This salmon mac and cheese is real comfort food that you can easily make in 30 minutes.
Perfect for busy weeknights, this recipe is so simple to make from scratch. It features my version of a fail safe white sauce that makes life so easy and stress free.
If I'm being honest with you I had never really had mac and cheese until I got a fussy eater in the family. My eldest could just about tolerate pasta in a cheese sauce, so it was just called cheesy pasta in our house. In fact, it was the first thing I taught him how to make, using the cheat's method for a white sauce.
Nowadays, our family loves a pasta bake, so this salmon version is a real favourite. The salmon cooks in minutes, the sauce comes out perfectly every time and salmon and cheese go so well together too.
❤️ Why you will love this dish
- Ready in 30 minutes.
- Family friendly.
- Simple white sauce that you can use for lasagne or mornay dishes.
- Easy to vary and substitute the ingredients.
💙 Save this recipe for later
Did you know? When you see the 💙 on the right hand side you can bookmark this page, to save it for later or share it too.
- Milk - whole or semi skimmed milk. I find that the sauce is creamy enough to use semi skimmed as there will be cheese in it.
- Butter - salted or unsalted. If you use salted, as I usually do, please taste the sauce before adding more salt.
- Flour - plain or all purpose flour to thicken the sauce.
- Pasta - macaroni, normally small straight pieces are found in the UK and the US uses elbow macaroni.
- Cheese - mature Cheddar for the sauce and Parmesan for the topping. If you can, buy ungrated cheese, as as soon as it is grated it starts to lose its flavour and dries out.
- Mustard - I've used mustard powder as it balances out the cheese, but this is totally optional.
- Breadcrumbs - fresh breadcrumbs are best for the topping. Use some bread that is a few days old, cut off the crusts and blitz in a food processor.
- Salmon - fresh or frozen salmon fillets, (defrosted). This is the equivalent of 2 portions.
- Seasoning - salt and freshly ground black pepper. The quantities given are a guideline and the sauce should be seasoned to taste. This is especially important as the cheese will make the sauce slightly salty.
- small saucepan
- large saucepan
- box grater
- 4 oven proof dishes or 1 large dish
Place the salmon fillets in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat.
Cook the macaroni according to the pack instruction and then drain in a colander.
Leave the salmon in the water while you make the sauce. The fish will be cooking further in the oven so there is no need to overcook.
Make the sauce by putting the milk, flour and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Whisk continuously, as the butter melts and, as the sauce comes to a simmer it will thicken.
At this stage you have a basic white sauce which has so many uses such as a base for lasagne.
Turn the heat down, then add the seasoning, mustard and grated cheddar cheese and mix well.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Drain the fish and flake into large chunks. Gently mix together the macaroni, salmon and sauce and spoon into individual greased serving dishes or a large casserole dish.
Sprinkle over a mixture of Parmesan and breadcrumbs and bake at 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5 for about 15 minutes until golden.
🥗 Side Dishes
- Tomato and Onion Salad
- Cherry Tomato and Feta Salad Broad Bean Salad
- Mushroom Salad
- French Peas
- Cavolo Nero Kale
- Green Beans Almondine
- Roast Savoy Cabbage
- Pear and Rocket Salad
- Pea Salad
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Broad Bean Salad
- Courgette Salad
- Fresh salmon - use drained tinned salmon.
- Macaroni - use other pasta shapes such as conchigle or fusilli.
- Butter - use block margerine or other spread but keep in mind that very low fat spreads are mostly water and will not behave in the same way.
- Seafood - use prawns (shrimp), cod, pollack, hake or any other fish combination.
- Luxury - use scallops, lobster or crab meat.
- Vegetables - add cooked peas, broad beans, asparagus or green beans.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and refrigerate the salmon mac and cheese for up to 3 days.
- Freezer - place in sealed bags and refrigerate for up to a month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
- Reheat - reheat at 50% power in the microwate or cover with foil and place in the oven at 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4 until hot.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Prepare the salmon mac and cheese up to the oven stage then cool and leave in the fridge until your ready to heat and serve.
- Alternatively, freeze before the oven stage for up to a month.
More salmon recipes
- Salmon and Broccoli Quiche
- Smoked Salmon Canapes
- Salmon meunière
- Smoked Salmon and Avocado Starter
- Salmon Gravlax
- Salmon Tartines
- Baked Salmon with Lemon and Butter
- Smoked Salmon Pâté
Salmon Mac and Cheese
- small saucepan
- Large saucepan
- box grater
- 4 oven proof dishes or 1 large dish
- 550 ml milk
- 320 g macaroni
- 30 g butter
- 30 g plain flour
- 160 g strong cheddar grated
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder optional
- 50 g Parmesan grated
- 50 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 220 g salmon lightly smoked
- Cook the macaroni according to the pack instructions, about 10 minutes then drain.
- Place the salmon in a shallow pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then turn off the heat. Leave for 5 minutes then drain and flake into large chunks.
- Put the milk, butter and flour in a saucepan over a medium heat and whisk continuously until thickened then reduce the heat and stir in the cheese, seasoning and mustard.
- Gently combine the pasta with the salmon and sauce and spoon into 4 greased oven proof dishes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 190 C for 15 minutes until golden.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
🍲 Food Safety
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
Do you have a question or did you make the recipe? Please leave a rating as it helps other readers to discover this dish. Your name and email are required to avoid spam comments; they are never used for any purpose or shared with third parties.
However, due to spam comments, I do have to moderate each one, so don't worry if you cannot see your comment immediately. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can.