I've made this dish too many times to count. The creation of this recipe is kind of a funny story. We got invited last minute to a back yard BBQ one summer and when I asked what I could bring, the host said something like mac and cheese would be good. So I went to gather my typical mac and cheese ingredients from the fridge and found that I didn't have enough cheddar cheese (which is what I typically use for mac and cheese) so I added whatever cheese I had to make up the difference and what resulted was this decadent and delicious 5 Cheese Macaroni and cheese. I've made it this way ever since. This dish is loaded with flavor and the addition of the smoked gouda and gruyere cheeses add a depth of richness that makes it hard to stop eating once you start.
You will need a pound of elbow macaroni noodles for this dish and lots of cheese. I used an aged white cheddar as the main cheese and added parmesan, aged asiago, smoked gruyere and smoked gouda. I cooked the noodles according the instructions on the packet, without adding salt to the cooking water (cheese has enough salt for my taste). While the noodles are cooking I made the cheese sauce (bechamel sauce if you want to be fancy). I melted 6 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan on medium heat. Then I added ½ cup of flour to the melted butter and cooked for about 3 minutes. Next I added 3 cups of warm milk to the cooked flour and butter. I let the sauce come up to a slow boil while continuously stirring to prevent the sauce from sticking. When the sauce is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, I removed it from the heat.
Once I removed the sauce from the heat I added the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and parsley flakes (you can use fresh parsley if you prefer). I used a whisk to bring it all together and get rid of any lumps from the powdered seasoning.
Next, I added all of the shredded cheeses. I reserved about a cup of cheese to use as a topping. I mixed the cheese into the sauce then added the cooked macaroni noodles a cup at a time to the sauce and mixed well.
Finally, I poured the macaroni and cheese mixture into a well greased oven safe baking dish. Then I topped it with the cheese I reserved earlier. I then baked the macaroni and cheese for 40 minutes at 325 °F. Once it is golden brown on the top and bubbly, I removed it from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before serving it. And boy was it yummy!
Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 lb Macaroni noodles
- 1 lb Cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 oz Asiago cheese shredded
- 2 oz Smoke Gouda cheese shredded
- 2 oz smoked Gruyere cheese shredded
- 3 cups of milk
- 6 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- Preheat oven to 325 °F
- Follow instructions on the packet to cook the macaroni noodles.
- While noodles are cooking, make a cheese sauce by melting the butter in a sauce pan on medium heat.
- Then add the flour to the melted butter and cook for approximately 3 minutes.
- Warm the milk (in the microwave is fine) and add warmed milk to the flour and butter mixture.
- Bring sauce to a boil, constantly stirring to prevent sticking, and remove from the heat when sauce is thick.
- Add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and parsley flakes to the sauce and whisk together.
- Then add the shredded cheese (reserve 1 cup for later) and mix until all the cheeses are incorporated
- Next add the cooked pasta, one cup at a time and mix well with the cheese sauce.
- Finally add macaroni and cheese mixture to a greased oven safe baking dish, then sprinkle the reserved cheese on top.
- Bake at 325 °F for 40 minutes.
- When top of the macaroni and cheese is golden brown and bubbly, remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
2. Check your mac and cheese 30 minutes into baking just to make sure the cheese on the top isn't burning.
3. Middle rack is ideal for this dish but not necessary.