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Egyptian Baked Pasta aka Macarona Bèchamel

A favorite Egyptian baked pasta recipe, that is layered with spiced beef, cooked penne pasta,  topped with a creamy bèchamel sauce!

We grew up eating Macarona Bechamel (مكرونة بشاميل), it’s comforting, creamy, hearty, and great for a crowd.


Egyptian Macarona Bechamel

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  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk + 1/4 cup warmed until hot
  • 2 tsp kosher salt more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb cooked ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper, fresh garlic, cardamom, and a dash of cinnamon
  • 3/4 lb cooked penne pasta cooked al dente


To make the béchamel sauce:

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and then gradually whisk in the 6 cups of the hot milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Stir in the seasonings. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl add the cooked penne pasta. Add 3 cups of the béchamel and 1/4 cup milk. Stir until the sauce coats all the pasta. Add half the penne to a buttered baking dish. Add the cooked ground beef. Top with the remaining béchamel. Bake in a 13 x 9 baking pan for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown (you want to keep an eye on it the last 10 minutes so the top doesn't burn). Let cool slightly.


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