This Macaroni Pie from Barbados is the ultimate comfort food. Barbados has made macaroni and cheese their own by adding evaporated milk, ketchup, and honey mustard to the dish. This baked casserole is creamy, savory, and slightly sweet, with a perfectly crunchy breadcrumb topping.
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A Personal Story
The Beginning: A Macaroni Love Affair
Mac and cheese– duh, one of the biggest comfort foods known to man. I don’t have to tell you that there’s nothing like sitting down to an ooey gooey bowl of creamy mac and cheese… you already know that. Everyone does!
When I was young, I’m pretty sure that my body consisted of 57% Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Every time my parents would go out for date night, they would leave the babysitter with a box of noodles, a package of neon powdered cheese, some milk and some butter. Kraft Mac and Cheese and chicken nuggets. Fish sticks with Kract Mac and Cheese. Kraft Mac and Cheese and pear slices. An easy lunch or dinner, and something I thought I loved.
What a Twist: A New Way to Enjoy the Mac
When I was about 12 years old, I was at our cabin in Northern Michigan with my dad and his lifelong friend. “Let’s make some macaroni and cheese for lunch,” he said. I was confused…. We had no Kraft in the house.
He boiled some water and added some noodles from the box. When the noodles were cooked, he strained them and put them back in the pot. He walked over to the refrigerator and removed a massive block of Velveeta cheese, which he chopped into squares and dropped right in the hot pot. He added a couple splashes of milk and some frozen peas and… Viola!
This macaroni and cheese was the creamiest, cheesiest pot of macaroni and cheese that I’d ever had in my entire life. Instantly I knew that the crap Mac and Cheese and I had eaten my whole life would never again suffice. Of course, I knew that Velveeta cheese still wasn’t the healthiest option, but my oh my was it good. In later years, I learned how to whip up a milk-based roux to make a creamy, delicious cheese sauce with real cheese.
Happily Ever After: A Mac n’ Cheese Snob Meets Macaroni Pie
From that day to this, I have been a mac and cheese snob. I enjoy it creamy, not baked; preferably without breadcrumbs but with peas.
That is, until this Barbadian Macaroni Pie recipe came along…
Get the Full Barbados Macaroni Pie Recipe Below!
Why is Barbadian Macaroni Pie So Unique?
I don’t like baked macaroni, but I love this recipe. I don’t like macaroni with breadcrumbs, but I love this recipe. Typically in any other recipe, baking with breadcrumbs makes the mac and cheese dry. But not in this recipe.
This Barbadian recipe with evaporated milk, ketchup, and honey mustard cannot help but be incredibly, perfectly creamy. Despite being baked, it is still oh-so-gooey and delicious.
Barbadians LOVE their Macaroni Pie. In fact, in Barbados, it’s just called “Pie!” The Macaroni Pie first came to be because of American influence on the country. As the years have gone on, Barbadians have made this dish their own. The evaporated milk (check out everything that you can do with a can of evaporated milk here) adds some sweetness to the dish, and the ketchup creates a vibrant orange color. I kept my Macaroni Pie recipe simple with just salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but you can also add thyme or marjoram to get that traditional Barbadian flavor.
What Ingredients You Need to Make This Macaroni Pie Recipe
You’ll feel silly for ever relying on the boxed junk once you realize how easy it is to make the best macaroni and cheese from scratch! With just a handful of basic ingredients you can create an amazingly creamy, flavorful dish that eats as an entire meal or is perfect for a side that compliments nearly any main dish.
Here’s what you need:
- Pasta – I prefer Italian Trottole, but feel free to use whatever pasta type you like
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Evaporated milk
- Honey mustard
- Bread crumbs
- Spices – salt, pepper, and onion powder
Tips for Making Macaroni Pie from Barbados
This recipe is so simple to follow, but here are a few suggestions to make sure your macaroni and cheese is perfectly creamy with that crave-worthy crunchy top:
- I used Italian Trottole for this version, but you can choose another pasta if you prefer. It’s just wise to use something that is nice and hearty, like large elbow macaroni.
- Sharp cheddar cheese is my favorite, but feel free to try different cheeses and mix up the flavors! Let me know in the comments any fun combinations you discover.
- If you don’t have honey mustard you can swap with whatever mustard you do have like stoneground or Dijon. Your pie won’t be quite as sweet but will still have that yummy savoriness.
- Try adding a bit of thyme and/or marjoram to make this macaroni pie more authentically Barbadian!
- For an extra crunchy crust, gently spray the breadcrumbs on top of the pie with cooking oil before baking.
- This macaroni pie will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months once completely cooled and sealed in an airtight container.
If you are at all a fan of macaroni and cheese, you’ve got to try making this dish for yourself!
And if you enjoyed this noodle recipe, be sure to also try this Vegemite Pasta from Australia or this Armenian Mantiabour. Please and thanks for leaving a comment on the blog post to let me know what you think!
Macaroni Pie (Barbados)
- 1/2 lb pasta, I used Curly Elbow Macaroni, but you can use whatever you'd like
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp honey mustard
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs, Italian Style
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil water and cook the noodles according to the package until they are al dente. Drain the noodles.
- In the pot, add the evaporated milk over medium-high heat and whisk until it comes to a boil. Turn off the heat, then add the cheddar cheese and whisk until it melts fully into the milk. Then add the rest of the ingredients except for the noodles and breadcrumbs. Mix to combine again.
- Finally, add the macaroni into the cheese sauce, and mix so that the noodles are fully coated.
- Grease a 9×9 pan and put the macaroni and cheese into the dish. Top with bread crumbs.
- Bake the macaroni for about 35-40 minutes until heated all the way through and the breadcrumbs are slightly browned. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to come back next week for more recipes from around the world!