If you’re looking for the best Bahamian macaroni recipe in the world, and dare I say, the galaxy, you’ve come to the right place. This recipe is 100% authentic, cheesy, creamy and full of flavour.
Not only is macaroni the best comfort food, but in The Bahamas, it’s the ultimate side dish. It’s nearly impossible to go to into a Bahamian restaurant and not see macaroni (Bahamians don’t say macaroni and cheese) on the menu.
Macaroni was a staple in my household when I was growing up. No Sunday meal was complete without my mother making a delicious pan. Even her sisters would ask her to make a pan for them. But, I ain’t calling no names because I ain’t trying to get left out of the will.
This week, I decided to upload a recipe because I got tired of seeing bullshit recipes online claiming to be authentic Bahamian recipes. You know, the ones calling for breadcrumbs, flour or tomatoes. #JesusWept
Authentic Bahamian macaroni is simple, full of herbs and heavy on the flavour. It doesn’t require expensive, hard-to-find cheeses to make this meal delicious. Just follow the recipe below and you will be straight, as Bahamians say.
What that said, let’s go.
Dis What You Ga Need
Many of you should have these ingredients already in your house.
- 1 lb dried Elbow macaroni (this is my personal favourite)
- 1 lb 8oz of mild cheddar cheese (we like to buy the block and grate it, but you can also buy the shredded cheese to cut back on time. Bahamians just like doing things the hard way.)
- 1 can of Carnation evaporated milk (12 oz). Go to any food store or international food market and you should find it.
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- Milk (regular whole milk)
- Salt (Buy Morton if you can find it. It supports Bahamian jobs)
- Black pepper
- Seasoned salt
- Goat pepper (also known as habaneros) You can also use bird pepper.
- 2-3 eggs
- 1 small onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 yellow or red bell pepper
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 celery stalk
Step-By-Step Guide To Making Bahamian Macaroni
Trust me, dis real easy. Just follow the steps. I like to start with the prep work, first before boiling my macaroni
- Cut up your celery stalk, a quarter to half an onion and a quarter to half of green and red bell pepper. Make sure you mince these items because there’s nothing worse than biting into huge chunks of vegetables. If you cut a quarter size of these items and feel they look too scanty, then go to a half.
- Cut up one goat pepper. I choose to use a quarter size of pepper, because I don’t like too much heat in my macaroni. But, you can use the entire goat pepper. It won’t be ridiculously hot, I promise. Just don’t go crazy and cut up two or three goat peppers. I find the pepper gives the macaroni flavour.
- Grate your cheese, if you’re not using pre-shredded cheese. Set aside in a bowl.
- Start boiling three cups of water in a pot. While the water is heating up, crack three eggs in a bowl and start whisking. Set aside.
- After your pot has come to a rolling boil, add your pound of macaroni pasta along with the herbs/vegetables/goat pepper you cut up. Season your pot with salt, black pepper, seasoned salt, 1 tablespoon of butter. Do a teaspoon of each just to start. The vegetables will infuse into the pasta. (Season to taste. I am giving you permission to veer off from my recipe. Everyone’s palate is different.)
- Let the pot boil for 5 to 7 minutes. That will ensure the pasta is al dente and the herbs have infused.
- Sample the pasta to make sure it’s not too hard or too soft. Once done, cut off your stove.
- Turn your oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour off the water in a strainer, but don’t lose the herbs. You will need them. DO NOT rinse your pasta under any circumstances. You need the starch to help bind the dish.
- Return the macaroni to the pot. Allow it to cool for about 3 minutes. You want it hot enough to melt the cheese you’re about to add, but not so hot that the milk and cream you will add will curdle.
- Add 70% of the cheese to the macaroni. Mix in some more seasoned salt, black pepper, a tiny bit of salt, red pepper flakes and an entire can of Carnation cream. If the mixture is too stiff, start adding a half a cup of milk at a time until it’s loose and creamy, but NOT WATERY. The cheese should be melting at this point. If it doesn’t, turn your stove on low and keep mixing. Make sure to taste your macaroni along the way. This is the last chance you will have to taste it before you add your eggs.
- Add in your three eggs, but before you do that, make sure your macaroni is not too too hot because if it is, the egg may start cooking and YOU DO NOT WANT THAT. So, make sure your stove is off. Once the eggs are in the pot, do NOT taste the mixture. You could get salmonella poisoning.
- Grease your baking dish with the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Use your hands, if necessary. If you need more butter to coat the sides, proceed. Pour your macaroni mixture into the baking dish, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different, so you have to keep an eye on the macaroni. You want the cheese to melt, bubble and be golden brown.
- Let your macaroni rest for about 20 minutes. Cut in squares and enjoy.
Bahamian Macaroni Is Simple And Delicious
The beauty in this recipe is its simplicity. Bahamian macaroni doesn’t require fancy cheeses, breadcrumbs or any of that foolishness. It is tasty all on its own.
Please note that I don’t particularly like giving out measurements for the seasonings because everyone’s palate is different and some people have dietary restrictions. So, my best advice is to season to taste. If it tastes bland in the pot while you’re adding the ingredients, it will be very bland once it’s done.
If it tastes super salty in the pot, it will be super salty when done baking. So, season accordingly.
Enjoy your macaroni with some baked chicken, peas n rice, cole slaw and plantain. That pairing makes a wonderful Sunday meal.
Did You Try This Recipe?
Did you try this? If so, please be sure to leave me a review down below and tag me @thisbahamiangyal on Instagram and Facebook. I would love to see how your macaroni turned out!
This Bahamian Gyal