Mac and cheese is the perennial comfort food.
You really can’t be expected to survive a holiday season or even winter without a hearty, delicious, extra cheesy bowl of macaroni and cheese in your life.
I love the different flavors added by the four different cheeses in this four-cheese macaroni. They all bring their own little taste of magic to the table resulting in a creamy mac dish your entire family will adore.
It makes the perfect side dish, but if you dress it up with some grilled chicken or lobster you have a main dish meal with great flavor and plenty of staying power.
For the topping, you’ll love the twist of cheddar and parmesan cheese crackers instead of the panko bread crumbs you’re probably used to seeing.
Added bonus, this simple recipe is easy enough to make whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth.
This will for sure become a staple recipe in your house and it makes a great recipe to bake and gift to friends this holiday season.
Four Cheese Creamy Mac and Cheese
Water (for boiling pasta)
Kosher salt (for cooking the pasta)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated yellow onion
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 cups whole milk, microwave one minute
6 ounces yellow sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces white sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces apple smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces apple smoked provolone cheese, shredded
1 pound elbow macaroni (or your favorite noodle)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups duo cheddar/parmesan cheese crackers
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle in the salt, and sauté until translucent. Sprinkle the flour, mustard and paprika over the onions, and whisk for 5 minutes making sure the flour is cooked. Gradually whisk in the milk, Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.
3. Gradually add the cheese to the milk mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, with salt and pepper.
4. Add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook until just al dente, about 2-3 MINUTES. Drain well, rinse with cool water and then immediately transfer to the cheese sauce. Stir until well mixed, then pour into a casserole dish. Spread the mixture in an even layer. Place the cheese crackers in a food processor and pulse for 10 seconds. Stop and add the melted butter and pulse again for 10 more seconds. (You are looking for a coarse breadcrumb consistency.)
5. Bake in a baking dish until bubbling and the top is browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot.