Sometimes the simplest recipes are the ones we love most. Try this new twist on an old favorite with Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese.
This is one of those simple dishes that brings back so many memories. You can’t go wrong with a macaroni cheese recipe, but this time I wanted to elevate the flavors a little and try something new.
Gouda is often a cheese used in macaroni cheese recipes, and using smoked gouda helps to take those flavors up a notch. Mixed with the sharp cheddar it does make a simple dish feel extra special.
This is the perfect recipe that you can prepare ahead of time during the day. Ideal for busy midweek madness when you want something hearty and filling, but don’t have the time to cook from scratch.
Make it during the day or the day before, and then pop in the oven when you are ready to serve. The strong flavors work well, and the kids will love trying something new. You can serve it with some garlic bread and salad. I promise you this Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese does not disappoint.
Why You Will Like This Recipe
- Elbow macaroni – You will need the macaroni pasta to be cooked and drained. Just follow the package guidelines.
- Butter, Skim Milk, and Flour – The base of your cheese sauce will create the roux and white sauce that you can then add the flavors and cheese to. You will also need a bit of extra butter melted for later in the recipe.
- Heavy cream – I like to add a bit of extra cream to my cheese sauce. It makes the flavors stand out and elevates the mac and cheese.
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper – Seasoning is very important for the mac and cheese sauce.
- Dry mustard – Mustard is the perfect additional flavor and works perfectly with the cheese.
- Worcestershire sauce – A bit of a secret ingredient but the flavors work incredibly well with cheese.
- Smoked Gouda cheese and sharp cheddar cheese – The gouda and cheddar will need to be shredded. This is the main flavor of the pasta sauce.
- Sliced bread – This will create breadcrumbs to create a crunchy topping for the mac and cheese.
- Onions – I love the addition of onions to this recipe but it is optional.
- Sliced Black olives – These work as a great addition to the smoked gouda mac and cheese but it is optional as not everyone loves black olives.
- Prepare the macaroni according to the package directions. Set aside.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the skim milk and bring to near boiling. Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle in flour. Whisk vigorously over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. The mixture should be thick and boiling. Slowly add cream, while whisking. Add in salt, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
- In a food processor, shred Gouda and Cheddar cheese. Add to pot, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Add cooked macaroni to the cheese mixture. Pour into a 13×9 dish.
- In the same food processor bowl, process 4 slices of bread to a fine crumb. Add melted butter. Sprinkle over macaroni.
- Bake uncovered in a 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
Absolutely! This is a semi-soft Dutch cheese and it is packed full of flavors and melts really well into the creamy sauce.
This mac and cheese recipe is a little different from the usual standard one you might make, or the mac and cheese you may have gotten out of a box. The cheese flavors really need to stand out, so the smoked gouda works well with other strong tasting cheese.
Follow the directions on the packet, but ideally you will want the pasta to be al dente. It will be added to a sauce and then baked in the oven, so you won’t want to overcook the pasta in the first instance.
Substitutions and Variations
- Don’t like gouda? Swap it out! I recommend pairing a fairly strong cheese with the cheddar to get the best flavor.
- Add some bacon. Bacon gouda mac and cheese is also delicious. You can cook up the bacon first and then add to the creamy cheese and pasta. Yum!
- Add another protein. You could also add other proteins like ground chicken or beef, or even some rotisserie chicken to the sauce.
- Swap out breadcrumbs for fresh bread if you don’t want to fuss with the food processor.
- Make sure you follow the packet guidelines when cooking the pasta. You don’t want to overcook it.
- A food processor is a great way to shred the cheese quickly and also create a fine breadcrumb for the topping.
- Keep an eye on the sauce when you create the roux and add the milk, then the cream. You don’t want to over-boil it.
If you make this ahead of time you can get to the stage just before baking, allow to cool and store in the refrigerator. Then bake in the oven. You can prepare this up to 24 hours ahead.
Any leftovers can easily be stored for the following day. Allow them to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until piping hot.
You can also freeze this smoked gouda mac and cheese recipe. Either freeze baked or unbaked. It will keep in the freezer for up to two months. Allow to thaw completely before baking or reheating in the oven.
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Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese
- 16 oz elbow macaroni cooked and drained
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 1/4 cups skim milk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 Teaspoons worcestershire
- 1 lb smoked gouda cheese shredded
- 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 slices bread
- 3 Tablespoons butter melted
- Onions (optional)
- Sliced Black olives (optional)
- Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Set aside.
- In large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add skim milk and bring to near boiling. Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle in flour. Whisk vigorously over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Mixture should be thick and boiling. Slowly add cream, while whisking. Add in salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
- In food processor, shred Gouda and Cheddar cheese. Add to pot, stir until thoroughly combined.
- Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture. Pour into a 13×9 dish.
- In same food processor bowl process 4 slices of bread to a fine crumb. Add melted butter. Sprinkle over macaroni.
- Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.