The Best Mac and Cheese Ever
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The Best Mac and Cheese Ever<div class="yasr-vv-stars-title-container"><div class='yasr-stars-title yasr-rater-stars'
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As far as side dishes go, Mac and Cheese is the GOAT. I don’t care how it’s prepared, if it’s on a menu it’s getting ordered and getting into my belly! Spending a lot of time in the south we’ve had plenty of Mac and Cheese at some great Steakhouses and BBQ places around the country and love that each has it’s own unique twist to it. What makes this dish so great is you can go from super traditional cheddar cheese, to the high-end steak house fancy Mac with Lobster and Truffles (Maestros Steakhouse anyone?) and they’re all delicious

The secret to making the best Mac and Cheese Ever

Our recipe keeps it quite simple but is our absolute favorite Mac we’ve made. This recipe relies on the classic cheesy béchamel sauce preparation and adds a ton of flavor through some quality Dijon Mustard and of course, the cheese! We use 3 cheeses; Sharp Cheddar for that beautifully rich flavor, Parmesan for its bite and Gruyere for its beautiful melting qualities. You could substitute Gruyere for Mozzarella however we prefer Gruyere as it has a deeper flavor


This dish is very much a creamier type of Mac and Cheese because it holds up exceptionally well for re-heating later, which is perfect because this recipe creates a LOT of it!

What type of Pasta is best to use to make The Best Mac and Cheese Ever?

We don’t want to be super picky here and say you should only use one type of Pasta. However, we are claiming this is the best Mac and Cheese Ever, so we might as well go ahead anyway! The best Pasta for Mac and Cheese is Cavatappi Pasta

Cavatappi is a thick pasta that comes in large pieces, like Penne, Rigatoni, or Spiral. We love the Cavatappi because of its unique shape and overall denseness. It has two benefits for Mac and Cheese. It absorbs the Mac and Cheese very well when cooking. So regardless of how much sauce you put on the piece of Pasta, it’s going to have a rich Mac and Cheese flavor

The Best Mac and Cheese top down view
Finish off the dish with some freshly toasted Breadcrumbs in a little bit of Butter. The extra texture it brings completes the Best Ever Mac and Cheese Dish!

Secondly, its unique shape is perfect for carrying as much Cheese Sauce as possible. Any good Mac and Cheese needs to be loaded with Cheese, that’s a given. However, what’s the point of making a beautiful cheese sauce if it’s all going to fall off as you’re trying to get it from the fork to your mouth?! Cavatappi has so many grooves and nooks for the sauce to get caught in that every bite is loaded with sauce

The unique shape of Cavatappi makes for the best pasta. That being said, Penne, Rigatoni, or Spiral are also very good choices for a great Mac and Cheese

There’s no need to finish off the Mac and Cheese in the Oven or Broiler

This may be a controversial statement, but we’ve found over our years of perfecting our Mac and Cheese that baking it in the oven as the final step in the cooking process is simply not needed. The Dish is already cooked on the stovetop

Turning it into some form of Pasta Bake in the Oven doesn’t do anything to the dish. The only benefit is it makes for neater serving portions, almost Lasagna like

When it comes to flavor however, we’ve found that baking it once it’s already cooked will do nothing other than dry it out. The best Mac and Cheeses are those that are rich with a velvety, creamy sauce. Oven baking the Mac will dry it out. It’s like you’re immediately eating a day-old dish as opposed to a fresh batch of Mac and Cheese

For added crunch, which is sometimes the reason they are baked; simply add a sprinkle of lightly fried Breadcrumbs on top. They add a great texture and if you’ve pan fried them in some butter, even more luxury to the dish. So, skip the Oven! You’ll be eating a better Mac and Cheese, and sooner too!

Recipe Details

Servings

6 – 8 people

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

40 minutes

Total time

50 minutes

The Best Mac and Cheese Ever

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Cavatappi Pasta (16 oz)
  • 4 tbsp. Plain White Flour
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 2 cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 heaped tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Boil the Pasta in salty water until it is al-dente, cooked but still with some bite and chew to it. Drain and set aside
  2. Now to make the béchamel sauce. Begin by melting the butter in a large saucepan over medium / low heat. Once melted add the flour and stir constantly until the flour cooks, which takes about 3-4 minutes. The Butter and Flour should incorporate nicely into a thick paste
  3. Slowly pour the Milk into the saucepan, whisking constantly to incorporate and then continue to whisk out any lumps to get a nice smooth consistency. Drop the heat to low and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens. Look for a consistency that gives some resistance when stirring and a thick layer sticks to the back of a spoon. This typically takes about 20 minutes or so. Ensure you keep the temperature low, we do not want the sauce to overheat and boil
  4. Add in the Dijon Mustard and cheeses then season to your taste with Salt. We’re making a lot of Mac and Cheese here so you can be quite liberal with the seasoning. Stir until the cheese is completely incorporated into the mixture then pour the Pasta into the sauce
  5. Some recipes would have you now bake this dish in the oven with some more cheese & breadcrumbs. Honestly, we’re not fans of this as it starts to dry out the Mac and Cheese and doesn’t really bring any new flavors to the dish. Just serve as is and if you want the crunch then by all means sprinkle some lightly roasted breadcrumbs over the top

That’s a Wrap!

We hope you’ve enjoyed making the Best Mac and Cheese Ever. If you love it as much as we do, drop us a comment below and let us know?

There’s plenty of awesome meals to pair with a beautiful bowl of Mac and Cheese on the side. Here are a few of our favorites, so why not try them out?:

Happy Cooking!

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