Macaroni and cheese, also called mac and cheese or mac n cheese in American and Canadian English, macaroni cheese in the United Kingdom is a dish of English origin, consisting of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce, most commonly cheddar. It can also incorporate other ingredients, such as breadcrumbs, meat, and vegetables.
Traditional macaroni and cheese is a casserole baked in the oven; however, it may be prepared in a saucepan on the stove or using a packaged mix. The cheese is often first incorporated into a Bechamel sauce to create a Mornay sauce, which is then added to the pasta. In the United States, it is considered comfort food.
Macaroni and cheese were brought to Canada by British immigrants coming from other parts of the British Empire. Macaroni and cheese recipes have been attested in Canada since at least Modern Practical Cookery in 1845, which suggests a puff pastry lining (suggesting upper-class refinement); a sauce of cream, egg yolks, mace, and mustard; and grated Parmesan or Cheshire cheese on top. Canadian Cheddar cheese was also becoming popular and was likely also used during that era.
Macaroni and cheese are very popular in modern-day Canada. Kraft Dinner is the most popular brand of packaged macaroni and cheese. Sasha Chapman, writing in The Walrus, considered it to be Canada's national dish, ahead of poutine.