Creamy Mac and Cheese

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Ah, mac and cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food that has won the hearts of many across the globe.

Whether you’re a child or an adult, the allure of creamy, cheesy pasta is hard to resist.

Our “Best Mac and Cheese Recipe,” also known as “Gruyère and Cheddar Macaroni,” has been carefully tailored to offer a taste that’s unmatched, making it a culinary experience worth savoring.

The combination of the sharp, nutty flavor of Gruyère with the rich, creamy cheddar transforms a simple dish into an unforgettable classic.

This is the stovetop mac and cheese recipe you’ve been searching for – it’s the ultimate comfort food redefined.

Dive into the creamy depths of Gruyère and Cheddar Macaroni, where every bite promises a symphony of flavors.

Bowl of creamy mac and cheese topped with golden melted Gruyère and Cheddar, garnished with a sprinkle of parsley showcasing a white marble countertop.

What Makes This Mac and Cheese Recipe So Good

Quick and Easy: Even if you’re not a seasoned chef, this recipe is straightforward and fuss-free. With clear steps and common ingredients, it’s a breeze to prepare.

Perfect for Busy Weeknights: After a long day, the last thing you want is a complicated dinner process. This dish is your weeknight savior, ready to comfort you in record time.

Family-Friendly: A family favorite pleasing picky eaters. Picky eaters in the house? No problem. This recipe is a crowd-pleaser, satisfying both kids and adults alike.

Top-down shot of a steaming bowl of mac and cheese, highlighting its creamy consistency.

Mac and Cheese Recipe Ingredients

  • Elbow Macaroni: The quintessential pasta for mac and cheese, these curved tubes perfectly cradle the creamy sauce, ensuring every bite is a delightful mix of pasta and cheese.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: A staple in classic mac and cheese recipes, sharp cheddar brings a bold, tangy flavor that’s essential for that authentic cheesy taste.
  • Gruyère Cheese: Elevate your dish with the nutty and slightly sweet notes of Gruyère, a Swiss cheese that melts beautifully, adding a gourmet touch to the recipe.
  • Milk: The foundation of our creamy sauce, milk provides the smooth, velvety texture that makes this dish irresistibly luscious.
  • Unsalted Butter: A rich ingredient that adds depth and richness, unsalted butter ensures your sauce has a luxurious, melt-in-the-mouth feel.
  • All-Purpose Flour: The key to a perfectly thickened sauce, all-purpose flour works with the butter to create a roux, setting the stage for our creamy masterpiece.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated on top before baking, Parmesan adds a salty, umami kick, creating a golden crust that’s both flavorful and visually appealing.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Essential seasonings that enhance and balance the flavors, ensuring every bite of your mac and cheese is perfectly seasoned.
  • Paprika: A subtle spice that adds a hint of warmth and a vibrant color, paprika gives the dish a slight edge and a beautiful hue.
Top-down shot of a white enamel cast iron pan with mac and cheese, highlighting its creamy consistency.

How To Make The Best Mac and Cheese

  1. Pasta Perfection: Begin by boiling the elbow macaroni in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Roux Magic: In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour until a smooth paste forms. This roux will be the base for our cheese sauce.
  3. Milk Integration: Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens slightly.
  4. Cheese Fusion: Reduce the heat to low. Start by adding the shredded cheddar cheese, followed by the Gruyère, a handful at a time. Stir continuously until all the cheese is melted into a velvety sauce.
Top view of a velvety and creamy Mac and cheese sauce in a pan.
  1. Season and Mix: Incorporate salt, pepper, and paprika into the cheese sauce, ensuring even distribution. Add the drained macaroni to the pot, stirring until the pasta is generously coated with the cheese sauce.
  2. Serve and Savor: Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Dish out generous portions and enjoy the luxurious blend of cheddar and Gruyère!
Homemade mac and cheese served in a white cast iron pan, with a golden cheesy crust on top

Mac and Cheese Variations: Customizing Your Dish

This Mac and cheese is a cheesy side dish and versatile dish that can be customized in countless ways.

Here are some delicious variations and toppings to elevate your mac and cheese experience:

  • Bacon Crumble: Fry up some bacon until it’s crispy, then crumble it over the top for a smoky, savory crunch.
  • Baked Mac and Cheese: Baked mac and cheese is a beloved version of this classic dish, combining those creamy, cheesy flavors you adore with an irresistible golden crust.
  • Garlic and Herb Breadcrumbs: Mix breadcrumbs with minced garlic, chopped parsley, and melted butter. Sprinkle over the top before baking for a fragrant, crunchy topping.
  • Lobster or Crab Meat: For a more upscale version, fold in chunks of cooked lobster or crab meat.
  • Chili Mac: Combine your favorite chili recipe with the mac and cheese for a hearty, spicy version.
  • Vegan Mac and Cheese: Swap out the dairy milk for plant-based milk such as almond or soy. Replace the cheeses with vegan-friendly options available in the market.
  • Gluten-Free Mac: Substitute the regular elbow macaroni with gluten-free pasta. Various options like rice, corn, or quinoa pasta are readily available and ensure you don’t miss out on this comfort food classic.
Close-up of creamy mac and cheese served in a pristine white bowl, highlighting its rich consistency.

Storage and Leftovers

Storing Your Mac and Cheese

After allowing your mac and cheese to cool to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. Properly stored, it will last:

  • Refrigerator: Up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, you can freeze mac and cheese for up to 2 months. However, for the best texture, it’s recommended to consume it within a month.

Reheating Tips

Mac and cheese can dry out when reheated, but with the right method, you can retain its creamy texture:

  • Microwave: Sprinkle a tad of milk, cover, and heat in 1-minute intervals, stirring between.
  • Oven: Preheat to 350°F (175°C). Add a bit of milk, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Stovetop: Warm in a pot with a splash of milk on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Note: If you’ve frozen your mac and cheese, it’s best to let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Other Pasta Recipes to Try!

Overhead view of a bowl filled with creamy mac and cheese, showcasing the rich texture and cheesy top.
Yield: 8 servings

The Best Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Indulge in this stovetop Mac and Cheese, a creamy blend of sharp cheddar and nutty Gruyère, enveloping perfectly cooked elbow macaroni.

Each bite delivers a harmonious fusion of flavors, making this mac and cheese a timeless favorite with a gourmet twist.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for topping, optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Boil Pasta: In a large pot of salted water, cook elbow macaroni until al dente. Drain.
  2. Prepare Roux: Melt butter in a pot on medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth.
  3. Add Milk: Gradually whisk in milk, cooking until slightly thickened.
  4. Melt Cheeses: On low heat, add cheddar and Gruyère gradually, stirring until smooth.
  5. Season & Combine: Mix in salt, pepper, and paprika. Add macaroni, stirring to coat.
  6. Serve: After cooling briefly, serve and enjoy the creamy cheddar and Gruyère blend.

Notes

Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe Tips

Cheese Grating: For the creamiest texture, always grate your own cheese. Pre-packaged shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the sauce's smoothness.

Milk Temperature: Using warm milk can help in smoother integration with the roux and reduce the chances of lump formation.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 619Total Fat 43gSaturated Fat 25gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 125mgSodium 924mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 32g

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