Baked Gooey Mac and Cheese

6 Servings
1 hr 30 min

Mac and cheese is just one of those comfort foods that everyone enjoys. In my opinion, it’s one of the best side dishes for steak, beef roast and roast chicken. Interestingly enough, my first encounter with mac and cheese was the boxed variety with the powder orange cheese. I was in my pre teens and I remember being highly influenced by commercials at that time. I guess for my age, it tasted fine but I always wanted it to be creamier and cheesier. Nowadays, I see all varieties of boxed mac and cheese and some of the flavors are downright scary! Cotton candy mac and cheese? Buffalo chicken? Cheetos mac and cheese? I can’t even imagine what they taste like. Or that they’re even any good!

As an adult now, only homemade mac and cheese from scratch will do. If it’s the baked variety then I always have to ensure it’s extra saucy so it doesn’t dry up in the oven. My son loves mac and cheese too, just as all kids do but I have yet to convince my daughter to like it. Fingers crossed that she will change her mind in the near future!

Baked Gooey Mac and Cheese
Recipe details
  • 6  Servings
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 30 min
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  • 250g or 8oz elbow macaroni
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 4 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 cups cold full fat milk
  • 2 cups freshly grated gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella
  • panko breadcrumbs (optional)

Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions for al dente pasta minus 1 minute.
Drain when done cooking, stir in the tbsp of salted butter and allow to cool while you make the sauce.
In a medium saucepan, add in the butter and flour. Whisk and cook over medium heat for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour. Add in the garlic and mustard powder and cook for another minute. Add in the milk and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens up. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the 2 cups of gruyere, 1/2 cup parmesan and 1/2 cup sharp cheddar. Taste as adjust salt levels.
Add in the cooled macaroni to the saucepan, mix and pour into a baking dish. Top with the grated mozzarella and panko breadcrumbs if using. I also like to add a few grinds of pepper to the top.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes until bubbly. Broil on high until the top is golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before digging in. Enjoy!
  • If you want to recreate the creaminess with the leftovers, add a splash of milk to your portion before heating it up.
  • Cso51108026 Cso51108026 on Sep 04, 2023

    FINALLY!!! Someone who makes macaroni-and-cheese essentially the same way I do!!! (I confess, though, if I have mozzarella, pepper jack, and cheddar, they're all going in the mix! lol). But YES, with the mustard powder!!! I even have a version that I use mozzarella and CHINESE MUSTARD - don't knock it, it's delicious; my daughter loves it when I add meatballs to it (?!)...

    THANK YOU for reintroducing the basic formula for macaroni-and-cheese, with the pasta/sauce/cheese proportions!!! It honestly doesn't matter the KINDS of cheese - use what you love!!! Double it up, to use a pound. Elbows work great; I love campanelle. But I've used orzo and who cares - it's delicious!!! The kicker?! The cheese sauce comes together in about the time it takes to boil the pasta!!! If you cannot wait to bake the pasta, you don't have to!!! Throw the pasta back into the pot, add the cheese sauce, and stir: it SERIOUSLY doesn't take more time than a boxed macaroni-and-cheese, this way!!!

    I love the blue box, I wholeheartedly admit... but not unless I use butter and half-and-half, and throw it back on low heat until it gets creamy... Sometimes I add additional cheese. I joke that it's my "white trash" comfort food! lol BUT... homemade is just as fast, and so much better. Legit. At St. Pat's, a bona fide recipe is to sub milk with Guiness and make it authentically Irish with X-sharp cheddar/cheddar blends. My Norwegian husband, who HATES macaroni-and-cheese in theory, will devout that!!! Thanks again for posting!! ~Chrissie

    • Agreed, use any combination of cheese that you enjoy. The best Mac is made with a roux and always my fav when I want something decadent.