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Pops’ Mac Pie

It doesn't get more comforting or delicious than this simple mac 'n' cheese pie recipe from Marie Mitchell. Serve alongside roast chicken for the ultimate comforting meal.

From the book


Pops, as I began calling my dad in my early twenties (probably to annoy him), is famed in South London for his macaroni pie… mostly among our friends and family, but famed nonetheless. In the Caribbean, macaroni cheese is much more pie-like, made with eggs rather than white sauce. Once the pie sets, cutting squares of cheesy pasta is a comfort, which is almost certainly the reason why I consumed so much of it while pregnant and in the early days of parenthood. While I sat (trapped) on the same corner of the sofa feeding a tiny baby who could not be sated, it’s what Pops brought over to help; and the dish I had so often requested to have with Mum’s roast chicken. This dish is a reference to my dad; his influence on me and my cooking, and how his mac pie has held me in times of joy and of pain. I took some liberties when creating my version, but it is a chance to honour a man who continues to guide many, whose kindness and generosity is centred around food, and without whom I would not be writing this today.

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500g macaroni
40g unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp tomato purée
200ml whole milk
400g strong, hard cheese (I like mature cheddar)
8g flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped, plus extra for sprinkling
For the top spice mix:
1 tsp ground black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp ginger Chilli Sauce or Hot Pepper Sauce
fine sea salt


Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas 5.

Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for 6 minutes, or until it’s al dente. Drain it in a colander, tip it back into the pan and stir through the butter until melted.

While the macaroni is boiling, combine the beaten eggs, tomato purée and milk, and three-quarters of the cheese in a bowl. Once you’ve stirred the butter into the macaroni, add the egg mixture to the pan, mixing until well combined. Then, add the parsley, spice mix, pepper and ginger chilli or pepper sauce and mix again. Season with salt to taste.

Transfer the macaroni to an ovenproof dish, one that will nicely nestle the pie to about 4–5cm deep. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, along with a little extra black pepper and parsley. Bake the pie for 30–40 minutes, or until it is firm and golden. Remove the dish from the oven and leave the pie to cool and set for 10–20 minutes before cutting and serving.


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