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This creamy, smoked Gouda mac and cheese is a tasty comfort food pasta dish that can be made in under 30 minutes. This mac n cheese is perfect as a main dish, or as a side dish for the holidays.
For other unique mac and cheese recipes, try this goat cheese mac and cheese.
For other easy pasta recipes, try this pan fried gnocchi.
- It is a quick and easy dinner recipe that can be made in 30 minutes.
- The smoked Gouda cheese adds a bold and strong flavor that makes this mac and cheese recipe unique.
- It is a flexible recipe that is easy to adjust and make substitutions for.
- It is the perfect main dish comfort food or Thanksgiving side dish recipe.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Gouda: Use smoked Gouda cheese to add a slightly smoky flavor. You can substitute this with Gruyere cheese if you prefer.
- Macaroni Pasta: All classic mac and cheese recipes use elbow pasta. However, you can substitute this for another short grain pasta such as orechiette, farfalle or rotini pasta.
- Cheddar: A slightly sharp or mild cheddar cheese works best in this recipe so that it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the Gouda cheese. Use Colby cheese as a substitute.
- Milk: Use whole 3% milk for added creaminess. However, you can also use 1% or 2% milk for a healthier version.
- Half and Half: If you can’t find half and half, use ¼ cup milk and ¼ cream instead.
- A large pot to boil the pasta in.
- A large non-stick pan to make the pasta sauce in.
- A whisk to stir the pasta sauce.
Step 1: Melt the butter on a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add in the flour and mix to form a roux. Whisk together for a couple of minutes until the roux is smooth and light brown.
Step 2: Add in the milk and half and half, whisking until smooth. Then add in the Gouda and Cheddar cheese, whisking until melted. Stir in the salt, pepper and oregano.
Step 3: Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens up.
Step 4: Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, it is ready.
Step 5: Cook the macaroni to “al dente”. Strain and mix into the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta.
Storage & Reheating
- Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: Seal in an airtight container or a freezer friendly bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of milk while reheating to bring back some creaminess.
This Gouda mac n cheese can be served as either a main course recipe or a side dish.
- Cook the pasta to “al dente”. Overcooking the pasta can make it soft and soggy when added to the sauce.
- Use a whisk to make the sauce rather than a spatula. A whisk results in a smoother and creamier sauce.
- Baked: If you want to bake the pasta after making it on the stovetop, transfer the pasta into a baking dish. Add an extra ¼ to ½ cup of shredded Gouda and a sprinkle of Panko breadcrumbs on top. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
- Goat Cheese: For a goat cheese variation, replace half or all of the cheddar cheese with goat cheese.
- Spicy: Add in diced jalapeno peppers, a dash of red pepper flakes and cayenne.
Yes. Peel off the rind of the Gouda cheese before shredding it and adding it to the pasta sauce.
If you prefer, you can cut the cheese into small pieces. It will still melt into a smooth sauce, but may take a bit longer.