Best Cheese for Mac and Cheese

The best cheese for mac and cheese: It's simple

It's one of the world's greatest culinary mysteries: what's the best cheese for mac and cheese? A flavorful aged cheddar or a creamy Monterey Jack? A meaty smoked gouda or a smooth baby swiss? The tang of a parmesan or the texture of mascarpone?

Of course, the answer is: yes – all of the above. And even more, because there are hundreds of cheese varieties in the world and infinite ways to combine them. Exploring all the cheesy possibilities is the best thing about this classic comfort food – after actually, you know, eating it.

Here in Wisconsin, we know one thing: the best cheese for mac and cheese is undoubtedly made right here. We make the tastiest, most award-winning cheese in the universe, with more than 600 varieties, types, and flavors. With so many options, finding the best cheese for your Wisconsin mac and cheese might actually take a lifetime – but oh, what a life you will lead!

Choosing the best cheese for your mac and cheese

When choosing the best cheese for your mac and cheese dish, it takes two kinds of cheese to build this flavorful, creamy classic.

Some cheeses have unbelievable flavor, but when you try to melt them, they'll break down into a clumpy, oily mess. Other cheeses are super melters but have flavor profiles that are a bit too mild when mixed with pasta and other ingredients. Pairing a flavorful cheese with a natural melter will deliver the perfect balance of gooey goodness and a punch of flavor.

Cheeses for flavor

  • Gouda - aged gouda can spike your mac and cheese with deeper, pungent flavors, while a smoked Gouda has a meatiness that never disappoints.
  • Blue cheese can add real zing to any mac and cheese.
  • Feta features a tart and salty Mediterranean taste.
  • Havarti offers a sweet, buttery meltiness with herb and spice varieties that add extra flavor.
  • Brick – a Wisconsin original – has a mild, nutty flavor that grows stronger and tangier as it ages.
  • Parmesan has a slightly nutty tang and creates a crunchy crust when sprinkled on top.
  • Pepper jack cheese can spice up your mac and cheese flavor profile.
  • Limburger packs a wonderfully stinky flavor punch for the more adventurous mac and cheese eater.

Cheeses for melting

  • Monterey Jack is perhaps the ultimate melting cheese.
  • Fontina is a crowd-pleasing melter that was born to pair with pasta.
  • Baby swiss has a natural creaminess that is perfect for mac & cheese.
  • Mozzarella is the classic melter pairs well with any pasta.
  • Mascarpone – a double- or triple-cream soft cheese – adds a silky, velvety texture.
  • Oaxaca cheese – the mozzarella of Mexico – brings a south-of-the-border taste and texture.

Double whammy cheeses: good melters with big taste profiles

  • Alpine-Style Cheeses like gruyere and emmentaler that originally were made in the mountains of Europe are excellent varieties for mac and cheese.
  • Cheddar is the classic mac and cheese variety, with both creamy texture with sharp, complex flavor. A cheddar jack cheese combines tangy cheddar flavor with maximum meltability.

Videos: Discover Your Next Favorite Cheese

FAQs: What's the best cheese for mac and cheese?

What's the best cheese for mac and cheese?

The choice of cheese for your macaroni and cheese is completely up to you, as this classic dish can be made in an infinite number of ways. The best mac and cheese recipes use two types of cheese – one that packs a flavor punch and one that brings a creamy, silky texture. Using multiple kinds of cheese creates more complex flavors and textures.

What's the best way to prepare mac and cheese?

Most recipes for gourmet mac and cheese involve baking, which results in a dryer, crunchier top that adds a nice texture. For a creamy mac and cheese, you might prepare your dish on the stovetop to keep more moisture in the sauce. A slow cooker mac and cheese or a pressure cooker mac and cheese can also be a very creamy dish.

The best cheese for mac and cheese? Wisconsin, please.

If macaroni could talk, you know what it would say? It would echo the mantra of cheese-lovers everywhere: "Wisconsin cheese, please." See, macaroni's no fool. It knows the surest path to culinary greatness is to hitch your wagon to a stellar partner. And when it comes to the best cheese for mac and cheese, Wisconsin cheese is out of this world.

That's because Wisconsin offers the highest-quality cheese in the universe. Seriously. We make more flavors and varieties of cheese than anywhere else on earth, and we're constantly pushing the boundaries of what cheese can be. Here's the proof: we've won more than 5,550 awards for our cheese, more than any other state or country in the world. Best parmesan? Yep. Best gouda? Check. Best gorgonzola? You get the picture.

So, next time you're looking for the best cheese for mac and cheese, follow macaroni's lead and take home a chunk of Wisconsin's finest.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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