gouda mac and cheese

Heavy on smoky gouda and INSANELY creamy – this gouda mac and cheese is my perfect mac combination.

This recipe is inspired by Darius Cook’s wildly famous 6-cheese mac and cheese recipe. Cleanup is super simple because you can use the same pot to boil the noodles and make the creamy cheese sauce. Plus, baking is not required, so there’s no need to turn on the oven or clean a baking dish!

Above all, my favorite part about this mac and cheese recipe is there’s no need for super expensive cheeses, just the ones you love most that melt well. My perfect combination is…

  • gouda for its smoky flavor
  • sharp white cheddar and parm for that zing, and
  • Velveeta, queso blanco, for that silky smooth nostalgia.

Gouda Mac & Cheese Ingredients

Cooked Macaroni – boiled in salty water.

Whole Milk – don’t skimp with 2% or skim; this mac deserves the full body of whole milk! I use Lactaid to make it easier on the tummy.

Butter – butter creates the base of the blonde roux.

Flour – flour, in combination with butter, creates the blonde roux that thickens the cheese sauce!

Gouda & more cheeses of your choice – my favorite combinations are smoky gouda, white cheddar, parmesan, and Velveeta to achieve that silky creaminess. You can swap these out for melting cheeses that you enjoy like Colby jack and cheddar.

Sour Cream – adds much-needed tanginess to cut through all the rich ingredients.

Paprika – adds extra smokiness to the cheese sauce.

Garlic Powder – garlic and cheese flavors go together so well!

Salt & Pepper – to ensure a well-seasoned mac!

For extra texture: bake & broil the top!

If you love a crispy baked cheesy crust, you can choose to bake this mac and cheese at the end! Just reserve a healthy handful of extra shredded cheese to go on top. I like to finish the bake with a quick broil to get the top of it a beautifully bronzed yellow color.

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gouda mac and cheese

Gouda & White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Maria Do
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 people 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Main Course
  • Cuisine: American


This is the only mac & cheese recipe you’ll ever need! Inspired by Darius Cooks’ famous 6-cheese mac recipe, I went all-in on the gouda and sharp cheddar to up the smoky and sharp cheesy flavor.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb dry macaroni, cooked per package instructions (makes 8-10 cups when cooked)
  • 4 cups shredded cheese, plus extra for topping if desired (gouda, white cheddar, parmesan, and Velveeta is my go-to combination; 1 cup of each)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (can sub with half & half but not 2% or skim)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika


  1. Boil macaroni. Boil pasta per package instructions, and strain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. Make cheese sauce. In the same or large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Pour in milk and heavy cream, and stir periodically on high heat until the mixture thickens.
  3. Combine macaroni & cheese. Fold in cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and sour cream. Melt the cheeses into a smooth sauce, whisking to break up lumps for approximately 3 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, pour in some pasta water to loosen the cheese sauce. Turn off the heat. Stir in the cooked macaroni. 
  4. Optional – Bake.  if you like your macaroni with a cheesy baked crust, pour the mac into a baking dish. Top with extra shredded cheese. Bake at 375º F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly on top. In the last 2 minutes, broil the top for a great crust, but watch it carefully to avoid burning! Enjoy warm! 


Make-Ahead. After pouring the macaroni into a baking dish and topping with extra shredded cheese, cover it up and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 425ºF until warm and bubbly. 

Keywords: mac & cheese, mac and cheese, pasta, vegetarian

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  1. Andrea says:

    This is my go-to recipe for mac and cheese now for the proportions or ingredients (liquid to cheese to noodle, etc.) since they are pretty much perfect. I’ve made this recipe to serve right away, and have also made it ahead of time to bake the next day. Both times I got rave reviews.

    I will say I have made the following modifications so I can’t fully comment on the true recipe: I omit parmesan and use a mixture of smoked gouda, cheddar, and American cheese (1.5 cups gouda, 1.5 cups cheddar, 1 cup American cheese). I add 2-3 tablespoons of mustard instead of sour cream. I use full 3 cups of half and half instead of the whole milk + heavy cream.

    Bottom line is you can probably play around with the ingredients and it will still come out successful as long as you follow the proportions.

  2. Jocquetta says:

    This recipe is delicious! Every since I made it for the first time on Memorial Day my husband has fallen in love. I’ve made it made once or twice a month since. Each time I’ve switched up the cheeses to keep the excitement going.

      1. Carissa says:

        So so good! My husband and I absolutely fell in love with this mac and cheese the first time I ever made it for us; it’s the only mac and cheese that I make for us now! Thank you for the recipe 😊

  3. Melissa says:

    this recipe is so creamy and simple! It was perfect for the 4th of July. I made the sauce ahead of time and mixed everything together before baking and serving

    1. Dayle says:

      This is an amazing Mac n cheese recipe and everyone loved it! Do you the ink it could be frozen before baking?

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