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Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese

May 25, 2019 (Last Updated: October 15, 2020) by Chris Collins

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!

Spoonful of mac and cheese being pulled out of baking dish with cheese dripping down

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 😍

Baked mac and cheese fresh out the oven with a spoon breaking through the breadcrumbs

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 💡

Roasted Garlic

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)

  1. Slice off the tip of the bulb to expose the cloves.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil.
  3. Roast at 356F/180C for 45mins-1hour or until golden brown and buttery.

Closeup of roasted garlic fresh out the oven

Top Tip – Once you’ve roasted the garlic, use a fork to mash the cloves in a pinch of salt. This will smooth out the roasted garlic and turn it into a lump free paste!

Baked Garlic Mac and Cheese

Okay roasted garlic done, let’s talk mac and cheese.

Best Cheese for Garlic Mac and Cheese

  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan

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)

  1. Melt butter and stir in roasted garlic.
  2. Add flour and stir into a paste.
  3. Gradually add milk and whisk until thickened, then add mustard, seasoning and cheese.
  4. Add al dente pasta and stir to combine.
  5. Add everything to a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and extra parmesan.
  6. Bake until golden and sprinkle with chives.

How to make Baked Mac and Cheese with Roasted Garlic - 6 step by step photos

Top Tip – Try not to think of the chives as just garnish, they actually add gorgeous flavour to the dish. Chives are close family to garlic so they really compliment the flavours. Plus they add a pop of colour which is always nice.

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

Roasted Garlic Recipes

Okay, let’s tuck into the full recipe shall we?!

Bowl of roasted garlic mac and cheese with fork digging in and chives and garlic surrounding the bowl

How to make Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)

Spoonful of mac and cheese being pulled out of baking dish with cheese dripping down

Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese

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!
5 from 8 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 738kcal
Cost per serving: £1.50/$2


  • 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
  • Whisk
  • 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!


a) Roasted Garlic - Timings will vary depending on the size of the garlic, so just be vigilant after 40-45mins. If it looks like it's turning too dark too quickly simply lower the temperature. 
b) Al dente pasta - You want to make sure the pasta is only just cooked. It will finish cooking when you bake it in the oven. 
c) Consistency / Pasta Water - The sauce may seem overly stringy at the start, but when you add pasta, the little bit of water that comes with it will help smooth it out and turn the sauce silky. Use more pasta water as needed to help this (a few splashes, don't go overboard). Also, when pasta is added there may seem a little too much sauce, but it will thicken when baked. 
d) Sauce - Make sure the sauce has thickened before you add the cheese, don't use the cheese to thicken the sauce or it will lose it's texture (namely the mozzarella) and it'll go grainy.
e) Chives - Try not to think of these as just garnish, they add gorgeous flavour to the dish. I use around a tbsp to sprinkle on top, but work to preference.
f) Calories - based on sharing between 6 people.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 738 Calories from Fat 308
% Daily Value*
Fat 34.18g53%
Saturated Fat 19.461g97%
Trans Fat 0.73g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.848g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.057g
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 923mg38%
Potassium 505mg14%
Carbohydrates 68.94g23%
Fiber 2.6g10%
Sugar 10.97g12%
Protein 37.72g75%
Vitamin A 2650IU53%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 820mg82%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

Got leftovers? Check out my Mini Leftover Mac and Cheese Quesadillas!

6 quesadillas stacked on each other on wooden block

If you loved this Garlic Mac and Cheese Recipe then be sure to Pin them for later! Already made them or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook on the way!





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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    Elizabeth Belanger
    December 31, 2021 at 3:28 am

    5 stars
    Love it and was really easy to follow. Grateful for the tips!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 2, 2022 at 11:42 am

      Thanks so much for the review, Elizabeth!! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 25, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Will panko be ok to substitute for bread crumbs or would you recommend without bread crumbs? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 25, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      Panko will work great! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 6, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    5 stars
    Love this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    5 stars
    Incredible blend of gentle flavors that takes mac & cheese to a premier level. I served this for a large family gathering and all were trying to guess the ingredients that gave this mac & cheese it’s depth of flavor. Thanks for making me look like a genius!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      December 15, 2019 at 11:17 am

      That’s so great to hear, glad it went down well! Thanks for popping back and sharing your feedback 🙂

  • Reply
    August 13, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Can this be prepped the day before you cook it?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 14, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      For best results I recommend fresh from the oven, but if you were to prep ahead I would combine in the baking dish, leave to cool, then tightly cover and put in the fridge (without breadcrumbs). I’d also take it out 30mins before baking, add the breadcrumbs then bake away.

  • Reply
    Andrea Metlika
    May 25, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    5 stars
    I love roasted garlic. I cant wait to taste this flavorful mac n cheese with the roasted garlic.

    • Reply
      May 26, 2019 at 10:56 am

      Thanks Andrea! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly Anthony
    May 25, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    5 stars
    Roasted garlic and mac and cheese sounds like the perfect combination. I can’t wait to make this for my family.

    • Reply
      May 26, 2019 at 10:56 am

      Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Anita @ Daily Cooking Quest
    May 25, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    5 stars
    Roasted garlic takes everything to the next level. I bet the taste of this mac and cheese must be out of this world.

    • Reply
      May 26, 2019 at 10:55 am

      It’s pretty darn good if I do say so myself

  • Reply
    May 25, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! This Mac + Cheese! It looks way too delicious and creamy!

    • Reply
      May 26, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Shanika! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 25, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    5 stars
    The roasted garlic takes this recipe to a whole other level. So good!!

    • Reply
      May 26, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Allllll about the roasted garlic