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Macaroni Pie

Anne Byrn's Macaroni Pie

Serves: 6 to 8

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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces thin spaghetti
4 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar or cheddar-Monterey Jack blend cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, if desired


Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 2-quart casserole. Place the dish in the oven to melt while the oven heats. Once melted, remove the dish from the oven and turn to coat the bottom and sides of the pan with butter.

Break the spaghetti into thirds, making each piece about 3 inches long. Set aside. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Season with salt. Stir in the spaghetti, and continue to stir until the water comes back to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, and cook until al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a colander. Add the remaining butter to the now-empty pot, and toss the spaghetti to coat in the butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Whisk in the mustard and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Place half of the spaghetti in the buttered casserole. Ladle on half of the egg and mixture mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheddar over the top. Repeat, adding the remaining spaghetti to the dish, ladling in the rest of the egg and milk mixture, and top with the remaining cheddar and all of the Parmesan.

Bake until the custard is set, 30 to 35 minutes. If desired, turn on the broiler, and lightly brown the top, about 30 seconds. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve while warm.

Photo: Danielle Atkins

About the recipe

For Anne Byrn's version of old-fashioned macaroni pie, she created a recipe for this famous dish that is quick and easy but also intensely flavored. Feel free to have fun with this recipe. You could go crazy and season the pasta with some pressed fresh garlic or dried oregano. And should the spirit move you to add some meat to this recipe, what about chopped prosciutto or minced country ham? Sprinkle that on between the layers of pasta, custard, and good Parmesan cheese. To pick up the flavors at the end, shower the top with minced fresh oregano or parsley and add a big grind of black pepper.