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Cajun Mac and Cheese

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Cajun mac and cheese is amazing! Give this easy recipe a try.

When my kids were growing up, Cajun Mac and Cheese was the meal they requested for every birthday or other special occasions. I cooked curries most days, as I had to while writing my cookbooks but this Cajun mac and cheese is what they really wanted. When you try it, I think you’ll agree that it  should be called Cajun Cheese and Mac because there is so much cheese in it. This cheesy pasta is to die for!

Cajun mac and cheese

About this Cajun mac and cheese recipe.

Everyone has there own taste preferences and my family is no different. When I prepare this creamy Cajun mac and cheese for my daughters, they always ask for Cajun seasoned prawns to be added. So I have given instructions for those below too.

When I made it for my son, he always requested no prawns. He hates them. So you could make this Cajun mac and cheese without the prawns if you like. 

How much cheese!?

Yes, there is one heck of a lot of cheese added to the sauce. That’s one of the reasons it’s so good!

You could, however use less if you like. You can also decide which cheese you want to add. I love it with sharp cheddar but you might prefer a milder flavour. 

Working ahead…

When you make this one pot version of Cajun mac and cheese, it is best to serve it right when it’s ready.

We have made this many times for big groups, often doubling or even quadrupling the recipe. When we do this, we prepare it all ahead of time and then bake it before serving.

We add crumbled cheese crackers to the top and bake it to heat through for about 30 minutes, covered. Full instructions for doing this are in the recipe card below. 

How to make Cajun Mac and Cheese

Ingredients for Cajun mac and cheese

Get all of your ingredients together before starting. It’s a lot easier that way.

Step 1.

Prawns marinating in Cajun spices.

If using prawns, season them with the Cajun seasoning and set aside to marinate. This step is optional.

You can use shop bought cajun seasoning or make your own. I have a recipe for that you here. 

Step 2. – Preparing the macaroni

Cooked macaroni with butter

Cook the macaroni as per packet instructions. Drain and rinse and stir in butter so that the pasta doesn’t stick together. 

Step 3.

Cheese added to the macaroni

Add a handful of cheese to the pasta while it’s still hot and mix it in. 

Step 4.

Blended onion and garlic.

Blend the onion and garlic to a smooth paste.

Step 5.

Butter melted with spice blend and garlic and onion paste.

Step 6.

Cream, milk and sour cream added to the pan.

Stir in the cream, milk and sour cream and bring to a light simmer. Time to add that cheese!

Step 7.

Adding cheese to the pan

Add all of the cheese to the pan, one handful at a time. When you do this, it will still look quite soupy, so you want to stir continuously so that the cheese emulsifies into the sauce instead of becoming clumpy. 

Step 8.

Stirring macaroni into sauce.

Stir the cooked macaroni into the sauce. I usually add it slowly and to preference. 

Step 9.

cajun mac and cheese

Above is the Cajun mac and cheese with prawns. You can leave the prawns out if you like. Garnish with the spring onions (scallions) to serve.



Yield: 8 - 10

Cajun Mac and Cheese

cajun mac and cheese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 225g baby prawns or medium prawns chopped, deveined and peeled
  • 4 generous tbsp Cajun seasoning or good quality shop bought
  • 1kg (2 ¼ lbs.) dry macaroni
  • 720g (9 cups) grated sharp and/or medium Cheddar cheese
  • 240g (3 cups) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 115g (4oz) butter
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 425ml (1 1/2 cups) double cream
  • 250ml (1 cup) sour cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Salt to taste


  1. Place the prawns in a bowl and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. When boiling, pour in the macaroni and cook for about 15 minutes or until the texture is to your liking. Strain the macaroni and place it in a large bowl. Stir in 2 tbsp of the butter and about 3 large handfuls of the Cheddar cheese. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Place the onion and garlic in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Now melt the remaining butter in the same pot you used to cook the macaroni and add the remaining cajun spice blend. Stir to combine and then add the onion and garlic mixture. Allow this to sizzle for about two minutes.
  5. Pour in the milk, cream and sour cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cheese to this sauce one handful at a time while whisking constantly until you have added all the cheese.
  6. Simmer for about five minutes to thicken the sauce while continuing to whisk. Don't stop whisking! Reduce the heat a little and stir in the beaten egg yolks and prawns. Then slowly pour the prepared macaroni into the sauce, continuing to stir as you do.
  7. At first it might look like the macaroni is drowning in the sauce. No worries, you're on your way to cheesy, macaroni heaven. Once all of the macaroni is coated with that thick cheese sauce, turn off the heat and serve, garnished with the spring onions (scallions) and a little more cajun spice blend if you like.
  8. Recipe variation: When we make this recipe ahead of big parties, we find that it’s easiest to make the cheese and macaroni early, leaving out a little of the cheese. We only cook the pasta until al dente, before adding to the sauce. Then we pour it all into one or a few casserole dishes.
  9. We then place a pack of cheese crackers in a food processor until we had nothing but crumbs. To finish, dust the top of the macaroni with the cheese cracker crumbs and a bit of grated cheese.
  10. Cover the casserole dishes tightly with foil and place in the oven at 200c/400f for 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and allow to sit for ten more minutes, covered with the foil.
  11. Remove foil and dig in!


The calorie count and other nutritional information was added with an app. It may not be accurate.

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