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Mac ‘N’ Cheese Recipe

Mac N Cheese coming out of Lynx Napoli Oven

Mac ‘n’ Cheese was a staple for me, and certainly every kid I knew growing up in the mid-west.

Generally—OK, always—this was the stuff from a box that used that sort of orange-ish powdered cheese. While this stuff was delicious back in the day, I’ve sort of outgrown it. As a grownup that still loves cheesy goodness, the homemade mac ‘n’ cheese that I’m making now is a favorite.

Truth be told, this is a recipe I can’t take full credit for. My daughter actually started down this path—trying different cheeses, etc. until we dialed in this incredible and mildly spicy mac ‘n’ cheese that is to die for. It’s not overpoweringly spicy by any stretch, there’s just a little hint of heat on the end—but if that’s not your jam feel free to forgo the cayenne pepper.

The creaminess of the homemade cheese sauce is really the star of the show here, it’s definitely going to have you and your guests asking for seconds. It makes an excellent addition my smoked meatloaf, or the perfect topper for my meatloaf comfort burger, or my BBQ-style sandwich as well.

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Mac ‘N’ Cheese Recipe

Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 20 mins. | Cook time: 5 mins.

Ingredients

4 tbsp of butter
8 oz block of extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
6 oz of Gruyere cheese shredded
2 tbsp of all purpose flour
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
16 oz elbow macaroni
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper or to taste
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder

Step-by-Step

Step 1: Light grill or oven and set up for indirect heat, establish temperature at 450°F.

Step 2: In a medium saucepan, bring 4-6 cups water to a boil along with 1 tablespoon of salt. Add macaroni and boil for about 6-7 minutes, until noodles are al dente. Using a colander, stain macaroni and set aside.

Step 3: Shred both cheddar and Gruyere cheeses. If you’ve seen some of my other recipes that use shredded cheese, I always recommend shredding your own cheese as opposed to buying the pre-shredded stuff. The stuff in the bags is more convenient of course, but it’s coated with a wax to prevent it from sticking together. This also prevents it from melting as well as shredded blocks of cheese. Don’t be afraid to buy yourself a grater, I promise, it’s worth it

shredded cheddar and Gruyere cheese for Mac N Cheese recipe

Step 4: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter and let it melt. Once melted, whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook roux over medium heat for 3 minutes. If you don’t have a whisk, use a fork—but a whisk makes this much easier.

Roux of butter and flour for Mac N Cheese

Step 5: Add milk and cream to the roux and continue whisking. Add in cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for additional 5 minutes, until steam is rising off mixture.

Step 6: Remove roux from heat and mix in shredded cheeses, reserving 1/2 cup of each cheese for later.

Shredded cheese mixed into roux

Step 6: Pour strained macaroni into a baking dish and fold in cheese sauce.

GrillSeeker Secret: Add some lump lobster or crab meat here for amazing seafood mac ‘n’ cheese

Step 7: Top the mixture with remaining cheese.

Shredded cheese topping Mac N Cheese

Step 8: Place the baking dish in preheated grill or in an oven using indirect heat for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has slightly browned and is bubbling. At 450°F, this doesn’t take long.

baked Mac N Cheese

Step 9: Serve hot, enjoy all the compliments.

Make the Mac ‘N’ Cheese Recipe:

Mac 'N' Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Course: condiment, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsps butter
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 6 oz Gruyere cheese shredded
  • 2 tbsps all purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Light grill or oven and set up for indirect heat, establishing temperature at 450°F. 

  2. In medium saucepan, bring 4-6 cups water to a boil along with 1 tbsp of salt. Add macaroni and boil for about 6-7 minutes. Stain macaroni and set aside.  

  3. Shred both cheddar and Gruyere cheeses. 

  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter and let it melt. Once melted, whisk in flour to make a roux, cooking over medium heat for 3 minutes.

  5. Add milk and cream to the roux, and continue whisking.  

  6. Add in cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for additional 5 minutes. 

  7. Remove from heat, and mix in shredded cheeses—reserving 1/2 cup of each cheese for later.   

  8. Pour strained macaroni into baking dish, folding in cheese sauce.

  9. Top with remaining cheese. 

  10. Place in preheated grill or oven, using indirect heat for 3-5 minutes. 

  11. Serve hot.