This homemade version of the noodle favorite will make you forget about the boxed orange variety. A sauce made with three kinds of cheeses and a crunchy breadcrumb topping really separate this mac and cheese from its store-bought counterparts.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 10 mini (1 cup) pie plates or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

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  • Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter is bubbling. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

  • Gradually pour warm milk into butter mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 cups cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere, 1 cup fontina, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, and transfer pasta to cheese sauce. Stir to coat. Divide mixture among mini pie plates or transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining cup cheddar, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and 1/2 cup fontina over top, and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese is melted and pasta is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Reviews (2)

168 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 41
  • 4 star values: 60
  • 3 star values: 44
  • 2 star values: 18
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
11/03/2019
I make this repeatedly as my go-to Mac & Cheese recipe. I make it a bit spicier (add flavor or it will come out bland) by using Vindaloo (an Indian spice mix that I purchase). And remember you need to really add the salt and pepper here without going light on it as otherwise again way too bland. I use the 3 cheese mix and really love the combo of these cheeses. I also use 1 cup less of milk. This is even better the second day after it sits in the fridge overnight and you reheat it. I always get rave reviews from family & friends when I serve this version.
Rating: 5 stars
11/05/2011
Love, Love, Love this recipe!! It's so yummy you will toss away all other mac & cheese recipes! Good enough to serve to the snobbiest people in your life :) Enjoy!