Waitrose and Partners

Rarebit mac 'n' cheese

Mac ’n’ cheese offers unadulterated comfort: it is milky and silky, cheesy and soft. In this version, Alexina Anatole makes the cheese sauce with stout – as in Welsh rarebit (aka posh cheese on toast) – because it imparts a savouriness that makes this particularly moreish. 

3 out of 5 stars(12) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook45 mins
  • Total time1 hr 5 mins

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 60g plain flour
  • 440ml can Guinness (or another stout)
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 500g mature Cheddar, grated
  • 100g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 400g macaroni pasta
  • 10 sage leaves (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.

  2. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium- low heat, then add the flour and stir until a thick paste forms. Cook out the flour for 4-5 minutes, then gradually add the Guinness, whisking as you go until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Gradually add the milk, followed by ¾ of the Cheddar, all of the Parmigiano Reggiano, the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using) and a good grind or two of black pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted. The texture should be thicker than double cream but still very pourable. Leave the sauce over a very low heat until you’re ready to use it.

  3. Part-cook the pasta for 6 minutes in well-salted water. Just before draining, scoop out a mugful of the pasta water and set aside.

  4. Stir the drained pasta into the rarebit sauce and stir in some of the reserved pasta cooking water until it’s your desired thickness (bearing in mind that the pasta will absorb more sauce while it bakes). Transfer to a baking dish (about 31 x 25cm) and top with the remaining Cheddar, then the sage leaves (if using). Bake until golden and bubbling (around 25 minutes).

Cook’s tip

Angela added English mustard to the cheese sauce, and served the dish with a fresh white cabbage slaw: white cabbage, parsley and dill with an olive oil, garlic and white wine vinaigrette.

And to drink...

Marc Dudet Bourgogne Blanc. This white Burgundy offers up a bright, golden yellow colour in the glass. Ripe and expressive aromas of Chardonnay give way to rich, buttery, and toasted notes with a hint of honey.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


5,024kJ/ 1,203kcals



Saturated Fat












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