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F&W Secret Recipe: Mac and Cheese

My magic mac and cheese recipe! This is the perfect base for add-ins like lobster and bacon, just stir them in before you move the pasta to the casserole dish. Feel free to get creative!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, French
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 box pasta I like using rigatoni but shells or bows are great options too
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp whit cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded smoked gouda
  • 1 cup shredded applewood smoked Gruyere cheese


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside
  • Prepare pasta according to box instructions. Keep the pasta a little more al dente as you will be baking it as well
  • In a separate large pot melt the butter, add flour, and whisk until the mixture turns golden brown
  • Add milk and continue whisking until the mixture thickens
  • Add cheese, salt, and pepper, and whisk until melted and fully incorporated
  • Add cooked pasta to the cheese mixture and stir until combined and cheese is evenly distributed
  • It's at this point you can stir in any add-ins you might want - like cooked bacon, mushrooms, cooked lobster - of course this dish is delicious even with no add-ins!
  • Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly
  • Serve on its own in a big 'ole bowl or as a side dish - and enjoy!
Keyword casserole, cheese, comfort food, mac and cheeese, pasta