Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dreamy Four Cheese Mac & Cheese

Lately I've been dreaming about mac & cheese. A full-fat, luscious and creamy version that oozes cheese with every bite.

So last weekend I finally made my version of dream mac & cheese. It was seriously so good! While I really like my healthier Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese recipe, this one is perfect for when you're craving something super rich.

One thing to note is that I recommend freshly grating all of the cheese and not using pre-shredded varieties. This will help keep your mac & cheese creamier!


Dreamy Four-Cheese Mac & Cheese

6 oz elbow macaroni
4 Tbsp butter + extra to butter the casserole dish
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup half & half
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
4 oz colby jack cheese, grated
4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated (Reserve for casserole topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a medium casserole dish (I used a 9x7 inch dish but a 9x9 square dish would also work).

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook elbow macaroni. Remove from heat and drain when almost al dente. You want the noodles to be slightly undercooked.

In a separate large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and combine then slowly whisk in half & half and whole milk. Stir frequently so no lumps form. Continue to cook until sauce thickens - about 3-5 minutes - then season with ground mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

After the sauce is thickened and seasoned, it's time to stir in the cheese. Slowly stir in cheeses one at a time. Make sure each is combined into the sauce before adding the next. Again, you want to avoid a lumpy sauce.

Once the cheese sauce is ready, add cooked macaroni noodles and stir until well coated. Add the mixture to the prepared casserole dish, top with remaining cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tell me: What cheese(s) are in your dream mac & cheese?

- ST

10 comments:

  1. I like Manchego with Monterrey Jack. Homemade mac&cheese is so much better than boxed! yum.

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    1. Yum! I love Manchego cheese so will definitely have to try it in mac&cheese. Sounds to die for :)

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  2. DROOLING! Mac n cheese is my kryptonite. I just love it. Cheddar and pepper jack are my favs.. and you've already got those in there!

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    1. I love it, too :) And there are so many ways to prepare it that it's impossible to get tired of it!

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  3. I could literally live on this stuff. Well I could, but if I did I would probably gain 50 pounds a year, either way YUM!
    I am going to have to try this, this sounds so much better than out of a box! Your recipe sold me with the pepper jack, I have never had that in a mac and cheese before, sounds fabulous!!!

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    1. I hadn't had it with pepper jack before either but it's a tasty addition. If you really like pepper jack you could even increase the amount you use and cut back on one of the other cheeses!

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  4. oh my I love mac & cheese! i had no idea shredding the cheese vs buying the pre-packaged versions makes it creamier - good tip. i'll also have to try your spinach and artichoke one as well.

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    1. I didn't realize it either until I did some internet research before making this mac & cheese. I totes noticed a difference. Although it adds an extra step I'll definitely be shredded my own cheese from now on - at least for the mac & cheese recipes!

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  5. Oh gosh, I'm not picky about my cheese. I'll take ANY kind of mac & cheese! This looks delicious!

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    1. I'm the same - I just like cheese :) But it is fun thinking about all the possible flavor combinations!

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