How to make Macaroni Pie

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Macaroni Pie in a bowl

Macaroni Pie is like the holy grail of Trinidad home-cooked comfort foods, especially for a Sunday lunch. For many Trinis, this dish brings back fond childhood memories of helping to grate cheese in a large bowl and trying not to get caught stealing a piece or two. 

With this macaroni pie, there's no mushy pasta here. Instead, the elbow macaroni is cooked until al dente, then tossed with salty cheddar cheese, which gives this dish its iconic yellow-orange color. It is also tossed with milk, eggs, green seasoning, and spices. 

The macaroni pie is added to a baking dish and gets a final sprinkling of cheese before sliding it into the oven to bake. Once the baking is complete, you will be forced to allow it to cool or face the wrath of a severe cheese burn to the inside of your mouth. Nevertheless, the first bite of that warm "ooey gooey" Macaroni Pie is worth waiting for, and the cheesy crispy top layer adds to the textural experience. If you're looking for a dish that will make you feel like you are being wrapped in a warm, loving hug, this is the comfort you're looking for.  

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
60 mins
Total Time
80 mins


  • 4 ounces Unsalted Butter



  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced


  • 1 Small Onion, minced


  • 2 Large Pimento Peppers, minced

  • 1125 ml Whole or Evaporated Milk


  • 2 Large Eggs



  • 2 teaspoons Yellow Mustard


  • 1 pinch of Nutmeg Powder


  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • 2 teaspoons Green Seasoning (optional)



  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika (optional)


  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne or Chili Pepper Powder (optional)

  • 1 large Grated Carrot (optional)

  • 750 - 1000 ml Water

  • 1 teaspoon Salt 

  • 16 ounces Elbow Macaroni Boiled or any Tubular Pasta


  • 4 cups Shredded New Zealand Cheddar OR Medium to Sharp White Cheddar


Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Make sure you place the rack in the middle of the oven.

In a 4 quart saucepan add butter. Set it over medium heat and allow the butter to melt.

A pan with a wooden spoon and melting cubes of butter

Add onions, pimento peppers, and garlic, stir with a wooden spoon and cook for 2-3 minutes until they soften, and the onions start to turn brown. Set the mixture aside. 

Onions peppers and garlic being cooked in a pan

Add milk, eggs, mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, green seasoning if using, paprika, cayenne, and carrot to a large bowl, whisk to combine, and set it aside.

Milk being whisked with seasonings in a bowl

In a large pot, add water and salt. Set over medium-high heat. 

A large pot of water with salt being added to it

Once the water comes to a boil, add the elbow macaroni. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Do not overcook the pasta; it will continue to cook in the oven. It should be firm but not mushy. Drain the elbow macaroni in a colander and return it to the pot. 

Macaroni being strained in a colander

Reserve 2 ounces of the New Zealand cheddar cheese. Add the remaining cheddar cheese to the elbow macaroni and stir until combined.

A pot containing cooked macaroni with shredded cheese on top

Add the sautéed onion mixture and the milk and egg mixture and stir until combined. 

Milk egg and seasoning being added to a pot of macaroni

Lightly butter a large baking or casserole dish and fill it with the macaroni and cheese mixture.

A casserole dish being brushed with butter

Sprinkle the top with the reserved 2 ounces of cheddar cheese and slide the dish into your preheated oven to bake.

Macaroni in a casserole dish with shredded cheese on top

Bake the macaroni pie for 45 minutes until it is set, and the top is golden brown. If not, continue to bake in 10 minutes increments until it has golden brown color is achieved.

Macaroni pie assembled and ready for the oven

Once the pie is golden brown, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool/rest for at least 15 minutes.


Macaroni pie cooling on a countertop

After the cooling period and while still warm, cut the macaroni pie into squares and slowly savor a warm cheesy Macaroni Pie hug.

Sideview of a piece of macaroni pie with a casserole dish behind it
Rachael Ottier Hart

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart

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Trinidad Macaroni Pie, Caribbean Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese Casserole, Sunday lunch, macaroni pie recipe, macaroni and cheese pie, easy caribbean recipes

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Rachael Ottier Hart

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart