As you're searching the internet and recipe sites for the most awesome macaroni and cheese recipe on the planet (and who isn't?), you'll find an unending variety of takes on this most comforting of comfort foods. Lobster mac and cheese? Easy peasy. Macaroni and cheese with bacon and caramelized onions? Piece o' cheesecake. Cajun mac and cheese with andouille sausage and shrimp? No problem.
Of course, that's the beauty of mac n cheese – there's a universe of flavor options in this single food category. Ultimately, finding the best mac and cheese recipe means you'll need to make, bake, and taste a lot of mac and cheese. Which, in Wisconsin, is right up there with winning the lottery.
The problem with other sites' mac and cheese recipes? They don't focus on the cheese! We've got some great macaroni and cheese recipe ideas for you on our website that run the gamut of different cheeses that will spice up your dinner (or lunch, or heck, even breakfast). And if you're up for trying your hand at adding your own mac and cheese recipe to the pantheon of earth-shattering mac and cheese dishes, we've got a few tips for you below. Read on!
Let's face it – a macaroni and cheese recipe is really all about the cheese. Sure, you need macaroni for structure, texture, blah blah blah, but it's the cheese that makes this the world's favorite food. Cheese brings the flavor after all, not to mention the melty goodness. And you can't have mac and cheese without melty goodness, for Pete's sake.
So, here's tip #1 for your baked mac and cheese recipe: start with two cheeses. Or three. Or four. Heck, the more the merrier. You'll need some cheeses that melt well – anything from an alpine style, to monterey jack, and fontina – and some cheeses that pack a flavor punch – hello, havarti, cheddar, smoked gouda and gorgonzola.
Tip #2: slooooow down. We get it – you absolutely cannot wait to introduce your taste buds to your latest and greatest macaroni and cheese recipe. But if you try to melt the cheese too fast, it'll be lumpy, and you'll be grumpy. Melt it slowly over low heat – we promise it's worth the wait.
Tip #3: choose a pasta that's worthy of your cheese. Don't waste your cheese on some super skinny stringy noodles – you want pasta you can get your fork into. Something with curves, nooks, crannies, and tunnels that you can fill with melted cheese.
Tip #4: add accents. Once you've got the right cheese, everything else you add is just more flavor and texture. Bacon and broccoli? Sure. Pumpkin and breadcrumbs? If that's the way you roll, okay. Roasted garlic, crackers, and beer? Okay, now you're just toying with us.
A good macaroni and cheese recipe needs cheeses that have both great melting properties and lots of flavor, and pasta with enough surface area and nooks that the cheese can cling to. Many mac and cheese-lovers like a layer of crusty breadcrumbs on top, while others like their mac and cheese with additional ingredients like sausage, cauliflower, shrimp, or truffles.
The Italians were making cheesy pastas as early as the 14th century, but the first actual macaroni and cheese recipe comes from an 18th-century English cookbook.
A good macaroni and cheese recipe needs two kinds of cheeses: a cheese that adds flavor and a cheese that melts well. Cheddar, havarti, smoked gouda, gorgonzola, and feta are great flavor cheeses, while pepper jack cheese, swiss, mozzarella and muenster are among the better melters.
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Here in the State of Cheese, we know the best macaroni and cheese recipe will always include Wisconsin cheese. That's because Wisconsin makes the best cheese on the planet. That's not the just beer cheese talking – it's just a cheese fact. We've won more cheesemaking awards than any other state in the country or any other country on earth. We have the only Master Cheesemaker program in the world apart from the one in Switzerland. And we make 600+ flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese -- more than twice what any other state is making.
It's all part of our plan to make the tastiest, highest-quality cheese in the universe – so you can whip up a macaroni and cheese recipe that's truly out of this world.
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.