At its core, mac and cheese should be simple, and that’s what this recipe is! My friend Ebony makes the best mac and cheese. It’s heavy on smoky gouda and is INSANELY creamy – my perfect mac combination.
Ebony was the person that ultimately led me to the best mac and cheese recipe I’ve ever made and the last I’ll ever need! 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, just a touch, for that silky smooth nostalgia.
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.
- 1 lb dry macaroni, cooked per package instructions (makes 8–10 cups when cooked)
- 4 cups shredded cheese, plus extra for topping (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
- Cook macaroni pasta and drain. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir 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.
- Fold in shredded cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and sour cream. Melt the cheeses into a smooth sauce, approximately 3 minutes.
- Mix in the cooked macaroni, then pour into a baking dish. Top with extra shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly on top. Optional – 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