Not For The Faint Of Heart Easter Macaroni And Cheese

easter_mac_cheese_5_mfbMy top 10 favorite things about Easter.
(in no particular order)

1. Pretty, pastel colors such as pale pink, green, yellow and blue. All the colors that remind us of Spring and new beginnings.

2. Little girls in dresses and curls, and little boys in their Sunday best with their shiny little shoes. This is before they go splashing through the mud puddles, not after.

3. Chocolate covered smiles on Easter morning.

4. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.

5.  Fluffy bunnies, fluffy chicks, fluffy lambs, and fluffy marshmallow eggs covered in chocolate.

easter_mac_cheese_collage6. The feeling of hope, peace, and family that is always associated with the Easter holiday.

7. Pie!  I don’t know why, but we always have pie. Coconut Cream Pie.

8. Decorating Easter eggs with the kids.  My own children are now “too old and too cool” to decorate eggs, so I have to adopt my friend’s kids for the day to come over and decorate eggs with me.  I don’t want to do it by myself because that’s just weird.

9. Easter paska bread with kielbassa and horseradish.

10.  Easter macaroni and cheese.

Here’s the deal with Easter macaroni and cheese.  I thought it was a Ukrainian dish passed down from “the old country”.  Apparently I was mistaken, since none of my friends that are Ukrainian, Polish, or Russian had ever heard of it. And now that I’ve done a little family research, I realize that a lot of my extended family has never heard of it either. What?  We’ve been eating it for thousands of years! Well, not thousands but, decades for sure. My Grandma made Easter macaroni and cheese every Easter while we were young.  Then my mom and my aunts continued to make it after my Grandma had passed away. And now I will try and make sure the tradition continues, at least for my branch of the family tree.  Hopefully, my cousins will pick the the rest of the slack.

easter_mac_cheese_collage_2Since my understanding of Easter macaroni and cheese being an ancient European recipe is completely wrong, I’ve come up with my own theory.  When Grandma and Grandpa lived on the farm, it was hard to get into town (not to mention expensive) to get groceries and ready to eat foods.  Therefore, with five children, a bunch of farm hands and other relatives to feed, Grandma had to be creative in her cooking, especially in the winter and spring before the garden was ready. She used what was on hand to make meals, and it had to be able to feed lots of hard-working people for very little money.  On the farm, there was always fresh eggs, milk and cream, flour, and cheese, so my theory is that she came up with this version of macaroni and cheese for all the reasons listed above.  Of course, Grandma made her noodles from scratch, but my mom and aunts adopted the egg noodle alternative. And I don’t have time to make noodles from scratch.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

This is not what most people would consider a traditional macaroni and cheese recipe. It looks different, it’s cooked differently, and it tastes different.  However, it is similar in the way that it is NOT healthy, it is NOT calorie wise, it is NOT for the faint of heart.  Which is probably the reason that we only make it once a year, at Easter time.  Thus it became known in our family as Easter macaroni.

It is distinct.  It is full of fat and calories and love and goodness.  It is delightfully delicious.  It is an Easter tradition, and it is one that I think our family would dearly miss were it not continued.

Easter Macaroni And Cheese

Prep Time: 24 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 large casserole or small roaster

I've had to scale this recipe way down because Grandma's recipe would feed a small nation and was originally made in large roasting pans and included quarts of cream. That's right, I said QUARTS! It is best made a day or two before you plan to serve it so it has time to set.


  • 2 packages egg noodles (340 g or 8 cups each), cooked al dente
  • 2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups old cheddar cheese, cut into cubes


Day 1

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove top. Add 2 packages of egg noodles and cook until al dente. Once cooked, drain and set aside.

Line a large casserole dish with aluminum foil. I use a 2-1/2 quart French White casserole dish. A small roaster works as well. Add enough egg noodles to loosely fill the casserole dish almost to the top. You may be able to fit all the egg noodles, but my casserole dish fit only 1-1/2 packages, so I put the remainder of the noodles into an additional small casserole dish.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, whipping cream, milk, salt, dry mustard, and brown sugar. Pour the entire mixture over the egg noodles. The liquid should come within about 1" from the top of the noodles. Add the old cheddar cheese cubes to the casserole dish and stir gently so some of the cheese gets incorporated throughout, as well as to the bottom of the dish. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil before baking.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, removing the lid for the last 20 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

Day 2

Remove the macaroni and cheese from the casserole dish by grabbing the edges of the aluminum foil and pulling the entire casserole out. Peel the aluminum foil from the bottom and sides and use a sharp knife to slice 1″ thick pieces. Cut each slice into pieces that are about 3″ long.

Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Add slices of macaroni and cheese to the frying pan and cook until lightly browned on each side and heated through. Lightly salt to taste.


Original Recipe by My Friend's Bakery 2013

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  1. Denise Rybuck says:

    I always enjoyed when your Mom would make this when we celebrated Easter with the Rybuck side of the family. It is truly delicious. Thanks for reminding me of this. I am not sure I am brave enough to make it though because i am scared that I might eat it all by myself.

    Keep posting great recipes Laura. You are an inspiration 😀


    • My Friend's Bakery says:

      In addition to this version, there is also a sweet version made with cinnamon and raisins that my Baba (other side of the family) made. I’ll have to dig up the recipe for that one too!

      • Goodzik says:

        Yes, this is an “old country” dish called Lokshyna. My Baba on my mom’s side made without raisins and cinnamon. My Baba on my dad’s side made with raisins and cinnamon. Now which do I make? LOL!

  2. Alana says:

    I’m working on making the cheese version at the moment….can’t wait to try it. We just discovered that the version my husbands grandmother used to make was in fact the sweet one with raisins. I don’t suppose you have that recipe available? I know it’s supposed to be for Easter, but we just do the Ukranian get together at Christmas, so have to make the best of it.
    Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    • My Friend's Bakery says:

      My Baba used to make the sweet one with raisins too. I’m going to look around and see if I can find the recipe. Baba is 101 years old now and doesn’t have the memory anymore to tell me how she made it, but I’m sure one of my aunts or other relatives must have it.

      • Alana says:

        It’s so sad that so many great recipes are lost because they aren’t ever written down! Hopefully you find it. When my husband’s Italian Nonna was still with us we tried to measure as she cooked a couple of times, but she would just move so fast and pour before we could stop her to measure. hahaha Maybe she wanted to be the only one to be able to make it that way!

      • My Friend's Bakery says:

        I agree that it is sad. In this world of instant food, sometimes you just need to take a step back in time and do it the way Grandma did.

  3. Elizabeth Andrushko says:

    I am also from Manitoba and yes the baked macaroni and cheese was a Ukrainian Easter dish, and yes there was also the sweet one with raisins and cinnamon. So this is not a made up dish. I loved this dish.

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