My family is always willing to try a new mac and cheese recipe. I dare say we’ve never met a macaroni and cheese we didn’t like. And this Smoky White Cheddar Mac and Cheese was no exception. It’s loaded with four kinds of cheese and a hint of nutmeg and thyme. I wish I could say it was healthy and low-calorie, but it’s definitely worth the indulgence!
The smoked cheddar might be a bit strong for some tastes, especially kids, so feel free to use more of the regular white cheddar if you prefer. I’ll definitely be making this version of mac and cheese again–possibly with a breadcrumb topping or some cooked, crumbled bacon. Maybe both! This would also be fabulous with some grilled chicken or roasted veggies mixed in! Be warned, this makes enough to feed a small army, so you may want to consider making half.
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 quart (4 cups) half and half
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed and softened
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 ounces Fontina cheese, grated and divided
- 6 ounces white American cheese, grated or cubed
- 2 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, grated
- Cook macaroni according to package directions; rinse with cool water and drain.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir to mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in half and half and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in heavy cream, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, fresh thyme, onion powder, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour pasta into a large bowl. Add half of the Fontina cheese, the white American cheese and the smoked cheddar. Toss to mix well.
- Stir the sauce into the pasta and cheese.
- Pour the pasta into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with remaining Fontina cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from The Vintage Mixer.