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How do you make Mac and cheese/pasta bake tastier

(48 Posts)
Em2122 Sun 17-May-20 19:07:48

Every time I make a cheesy white sauce for a pasta bake, it is nice but it’s a bit plain. No matter how much cheese I put in it, it just tastes like a plain white sauce. I add some djon mustard and either mature cheddar or Parmesan. I only get the cheese flavour from adding it to the top with breadcrumbs. I feel like there’s no point even adding the cheese. Morrison’s do a really nice mac and cheese in their fridge isle and I want mine to taste more like that!

OP’s posts: |
YorkshireParentalPerson Sun 17-May-20 19:43:33

you need to use English mustard, mature cheddar and way more cheese than you think! Taste the sauce before you add the pasta and adjust ad you see fit.

handbagsatdawn33 Sun 17-May-20 19:46:06

Read the list of ingredients, & see how many of them are in your cupboards. Add those that are.

I don't consider M&C a complete meal, so I would add fried bacon or pancetta, as well as various herbs & spices, plus veg either within the pasta bake or as a side dish.

Mumdiva99 Sun 17-May-20 19:46:08

Add some blue cheese. Really gives it a cheesy taste. We had our mac and cheese with pulled pork this week...delicious.

AllTheCakes Sun 17-May-20 19:54:53

Add nutmeg and mustard powder!

P1nkHeartLovesCake Sun 17-May-20 19:56:30

You need extra mature cheese and don’t be tight with it, you need so much more than you think

Diced bacon is a good addition

Mustard powder

Level75 Sun 17-May-20 19:59:02

I'm with the others. Way more very mature cheddar than you'd expect. Any ends of other strong cheese (including blue). Pepper, salt, mustard and nutmeg too. Really, it's all about the cheese quantity though.

User478 Sun 17-May-20 19:59:08

Use mustard powder, salt and less flour.

Blend a 1/2 a roasted butternut squash into the cheese sauce.

Mix in chopped, pan fried chorizo and sweetcorn.

Ninkanink Sun 17-May-20 20:00:38

A mix of cheeses for depth - a mature cheddar, some Parmesan, and a bit of whatever blue cheese is to hand. Don’t skimp on the cheese.

Then whatever extra ingredients you prefer:



Bacon or pancetta.

Or all of the above!

Season well.

user1488622199 Sun 17-May-20 20:02:22

I find that just cheddar on its own (even with mustard etc) is a bit bland no matter how much you add of it. We add a few types of cheeses, definitely mature cheddar and a smoky cheddar if we have it. Then it’s up to what we have in the fridge, Red Leicester is quite nice or double Gloucester. I also top it with breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan and dried sage as well as putting onions and other veg in the mix too. I have used bacon and pancetta in the past which is lovely but we don’t often have it so adding a bit of smoked paprika gives it a smoky flavour.

SauvignonBlanche Sun 17-May-20 20:03:14

I put butternut squash and bacon in mine, with lots of cheese.

hipposarerad Sun 17-May-20 20:03:49

Definitely agree with needing loads more cheese than you think and taste it before you add the pasta.

I also agree English mustard is best for a flavour boost.

I usually add grated nutmeg and black pepper to cheese sauce too.

Ninkanink Sun 17-May-20 20:03:49

Oh yes smoked paprika or chorizo is a lovely addition too.

Canklesforankles Sun 17-May-20 20:03:54

We make it with leeks and broccoli. But it’s all about the cheese. You need loads.

DartmoorChef Sun 17-May-20 20:04:10

I put chorizo or nduja in mine

pleasenomorechocolates Sun 17-May-20 20:04:51

Agree with everyone else saying you actually need a crazy amount of cheese. To make a big one I use a whole block blush

Holothane Sun 17-May-20 20:05:32

Loads of strong cheddar and I mean loads mustard a bit.

NameChange84 Sun 17-May-20 20:07:07

I use mustard powder and a mix of mature cheddar and Red Leicester

HumphreyGoodmanswife Sun 17-May-20 20:07:48

Loads of extra mature cheddar and pancetta on the top

georgedawes Sun 17-May-20 20:08:13

Yes add 2x the amount of cheese in the recipe, and more than one cheese if poss. It's all about the cheese!!

NotMeNoNo Sun 17-May-20 20:09:52

Generous teaspoon of Dijon Mustard. Crispy bacon bits on top.

Em2122 Sun 17-May-20 20:10:39

Thanks for your advice. I do use quite a bit of mature cheese and tried various recipes and used their measurements. I have also tried a mix of cheeses and it was no different . I might try the blue cheese however as not done that before

OP’s posts: |
pleasenomorechocolates Sun 17-May-20 20:13:48

I put some garlic powder and herbs in with the breadcrumbs to go on top too OP, I find the nice supermarket ones always taste a bit garlicky smile

TheHumansAreDefinitelyDead Sun 17-May-20 20:17:01

Better cheddar

Not Tesco’s own or sad medium cheddar

It needs proper mature cheddar which costs more but you need less

catinb0oots Sun 17-May-20 20:21:54

Feta cheese, mustard powder and white pepper

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