Go Back
+ servings
Baked macaroni and cheese in a glass baking dish with a portion scooped out

Baked Macaroni and Cheese - Spanish-Style

This savory and sweet baked macaroni and cheese, is like a main course version of the best cheese board ever. 
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 615kcal
Author Ann Otis


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • splash white wine or water
  • ¾ cup membrillo or quince or cranberry jam or jelly
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk whole or 2%
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • kosher salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
  • 2 ½ cups manchego cheese grated (or sharp cheddar or gruyere)
  • 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese grated
  • smoked Spanish Paprika


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until soft and browned, about 7 minutes. Add a splash of white wine or water and stir to scrape up the brown bits, until the liquid is evaporated.
  • Add the membrillo to the onions and stir to coat. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Spread the onion mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  • Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat. Cook the macaroni until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and set aside. 
  • While the macaroni is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk constantly until smooth for about 1 minute. 
  • Slowly whisk in the milk and heat, whisking constantly, until it starts to bubble. Keep cooking a couple of minutes longer, until it starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and ground mustard.
  • Stir in 2 cups of the manchego and all of the Parmesan, until melted and smooth, reserving ½ cup of manchego for the top. 
  • Pour the cheese sauce into the pot with macaroni and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Spread the macaroni evenly over the onions in the baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and a little paprika. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. 


Adapted from Madison Cowan


Calories: 615kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 620IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 722mg | Iron: 1.2mg