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Makaronilaatikko | Finnish Pasta Casserole

Introduction & method

Makaronilaatikko is probably the most popular meal in Finland. It features macaroni, minced meat and cheese baked in eggy milk. That's it. Astoundingly simple and surprisingly tasty. Move over mac and cheese, you have a rival.

Makaronilaatikko | Finnish Pasta Casserole Recipe

Cook the Pasta

You need to use small pasta shapes - elbow macaroni, fusili or penne are good. Avoid big shapes like shells or tubes, and don't use long pasta like spaghetti or tagliatelle. Bring a pan of salted water to a rolling boil and put the pasta in. Cook it for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. When cooked, drain and set aside.

Prep Things

The onion needs to be peeled and diced small. Grate the cheese.

Cook Things

Heat your oven to 200°C (392°F) fan, 220°C (428°F) conventional, gas 7. To a large frying pan on medium heat, add a good glug of rapeseed oil and when it's hot, add the onion. Stir to get the onion coated all over and cook for about five minutes until softened and slightly browned. Now add the minced beef and break it up and shove it around the pan so it gets browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish. In a large bowl, break the eggs into the milk and whisk them together with half of the cheese. Pour this mixture over the meat and pasta, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

To Serve

Allow the makaronilaatikko to cool down for at least 10 minutes before serving. A big dollop of ketchup is mandatory.


Ingredients & Info

 400 grams minced beef
 1 medium onion
 3 eggs
 500 ml milk
 100 grams cheese - cheddar or similar
  salt & pepper

Water for boiling pasta, rapeseed (canola) oil for sautéeing, tomato ketchup to serve

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 5 minutes.
Cooling time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour.
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes.