Culinary SOS: Lawry’s baked macaroni and cheese

The macaroni and cheese dish at Lawry's Carvery is baked with lots of cheddar. Recipe
The macaroni and cheese dish at Lawry’s Carvery is baked with lots of cheddar. Recipe
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: I have been to Lawry’s Carvery many times. I wish I knew how to make their baked macaroni and cheese. I hope you can acquire this recipe. They have many of their recipes on the website, but the mac ‘n’ cheese is not on it.

Arlene Rebuyon

Rancho Santa Margarita

Dear Arlene: Lawry’s was happy to share its take on this classic comfort food, which we’ve adapted below. This makes a lot of mac ‘n’ cheese, so it’s perfect for a summertime get-together.


Lawry’s Carvery baked macaroni and cheese

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 12 to 16

Note: Adapted from Lawry’s Carvery.

1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 large bay leaf

4 3/4 cups milk


1 cup (2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon butter, diced

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper


4 3/4 cups plus 1½ cups grated cheddar cheese, divided

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 pounds penne pasta

1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese


1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Place the peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf in a small piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter, and tie together to make a sachet. In a large saucepan, place the milk and sachet and bring to a simmer over low heat, careful not to boil. Remove from heat.

3. While the milk is heating, in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat, careful not to brown. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to form a roux. Stir the roux occasionally for 5 minutes, watching that it does not stick to the base of the pot.

4. Slowly whisk in one-fourth of the milk to form a paste. Slowly whisk in the rest of the milk and the sachet, and season with the 2 teaspoons salt and cayenne pepper. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


5. Remove from heat and stir in 4¾ cups cheese and cream until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth. This makes a scant 2 quarts cheese sauce. Remove and discard the sachet, and set aside.

6. While the cheese sauce is cooking, make the pasta. In the large pot of salted boiling water, cook the penne to very al dente, about 7 minutes (the pasta will continue cooking as it bakes). Drain the pasta and cool under running water.

7. Place the pasta in a large bowl, and toss with the cheese sauce. Pour the pasta and cheese sauce into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle over the remaining 1½ cups cheddar cheese and the parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese topping is melted and lightly colored, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Each of 16 servings: 657 calories; 25 grams protein; 52 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 39 grams fat; 24 grams saturated fat; 117 mg cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 514 mg sodium.