Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese with three cheeses! That’s thrice the cheesy flavor for thrice the mac and cheese goodness. For this recipe, I’ve used sharp Cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan. Cheddar for the bite (and the classic color) with Gouda for extra creaminess and some Parmesan for extra saltiness. Swap out Parmesan for blue cheese if you like blue cheese, and swap out Gouda for mozzarella or queso quesadilla or another good melting cheese. The end goal here is mac and cheese with an unsurpassed cheesiness, creaminess, and also one that makes dramatic cheese strings when you serve it and eat it.
This recipe is a variation on the simple baked macaroni and cheese recipe from my Learn to Cook book. You might also like this stovetop green chili macaroni and cheese recipe; it’s a little quicker because no baking is required. The upside of this baked mac and cheese, though, is that you can make it a day or three ahead of time, plop into the casserole, cover and refrigerate, then bake it when you’re ready. This makes it an ideal holiday side dish if you’ve taken on the Herculean task of cooking everything yourself. Or if you’re busy. Or just lazy. 😉
This recipe will serve 8-10 as a side dish, or 4 hungry eaters as a main dish. When serving mac and cheese on its own, I like to serve it with buttered peas and carrots.
Mac and Cheese Video How-to
Mac and Cheese Recipe – Printable!Print
Mac and Cheese
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 8
- 2 cups (1/2 pound) small elbow macaroni or small shells
- 1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
- 1 cup grated Cheddar, divided
- 1 cup grated Gouda
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Put on a quart or so of water to boil for the noodles. Salt it well, cover, and place on high heat. Set oven to preheat to 375ºF and grease a 1 1/2 or 2 quart baking dish.
- Make a roux in a deep skillet by melting butter, then whisking in flour until a smooth paste forms. Add mustard, salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat for about 60 seconds until you start to smell the flour toasting.
- Whisk in half the milk and continue whisking until smooth. Add remaining milk and combine. Continue stirring, making sure to get the corners of the pot, until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses, reserving 1/4 cup Cheddar for topping. Set aside.
- By now the water should be boiling. Add the noodles and boil for only 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Drain and add the noodles to the cheese sauce.
- Once coated, spread into your greased pan. (*STOP here if making ahead. Cool. Cover and refrigerate. Add crumbs before baking.)
- Sprinkle top with bread crumbs and reserved 1/4 cup Cheddar
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown. (Bake 30-40 minutes if starting with a refrigerated casserole)
- Calories: 323
- Sugar: 4.5
- Fat: 11.7
- Carbohydrates: 37
- Protein: 17