Looking for the best mac and cheese on the planet? Okay, here goes: the best mac and cheese recipe is…the one you like the most.
No, we're not trying to be coy. And we're happy to share any of our recipes for mac and cheese. It's just deciding on the best mac and cheese recipe is an incredibly personal decision, and we would never dare suggest that our favorite should be yours as well.
Some people love their mac and cheese with jalapenos and queso quesadilla, a superbly melty Mexican style cheese. For others, lobster mac and cheese is out of this world. Cauliflower and breadcrumbs are the perfect partners for some folk's best mac and cheese recipe, while andouille sausage and shrimp give plain mac and cheese a decidedly Cajun vibe.
While you might not really know yet what your perfect mac and cheese recipe is, the fun part is trying to figure it out. All we know is, whatever else is in your best mac and cheese recipe, adding Wisconsin cheese will help you kick up a notch.
As you're exploring the infinite varieties of recipes, here's a few tips to help you up your mac and cheese game.
Go for two. The best mac and cheese recipes usually feature two or more cheeses, because it's the rare cheese variety that can deliver both a creamy texture and dreamy flavor. (Emmentaler and mild cheddar are two of the cheeses that accomplish this feat.) Combining a great melting cheese like fontina, monterey jack or mozzarella with a big-flavored cheese like extra sharp cheddar, smoked gouda or gorgonzola gives you the best of both worlds. Don't feel you need to stop at two – many of the best mac and cheese recipes feature four to five cheeses, topping the whole thing off with a sprinkle of parmesan to create a tangy crust.
Pick your pasta wisely. While elbow macaroni is the standard bearer, there are lots of great pastas that will give your mac and cheese more kick. Stay away from the straight and skinny models like spaghetti or capellini – you want the curvy, nooks-and-cranny pastas that will trap more cheesy goodness. Shells, bowties, penne, and rotini are excellent choices.
Melt with care. Be sure to go slow and use low heat as you're melting the cheese, to avoid ending up with a lumpy mess.
The best mac and cheese recipe is a subjective decision, but several elements are common among the favorite recipes of most people. The pasta needs to have enough tunnels, nooks, and surface area that the cheese can cling to it. The cheese sauce needs to have both melting qualities and lots of flavor. A crusty layer on top is ideal for many mac and cheese lovers, while others love including special ingredients like bacon, cauliflower, spinach, or truffles.
A great mac and cheese recipe needs both a melting cheese like monterey jack cheese, fontina, baby swiss, asiago, provolone, mozzarella, as well as a flavorful cheese like cheddar, havarti, smoked gouda, gorgonzola, or even feta.
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Whatever else you decide are the ideal ingredients for your mac and cheese recipe, make sure your recipe starts with Wisconsin Cheese. We produce more than 600 types and varieties of cheese each year – more than any other state in the nation. And we've won more awards – 5,552 and counting – than any other state or country in the world. So, you know you're getting the best possible cheese if it comes from Wisconsin.
Here's the fun part of making mac with Wisconsin cheese: with so many amazing and delicious cheeses to choose from, you'll be able to create your own custom-made, unbelievably good version of this iconic dish. The best is all the different versions you'll get to try on the way to deciding on your best mac and cheese recipe. And as we all know, even a failed mac and cheese experiments is still going to be clean-your-plate delicious.
Okay, all this mac and cheese talk is making us hungry. What do you say we wrap this puppy up, grab some Wisconsin cheese and head for the kitchen. ‘Cause in Wisconsin, it's always mac and cheese time.
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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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.