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Classic Mac & Cheese

One of the beautiful elements of mac & cheese is its versatility. You can dress it up, you can dress it down, you can deconstruct it, and you can utilize any number of cheese combos. But the mac & cheese to measure all others against is the classic version done right. And that’s exactly what this one is. We use a mixture of four different cheeses, a fine balance of spices, and just the right ratio of breadcrumbs to create a nice crunch on the top. Because this is a classic version, it also provides an excellent base to riff of when you’re feeling like experimenting with some other ingredients. We hope you enjoy!

preparation & ingredients

1 lb elbow macaroni

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 lemon, zested

3 tbsp butter

1 bay leaf

2 1/2 cloves garlic (grated)

1 qt milk

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 sprigs fresh thyme (minced)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 onions (skin removed)

8 tbsp butter

6 oz Murray's Estate Gouda

8 oz cheddar (grated)

6 oz Fontina Val D'Aosta

2 oz cheddar (finely grated)

8 oz Taleggio (rind removed & cubed)

Grate all cheeses and combine. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
Cut a slit into the halved onion and place a bay leaf in the slit. Stick the 2 cloves of garlic into the onion. Start making the mornay sauce by placing the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat and adding the onion.
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and add ½ clove grated garlic. Slowly add the flour, whisking to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Ladle in the warm milk, whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.
Add the nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add 5 ounces cheddar, 5 ounces Taleggio, 3 ounces Fontina, and 3 ounces Gouda.
In a separate pan, bring water to a boil and add salt. Add the macaroni and cook until tender. Strain the macaroni and place in a bowl. Add the remaining grated cheeses and toss to combine.
Pour the mornay sauce over the macaroni and toss to combine. In a small sauté pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter and add the panko breadcrumbs, thyme and lemon zest. Place the combined macaroni & cheese into a shallow baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes and serve immediately.

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