Four Cheese Mac & Cheese 🧀

I’m a big fan of classic comfort food and what’s more comforting than Four Cheese Mac and Cheese? 🧀 This recipe features sharp cheddar, goat cheese, Parmesan and asiago cheeses, but you can sub with your favorite cheeses — cream cheese is great in place of goat cheese, gruyere or gouda are wonderfully nutty, mozzarella is also good but sometimes a bit bland — experiment with your favorite varieties. This dish is creamy, indulgent and perfect for a weeknight dinner. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup of AP flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic or garlic powder — 2 tsps if using fresh and make sure it’s finely minced 
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded – I prefer sharp cheddar but you can use any strength you like 
  • 1 + 2 tablespoons cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup of goat cheese — I like to use garlic and herb flavored but plain is fine. You can also sub cream cheese
  • 1 quart of whole milk (or 4-5 cups) — it’s important that you use whole milk for this. If you only have skim milk, then the sauce might be a bit thin so you’ll need a thicker roux
  • 1-2 lbs of your favorite pasta shape

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and add big pinch of salt (this will season the noodles)
  • Add the pasta and boil until al dente (about 6-7 minutes) — give it a taste and it should still be firm but a soft chew. Don’t worry if you think it’s underdone since it will cook again in the oven
  • In a large saucepan or pot over a medium flame, add the butter and melt
  • Once the butter is melted, add the flour and start to stir until the butter and flour become one homegenous almost paste-like mixture
  • Cook for at least 5-6 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds so it doesn’t burn, then add your salt and pepper
Bechamel Sauce
  • While whisking, slowly add the milk — make sure the roux is completely incorporated and a smooth white sauce (also known as a bechamel) will form. This is one of the 5 mother sauces in classic French cooking. Once we add cheese it becomes a Mornay sauce
Season, season, season
  • Once the sauce has come together, add the nutmeg, dried mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic and bring to a simmer
  • Once the sauce is continuously simmering, add the Parmesan or Romano cheese and stir well
Add all the cheeses!
  • Once the Parmesan is incorporated, start adding the rest of the cheeses a handful at a time and stirring to incorporate each time — don’t add a new handful until the precious one has melted into the sauce
Bechamel becomes Mornay sauce!
  • Once the last of the cheese has been melted into the sauce, let it cook for another few minutes as it settles then turn the heat off
Add the pasta
  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir so every noodle is coated in cheesy goodness— resist the urge to eat the whole pot! 😉 
Cheesy goodness!
  • Add the cheese noodles to a greased 13×9 dish and flatten with your stirring spoon
Ready to Bake!
  • Mix the remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs and sprinkle all over the top of the mac and cheese dish
  • Bake at 375 for at 25-30 minutes or until the crust gets golden brown

Enjoy with a simple green salad for a delicious midweek dinner or as a side. Yum!

Tip: want to make this dish healthier? Add some broccoli or spinach to the cheesy noodle mixture. Mmm 😋

Four Cheese Mac & Cheese

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