Pasta bechamel - Egyptian style macaroni béchamel

Macaroni bechamel recipe

Egyptian macaroni bechamel is a delicious and hearty comfort food that has become a staple in Egyptian cuisine. This dish is a variation of the Italian pasta al forno, but with a unique Egyptian twist. It consists of layers of cooked macaroni noodles, minced beef, and a creamy bechamel sauce, all baked to perfection.

Pasta bechamel recipe

Pasta bechamel - Egyptian style macaroni béchamel.

The origin of pasta bechamel dish is unclear, but it is believed to have been introduced to Egypt during the British colonial period. Egyptians quickly adopted the dish and made it their own by adding their own flavors and ingredients.


Here are the ingredients which consist of pasta, minced meat and the béchamel sauce. You can use any kind of pasta but this dish, It is familiar of using the penne pasta.

  • 500G of penne pasta.
  • 2 liters of water.
  • 1 kilo to 750G of minced meat.
  • One onion.
  • One small carrot.
  • Half of a bell pepper.
  • Salt. We use salt for seasoning the water of boiling the pasta, for seasoning the minced meat, and for seasoning the béchamel be careful of using the salt and put in your mind to use the perfect amount of salt to give the perfect flavor for each layer.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and coriander.
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste(optional).
  • 4 tbsp of all-purpose flour.
  • 1 liter of whole fat milk.
  • 1 tbsp of butter.
  • A pinch of black or white pepper and salt for seasoning the bechamel sauce.

People prefer using the white pepper in the bechamel sauce to keep on the very bright  white color.
So you can use any kind of ground pepper you prefer. Also you can use any additional vegetables in cooking the minced meat according to your desire.


By following the upcoming directions you will get very delicious pasta dish, just follow this steps and enjoy.

  1. First boil the penne pasta in the 2 liters of water with one tbsp of salt until it is about 75% cooked.
  2. In the food processor chop the onion, the carrot and the pepper.
  3. Cook the minced meat, in a pan on medium heat, add the minced meat stir it until its color is changed , add the chopped onion, carrots and pepper.
  4. Add salt and spice for seasoning the meat, you can add tomato paste if you like that, it is optional.
  5. keep the minced meat on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.
  6. To make the bechamel sauce, butter is melted in a saucepan and mixed with flour to create a roux. Milk is slowly added to the roux while constantly stirring until a creamy sauce is formed. The bechamel sauce is then seasoned with salt, and black or white pepper to give it a rich and flavorful taste, people like to use white pepper in the bechamel sauce to not change its color.
  7. In an oven tray put a slight layer of bechamel, then the half amount of the penne pasta, add a ladle of bechamel sauce over the pasta, then add the cooked minced meat, the rest amount of the pasta.
  8. Pour the rest of bechamel sauce on the top of the pasta.
  9. It is optional to add any preferable cheese on the top, sometimes people use egg wash to give color. But here , I didn't use any additions on the top.
  10. Once all the layers are assembled, the dish is baked in the oven until the top is golden brown and the bechamel sauce is bubbly. Egyptian macaroni bechamel is usually served hot with a side of salad or any kind of soup.
To save time start with cooking the minced meat, just you cover it, start to boil the pasta meanwhile making the bechamel sauce. So you will finish all the steps in maximum 15-20 minutes. Then collect your dish in layers to bake it in the oven.

The origins of pasta béchamel

This dish is a favorite among Egyptians and is commonly served at family gatherings, especially during Ramadan when families break their fast together. It is also a popular street food and can be found in many local restaurants and food stands.

In recent years, Egyptian macaroni bechamel has gained popularity in other Middle Eastern countries and is often featured in cookbooks and food blogs. Its rich and comforting flavor is sure to satisfy any pasta lover's cravings.

In conclusion, Egyptian macaroni bechamel is a delicious and hearty dish that has become an integral part of Egyptian cuisine. Its unique combination of flavors and ingredients has made it a favorite among Egyptians and has even gained popularity in other Middle Eastern countries. If you haven't tried it yet, be sure to give it a taste.


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