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baked mac topped with cheese sauce in a glass baking dish
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4.2 from 75 votes

Baked Macaroni with Cheese Topping

Baked Macaroni with cheese topping is hearty and tasty. This Filipino-style pasta dish is perfect for serving a large crowd and sure to be a hit!.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Entree
Cuisine: Filipino
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 967kcal


  • 1 package (16 ounces) small elbow macaroni

For the Meat Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 Filipino-style hotdogs, sliced diagonally
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup banana ketchup, preferably sweet and spicy
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Cheese Topping

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 16 ounces Eden Cheese (or any quick-melting cheese), cubed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot over medium heat, bring about 4 quarts salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook 1 to 2 minutes less than package's directions. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.

For the Meat Sauce

  • In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add sliced hotdogs and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
  • Add bell peppers and cook until tender-crisp.
  • Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking apart with the back of a spoon, for about 7 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, and beef broth.
  • Stir in sugar and Italian seasoning.
  • Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and continue to cook for about one hour or until meat is fully cooked and sauce is thickened.
  • During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add browned hotdogs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Cheese Sauce

  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add flour and stir well into a smooth paste. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until golden (but NOT browned) and starts to bubble a bit.
  • Gradually add milk to the roux, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Cook, whisking regularly, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  • Stir in nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Gradually add quick-melt and cheddar cheese, whisking regularly until melted. Cook until cheese sauce is thick but spreadable.

To Assemble

  • Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine macaroni and meat sauce. Gently toss together until well-combined.
  • Transfer pasta mixture into prepared dish. Spoon cheese sauce on top, spreading across to completely cover the pasta.
  • Bake in a 375 oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into serving portions.



  • For better texture, undercook the pasta for about 1 to 2 minutes shy of package directions as it will continue to cook when baked with the sauce.
  • Cook the bechamel until it coats the back of a spoon. Dip the spoon into the béchamel and then draw a finger through the coated spoon to check for doneness. If the sauce wipes clean and leaves an open space, the sauce is done and ready for the cheese and seasonings.
  • For neater squares, allow the baked pasta to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.


Calories: 967kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 2153mg | Potassium: 1124mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1991IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 860mg | Iron: 5mg