Mighty Macaroni and Cheese


I know lots of fussy children who only ever want to eat plain pasta with grated cheese. Maybe with a little gentle persuasion they could be enticed to try this tasty macaroni cheese. You can make this macaroni cheese with or without the ham and tomato – it’s a really delicious macaroni and cheese sauce. Pasta provides a good source of complex carbohydrate, so this macaroni will boost your child’s energy levels as well as providing a good source of protein and calcium.

Macacroni Cheese
15 minutes
15 minutes
Best for
Suitable for freezing


  • 350 g macaroni
  • 4 medium tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
  • 75g sliced ham, shredded (optional)

Cheese Sauce

  • 45g butter
  • 45g flour
  • 450 ml milk
  • 85g Gruyère, grated
  • 60g Italian hard style cheese, grated
  • 150g mascarpone


  • 40g breadcrumbs (2 medium slices bread, white or wholemeal, crusts removed)
  • 20g Italian hard style cheese, grated

Conversion chart


  1. Cook the pasta according the packet instructions in plenty of salted boiling water.
  2. Melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring over a low heat for 5–6 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat, stir in the Gruyère and the Italian hard style cheese until melted, then the mascarpone.
  4. Drain the pasta, return to the pan, pour over the cheese sauce and heat through gently. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and shredded ham.
  5. Transfer to a greased ovenproof dish (approximately 26 cm x 17 cm x 5 cm (9 in x 6 in x 2 in). Mix together the breadcrumbs and the Italian hard style cheese and sprinkle on top.
  6. Place under a preheated grill until golden and bubbling.


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  • This was a big success!my 1,5 year old son loved it! I started following Annabel’s recipes since two weeks now for making meals for the whole family. I love the fact that the recipes are suitable for children and so easy but are st the same time delicious for parents to eat as well!

    19 Mar 2015

  • Hi, do you think this could be suitable for an 8 month?

    22 Jan 2015

  • Recommended this recipe by a friend for my 17 month old, made it with reduced fat mascarpone & no gruyere just parmesan. Added tomatoes, ham & shredded spinach, It was delicious,  creamy but not too rich & little one loved it, nearly as much as my husband & me!

    16 Jul 2014

  • I have made mac and cheese many times… But have only used cheddar…. This recipe was a revelation… My LO loved it… Will make again!

    10 Jun 2012

  • made this last night, didnt have any fancy cheese, so just added up all 3 amounts and used cheddar. The meal was very nice, though it does make a huge amount! In my opinion, it makes 4 portions for feeding a family of 4. If you want it for a child, i would say it makes 8 or even 12 child size portions

    25 Apr 2012

  • Made this and the sauce is lovely and creamy not stringy at all like some macaroni cheese I’ve had. The Gruyere gives it a distnctivve taste but it’s not over powering, it’s quite subtle. Served with veg this is a nice dinner….but watch the waistline!

    06 Oct 2011

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