Baked macaroni and cheese takes on a whole new meaning when you use smoked gouda cheese and top it with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and a little olive oil.
Let’s face it, the world is a better place with macaroni and cheese.
This is my most requested recipe on the planet and I am sharing it with you today. It is the most delicious mac and cheese I think you will ever have the pleasure of eating.
I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have a problem making mac and cheese with cheddar cheese. I don’t like the texture. I don’t like the thickness of it. I just always have issues with it.
So my cheese of choice is Gouda. I prefer smoked gouda in this recipe but you can use regular if you can’t find it. Gouda is naturally a great melting cheese. It is a white cheese and it is smooth as silk when it melts.
This recipe is so simple to make mainly because I scaled it down to 2 portions. It only calls for 1 cup of pasta and I bake it in a small 2 qt baking dish. There is just enough for 2 people.
HOW TO MAKE GOUDA MAC AND CHEESE IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS:
1. SAUCE – This is a very simple recipe and comes together quite quickly. All cheese sauces have to start in the same place, and that is with a roux. A roux is a mix of (usually) equal parts butter to flour and then thickened with milk. Spices are then added for flavor. We used garlic powder, paprika, Dijon and Worcestershire sauce.
Of course cheese is the next component. Smoked gouda is glorious. Almost everyone who has this mac and cheese asks if there is bacon in it. There is not. That is the smokiness of the cheese. It is heavenly.
2. PASTA – We use a large elbow noodle for this recipe. Yes you can use the small ones, but the larger ones get really soft and there’s just more room for the cheese to sneak on up in there!
3. BAKE – You can certainly stop the recipe right here. I’ve done that plenty of times and eaten it with a shovel, I mean spoon right out of the pot. However, if you want to take this another level, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top that have been mixed with some olive oil, parmesan cheese and few little spices and bake it until golden.
One of the common complaints about making a cheese sauce is the grittiness. Cheese can be come gritty when it’s incorporated too quickly into a roux. That’s why it’s important to take the sauce off the heat when adding the cheese.
Because this recipe has been scaled down for 2 people you can add all the cheese at the same time. I have never had a problem with gouda becoming gritty which is why I use it so often in my recipes.
I hope you try our take on a classic mac and cheese and give this one a try. If you do, please leave us a comment, we love to hear from you!
WATCH OUR VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 3 Tablespoons Butter, extra for buttering the bottom of the dish
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic powder, Sea Salt and Paprika – a sprinkle of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Cups Whole Milk
- 1 ¼ Cup Shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese, separated 1 cup and ¼ cup
FOR THE TOPPING:
- ¼ Cup Breadcrumbs
- 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs (parsley, basil, chives)
- 1 Cup Large Elbow Noodles
- Gather the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and set aside.
- Lightly grease the bottom of a 2 qt oval baking dish with butter and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place a few cups of water in a large saucepan with approximately ½ Tablespoon of Sea salt. When the water boils, add the elbows and cook 2 minutes under the boxes directions.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in another saucepan. When it has melted, add the flour and whisk for 1 minute but do not brown.
- Slowly add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until thick. Add another ¼ cup, continuously whisking any lumps out. Continue until you’ve used all of the milk and it’s the consistency you desire. You may need a little more to thin it out after the cheese is melted.
- Add the garlic, paprika, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Take the roux off the heat and add all the cheese, whisking until melted. Take this time to test how thick the sauce is and slowly add more milk until the cheese is pourable.
- Drain the noodles and place them in the baking dish. Top with the cheese sauce and gently stir to combine. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup cheese on top. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of that and spread around.
- Bake at 375°F for 10-15 minutes, putting it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown (if desired).
PIN IT FOR LATER!