Macaroni au gratin (Baked Macaroni)


What would a Sunday Haitian dinner be without  Macaroni au gratin?
One of my classmates in College was surprised at how  interestingly different this tasted from Mac&Cheese.
I brought a “slice” to school with me for lunch a few years back (it was a piece of leftovers) and I cared to share it with her.
She asked for more . So, I’ll share my own version of the recipe with you!
You might want to prepare this when you’re having a family dinner since it serves far more than 4 people.


  • One box of Macaroni (in my case, I used Fusilli/Rotini pasta but you can use others like Cavatappi , Manicotti, Rigatoni, Penne, Conchiglie(my favorite) or Farfalloni(I think this one is fun) )
  • One leek
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 tbsps of butter
  • 2 tbsps of flour
  • 2 cubes of maggi (or simply season with salt and pepper)
  • 2 cups of evaporated milk
  • onions, green bell peppers
  • Any meat of your choice ( ham, turkey, sausage, ground beef, hot dog)
  • 2 cups of grated/shreded Fromage tete-de-maure  (Known as Edam cheese originally from Holland).—> Key ingredient. But you can also use any cheese of your choice! I used Parmesan


  1. Boil your pasta with leek, a pinch of salt, garlic and olive oil until tender.
  2. Once cooked, set aside. Cut a piece of butter and stir it in the pasta. This prohibits the strands to stick to each other (also adds a little flavor to it).
  3. Melt 3tbsps of butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  4. Add your onions and stir until translucent .
  5. Add your flour to the mixture, stir
  6. Then add the milk. Whisk your mixture thoroughly without stopping. It must have a creamy texture before you stop. If you stop whisking without a good consistency, you will have lumps of flour in your mixture. Add green bell peppers (chopped in dices) and the meat of your choice.
  7. Turn off the fire. Add your pasta to your creamy mixture and season to taste. (maggi, salt, cilantro, Adobo, black pepper, basil, garlic, even scotch bonnet pepper to spice it up)
  8. Add at least 1 cup of cheese to your macaroni.
  9. Pour it all in a Pyrex container and cover entirely with the remaining cup of grated Edam Cheese.
    You can also cut a few squares of butter and place them on top of the cheese.
  10. Cook at 350F in the oven.

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Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

6 thoughts on “Macaroni au gratin (Baked Macaroni)

  1. I love your site! I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. I’ve been trying so many recipes (my mom did not make mac au gratin as much) and this sounds like a winner. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I’m guessing you’re asking if the ground beef has to be cooked first before adding it to the mixture. If that’s what your question is, the answer is YES.
      Please, cook any meat prior to pouring it into the mixture of macaroni to be baked.

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