Here’s a Super Creamy Mac & Cheese recipe for you just in time for Sunday meal planning!
This Mac & Cheese was inspired by a Epicurious video I recently viewed, 4 Levels of Mac and Cheese. I like the 4 Levels Series because they breakdown the science of a dish and feature the dish from three different cooking levels – an amateur, a home cook and a professional chef. I like to think I’m a home cook/chef and this recipe falls into that level 👍!
Tonight’s recipe includes mustard powder, which according to the food scientist on the video, “has some emulsifying properties that keeps the sauce nice and creamy and smooth and also adds a really nice layer of spice.” Since I usually add hot sauce to my Mac & Cheese, I thought I’d give mustard powder a try and boy am I glad because it was delicious and added a nice bit of spice. The food scientist also mentioned the importance “to balance the flavor of a hard cheese with the moisture of a soft cheese” because you get great meltability and delicious flavor. As I usually do with my Mac & Cheese, I like adding both hard and soft cheeses because I understand the science of creaminess and delicious food 😉. For this recipe, I included cheddar, monterey jack and mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella is new to me in Mac & Cheese, but I was intrigued by one of the chefs in the video using it because it adds a stringy, stretchy quality and who doesn’t love that cheesy pull with Mac & Cheese 😋!
I hope you enjoy this Mac & Cheese, cheers 🍻!
Mac & Cheese Notes, you’ll find some of these notes in my last Mac & Cheese post too!
- Cook your pasta to al dente since it will continue to cook with the warm cheese sauce during the bake.
- Feel free to use the cheeses you love, but as suggested by the food scientist in the 4 Levels of Mac and Cheese, I would use a combination of hard and soft cheese to create the meltability and delicious flavor. Below you will find some of my favorites:
- Hard or Semi Hard Cheeses
- Cheddar, is a childhood favorite
- Smoked Gouda, adds smokiness
- Gruyère, adds nutness
- Pepper Jack, will kick the sauce up a notch
- Soft Cheeses
- Gorgonzola or blue cheese, if you want funk or if you’re creating buffalo mac & cheese
- Mozzarella, creates the pull effect and of course adds creaminess
- Cream Cheese, for extra creaminess
- Hard or Semi Hard Cheeses
- I’d use block cheese and cube it or grate it versus using bag shredded cheese because that cheese tends to be coated with cellulose and you lose some cheese flavor with it.
- I used cavatappi because it’s a larger pasta and allows more surface area for that yummy cheese.
- Make sure you salt your pasta water well and a good rule of thumb is for every two gallons of water, add a 1/2 cup of salt.
- I always finish my mac & cheese under the boiler because I like to brown my panko topper.
- I served this Mac & Cheese with some yummy pulled pork (here’s my Instant Pot Pulled Pork), but feel free to enjoy it with another protein or on its own!
More Mac & Cheese Recipes
- Lobster Mac & Cheese – My brother created this masterpiece with a delicious lobster saffron cream sauce and used gouda, American and cream cheese.
- Creamy Mac & Cheese – This was the first Mac & Cheese I featured at the site and it delivers some heat with hot sauce and pepper jack cheese and I also included cheddar and cream cheese.
If you try any of my Mac & Cheese recipes, feel free to share your feedback 🙏!
Super Creamy Mac & Cheese
- 8 oz cavatappi pasta, prepare to al dente
- 2 TBS butter
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 TBS all purpose flour
- 8 oz light cream
- 8 oz 1% lowfat milk
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- Salt & ground pepper, for seasoning
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
- 4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 oz Monterey cheese, grated
- 1 TBS butter, melted
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Salt & ground pepper
- Begin by preparing the pasta to al dente. Set aside once it’s cooked until you are ready to combine with the cheese sauce.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan and add the green onion to the butter and allow the onions to become aromatic.
- Once the onions are ready, build the roux by adding flour to the buttered onions and cook for a bit, ~3 minutes.
- Once the flour becomes brown, create the bechamel sauce by adding the cream and milk and whisk together until thick.
- Add the mustard powder, salt & pepper for seasoning.
- Now time to add the cheese in batches, whisking together until nice and creamy.
- Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and combine together.
- Transfer to a greased casserole dish.
- Add the Panko Onion Topper (see Panko Onion Topper below) and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- At the 30 minute mark, turn the boiler on for a few minutes to get the topper browned.
- Enjoy as a side with pulled pork or a protein of your choosing, enjoy and cheers 🍻!
Panko Onion Topper
- Add the panko and green onions to a small mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter in the microwave and pour the butter over the panko and onions. Season, as desired with salt & pepper.