Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious variation of the classic macaroni and cheese dish. It incorporates the distinct smoky taste of Gouda cheese, which adds a smoky and unique twist to the creamy and cheesy pasta.
Macaroni and Cheese
Let’s face it, the world is a better place with macaroni and cheese, don’t you agree?
This is one of my most requested recipes 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 find most mac and cheese recipes make A TON, so this recipe has been scaled down to about 2 hearty portions. It only calls for 1 cup of pasta and it’s baked in a small 2 qt. baking dish. It is perfect for 2 people.
HOW TO MAKE GOUDA MAC AND CHEESE IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS:
1. SAUCE – A simple roux is made which consists of equal parts fat to flour, then spices and milk are added to create the sauce. Next of course is the cheese. I use a smoked Gouda for this recipe and 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.
HOW TO MAKE CHEESE LESS GRITTY
If you’re experiencing a gritty texture in your melted cheese, it’s likely due to the cheese not melting properly or the presence of cheese proteins that haven’t fully emulsified. Here are a few tips to help you make melted cheese less gritty:
- Use high-quality cheese: Choose a cheese that melts well and has a smooth texture when melted. Gouda (along with cheddar, mozzarella or Monterey Jack) are known for their excellent melting properties.
- Grate or shred the cheese: Grating or shredding the cheese into smaller pieces allows it to melt more evenly and quickly. Avoid using pre-shredded cheese, as it often contains additives that can affect its melting properties.
- Add a starch or emulsifier: Adding a small amount of starch or emulsifier can help prevent the cheese from becoming gritty. You can use ingredients like cornstarch, flour, or mustard powder. Toss the grated cheese with a teaspoon or two of the chosen starch or emulsifier before melting.
- Use low heat: When melting cheese, use low to medium heat to avoid overheating or scorching the cheese. Slow and gentle heat helps the cheese melt evenly and reduces the chances of it becoming gritty.
- Avoid prolonged heating: Overheating cheese for an extended period can cause the proteins to separate and result in a gritty texture. Melt the cheese just until it’s smooth and creamy, and remove it from the heat promptly.
- Add liquid: If you find that the cheese is becoming too thick or clumpy while melting, you can add a small amount of liquid such as milk, cream, or a splash of wine. This can help create a smoother consistency and prevent the cheese from becoming overly thick and gritty.
- Stir continuously: Stir the cheese constantly as it melts to encourage smooth and even melting. This will help the cheese proteins emulsify properly and prevent them from clumping together.
Storing and Reheating:
- Storing Leftovers: Allow the macaroni and cheese to cool completely at room temperature before covering it tightly with plastic wrap or an airtight lid. Place the dish in the refrigerator to chill until you’re ready to use it. Macaroni and cheese can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
- Reheating: If you stored the leftovers in individual containers, you can reheat them in the microwave. If reheating a larger amount, cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through. If you added breadcrumbs or toppings, you can remove the foil during the last few minutes of baking to allow them to crisp up.
MORE GREAT SIDE DISHES:
SMOKED GOUDA MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE
Like this recipe? Pin it to your SIDES board!
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!