Macaroni Mushroom Toss

cheesecoverThis is from Make a Meal of Cheese, published in 1973 by the Cheese Information Service (no,  really, it’s a thing). The introduction briefly outlines the history of cheese and describes a few UK specialities such as Stilton, Cheshire, Wensleydale, Derby, Dunlop, Caerphilly etc.  Ignoring, as this book does, the wealth of foreign cheeses, it was with some surprise I read the following ‘All the cheese referred to in the recipes is of the hard-pressed type, usually Cheddar, because this variety is most suitable for use in cooked dishes’. C’mon! A cheese cookbook where they only use Cheddar? This is demented. So it was with some trepidation that I browsed the recipes, and rightly so. I would like to add at this point that I love cheese, and will eat it in many divers, varied and challenging contexts. Make a Meal of Cheese goes too far. Perhaps at a later date I will be brave enough to try the Somerset Cake – a sponge cake with a raspberry jam and grated cheddar filling, but right now just reading this recipe destroys any appetite I may have. There’s also Savoury Welsh Surprise (anyone who’s thinking this might be one that features a Welsh cheese rather than Cheddar must steel themselves for disappointment). This dish is leeks rolled in ham, baked in a cheddar sauce. Horrifyingly this recipe ends with this tip: For a change, try substituting bananas for the cooked leeks. An exciting combination.  Dangerously exciting, if you ask me.

So, to the Toss. Obviously the name was hugely influential in my decision to cook this, and indeed it has been that joke that keeps on giving.

Macaroni Mushroom Toss

6-8oz macaroni

3oz butter

8oz button mushrooms

2 onions (chopped)

1.5oz plain flour

3/4 pint milk

Salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

8oz Cheddar cheese (grated)

1 Preheat oven – Mark 8, 450°F

2 Cook macaroni, according to direction on the pack

3 Melt 1.5oz butter in a saucepan. Add mushrooms and fry until lightly browned. Remove from pan

4 Fry onions and cook until tender. Add mushrooms and macaroni

5 Place remaining butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan. Heat, whisking continuously, until the sauce thickens. Stir in most of the cheese.

6 Add sauce to macaroni mixture. Place in a buttered 2-pint ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.


  • Nice to have a recipe with numbered steps – this was very easy to follow
  • Why no celsius temperature? I had to get my minion to Google the conversion.
  • I’ve been using Trex instead of butter, to use up my fat stores a little.


toss1(The picture I’ve taken really doesn’t do it justice, sorry about that)

This was really tasty – basically macaroni cheese with mushrooms added. The finished dish looked very unlike the picture in the book (see below), partly because I used a shallower longer baking dish, but the picture looks much runnier than mine ever would have. What I produced was quite solid.  I would definitely cook this again, my only qualifier would be to increase the Worcestershire/ mustard element, to give it a bit of a kick.

tossed by Alix



5 responses to “Macaroni Mushroom Toss

  1. Love the illustrations, even if the content is cheddaronormist.

    The photo looks like it was taken pre-baking – if I didn’t know I would think it was French onion soup. I only really like minced mushrooms, but I sometimes do the above using bacon and the cheese sauce MUST BE THICK so this sounds like a win for mushroom lovers.

    2 cheese recipes which I will try one day:

    a) Apple cake with lancashire cheese crumbled into it.

    b) Apple pie with cheese pastry crust.

    Also, you must know: ‘Apple pie without cheese is a like a kiss without a squeeze’? No? I am not making this up!

  2. I got quite excited about this then remembered that they don’t have cheddar here. Sheise.

  3. Apple and cheese is one thing, a noble noble thing, yes, but it is nowhere near cheddar+banana or cheddar+raspberry jaaaam. It occurs to me now that I am so repelled by the above concepts that I want to make them and see just how gross they are.

    Abi, can we send you cheddar? Or is it outlawed?

  4. ‘Banana wrapped in ham, covered in cheese sauce’ = Freudian nightmare au gratin.

  5. I have this book too! I’m going to make the cheddar curry. Have you seen the ‘cheese loaf’? I think it might be the least appetising picture ever, and I include the picture of the chocolate cakes i made where the chocolate icing just looks like dog poo. Got to be careful with brown icing.