Some of my favourite dishes are happy accidents, like this makhani mac and cheese. The result of a few leftovers found straggling in the back of the fridge on busy weeknight and reinvented into something new. It always makes me so happy to discover a new favourite recipe for my repertoire
The first time I made this dish I had a half a bottle of some masala simmer sauce and a little bit of cream in my fridge to finish up. It wasn’t perfect, but I could see a glimmer of something there. After a few months of tweaking and perfecting this recipe, it’s makhani mac and cheese finally ready to share. I’ve now tested this recipe on my mom and the kids, and I’m confident that it is a crowd pleaser for the young ones and the aunties alike!
What you might be surprised to know is that I’m a HUGE mac and cheese fan. It’s the most North American part of my desi being. In fact, if I was pushed into a corner and had to name my favourite meal I could chose mac & cheese one day, and dal chawal the next. They both have my heart. It’s surprising even to me that I haven’t done a fusion mac & cheese before.
This makhani mac and cheese is such a breeze to make because it uses a pre-made sauce. You can definitely buy your favourite makhani or butter chicken sauce from the grocery store. I love my homemade makhani sauce, and I’m pretty confident that once you try it, you won’t want to go back to the store bought stuff either! If you’re pressed for time and need a store bought option, this is one I’ve used and liked before.
We never have mac and cheese leftovers at our place, but if you do, this dish actually freezes quite well. You can keep it in the freezer for up to three months.Print
This makhani mac and cheese is so simple to make, and if you’ve pre-made my makhani sauce recipe and have some in the fridge or freezer, you can get the whole thing ready in under 15 minutes. Waiting for the pasta water to boil in the hardest part!
1 1/4 cups of makhani sauce
2 cups of dry elbow macaroni
1/2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup shredded Gouda cheese + 1/4 cup for topping
chopped cilantro for garnish
- Start by boiling your pasta to al dente. Check the directions on the pasta you are using, but generally this is about 4-5 minutes for macaroni. Once your pasta is cooked; take out one cup of water and keep it aside, drain the pasta, and then toss with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- While your pasta is cooking, prepare the roux. Start by melting the butter on medium to high heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously. Cook for 2-3 minutes until you smell a nutty toasty aroma. Don’t stop stirring or the flour will burn!
- Slowly add in the milk, continuing to whisk to prevent lumps from forming.
- Now add the makhani sauce and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low.
- Slowly add in 1 cup of shredded cheese and stir together.
- Add your boiled macaroni to the sauce and mix. At this point if you feel that the sauce is too thick and not mixing well with the pasta, thin it out with a little of the pasta water your reserved.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with the reserved cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!