This creamy macaroni gratin is easy to make and due to the various cheeses it is rich, decadent and so so good. The walnuts add a bit of crunch to it as well.

macaroni gratin with walnuts

Macaroni gratin

This is one of those easy recipes that get better, every time I make it. The first time I made it must have been more than 10 years ago. I had seen a recipe for macaroni gratin somewhere and instantly wanted to make something similar. I love anything with cheese and this one is pretty classic. It has blue cheese, old cheese and some grana padano inside. But feel free to vary with whatever cheese you like.

I do like an aged cheese more than I like the creamy ones. And especially here you do want the creaminess from the gorgonzola but I like to add some punch to it by using the old cheese as well. Grana padano can be replaced by parmiggian cheese. For some reason the store didn’t have any when I was there. Next time I’ll be making this with pecorino. I think that will give a really good extra flavor to it as well.

Al dente

Most important when making the macaroni gratin is to make sure you do not overcook the pasta. That’s a sin in any kind of recipe, but here the pasta will continue to cook somewhat in the oven. So you can take it out one or two minutes before the packaging says it should be done. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Cheese sauce

Next it is time to make the cheese sauce for the macaroni gratin. I added some mushrooms as well, to make it at least a little bit healthier, but if you want more veggies (and you should add those here) you can serve it alongside a big green salad.

For the cheese sauce it is not a classic bechamel base as you leave out the flour in this macaroni gratin. You basically melt the butter and than immediately add all the cheeses and the cream. Leave it all to melt slowly (don’t burn it!) and once melted and smooth, you add the walnuts and you pour it over the macaroni. Add the mushrooms, mix it all together and place in an ovendish.

Macaroni gratin

Add extra cheese

Can you ever have enough cheese? Noooo! Or at least that is my opinion but of course for that delicious crust on the top you’ll want to add some additional grated cheese on top. Now it’s time to place it in the oven until it is bubbly and golden. Since everything inside of the macaroni gratin is already cooked, the only thing you want is to make the top golden brown.

Are you a fan of pasta? Check the below recipes as well:

macaroni gratin with walnuts

Macaroni gratin with walnuts

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Delicious and creamy; this macaroni gratin has it all!
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes

2 people


  • 125 gr macaroni
  • 250 g chestnut mushrooms
  • 40 gr gorgonzola
  • 40 gr Grana Padano grated
  • 50 gr old cheese
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 40 gr walnuts


  • Preheat the oven at 200˚C (400˚F)
  • Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions, but make sure it is still al dente. It will cook a little bit further in the oven. Rinse under cold water and set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet with some butter or olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until golden. Make sure most of the moisture is evaporated.
  • In a pan heat the butter on low heat and once melted add the mascarpone, cream, gorgonzola, grana padano and half of the old cheese. Stir until it is all melted nicely together and forms a thick creamy texture. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Chop the walnuts finely and add to the cream.
  • Add the pasta and mushrooms and mix well. Put the mixture into an oven dish. Add the remaining cheese on top and put in the oven.
  • After about 15 minutes check if the top is nice and brown. If not you can put the grill on for a short while or just wait until it is nice and golden.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 930kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 792mg | Potassium: 926mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1688IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 630mg | Iron: 2mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist