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Baked Mac and Cheese with a bottom layer of bolognese sauce

Layered Italian Baked Mac and Cheese

Deliciously creamy baked Mac and Cheese with a bottom layer of Italian bolognese meat sauce. Comfort food taken to the next level!
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked mac and cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 808kcal


For the quick beef bolognese sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lbs lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2X400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes/crushed tomatoes or passata
  • salt to taste

For the cheese sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour, heaped
  • 375ml/1.5 cups whole milk or 2%
  • 200g/1 cup cheddar, grated
  • 200g/1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • salt to taste


  • 1 lbs macaroni or rigatoni
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 100g/1/2 cup mozzarella, grated


For the quick beef bolognese sauce

  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, then brown the ground beef until no longer pink inside. Add crushed garlic, basil, oregano, canned tomatoes and bring to a boil, salt to taste. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.


  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water 3 minutes less than package instructs. Drain while reserving 1/2 cup/125 ml pasta water. Coat macaroni with 1 tbsp of butter.

For the Cheese Sauce

  • While the pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, blend in flour with a wire whisk. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes while stirring the entire time, then add milk and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
  • Take it off the heat and stir in both cheeses gradually until they are melted and fully incorporated into the sauce. Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce with 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water.

To assemble baked Mac and Cheese

  • Butter a 9X13 inch rectangular casserole dish. Pour the bolognese sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  • Top with the macaroni and cheese and sprinkle with 100g/ 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden. If the cheese is not bubbly and golden at the end of baking time, broil it for 2 minutes.


  • Instead of making a quick beef bolognese sauce you can use 1/3 of Traditional Bolognese Recipe 
  • You can also cook a pound of ground beef with a store bought Spaghetti sauce. 


Calories: 808kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1619mg | Potassium: 840mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1107IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 635mg | Iron: 5mg