seasoning (to taste), then stir in 2cups/200g cheddar, 2cups/200g mozzarella and 1/2cup/40g parmesan (other half is to top). It may seem overly stringy at this point, but the small amount of pasta water attached to pasta will smooth it out.
- Add everything to a baking dish, top with 1/2cup/40g parmesan then 1/2cup/30g breadcrumbs. Finish with a pinch of salt & pepper and oil spray. Pop in the oven for 20-25mins or until golden on top. Sprinkle fresh chives over the top and serve.
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
Got leftovers? Check out my Mini Leftover Mac and Cheese Quesadillas!
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