Creamy baked macaroni and cheese

Hooray for baked macaroni and cheese that is three-cheese creamy, soul-food comforting, and easy to get on the table to feed a hungry crowd. We love this lip-smacking good creamy baked mac and cheese recipe from Divas Can Cook, and we’re sure that you will too.

Are you used to mac and cheese out of a box? Whether it’s from the iconic blue box or the healthier organic versions, boxed mac and cheese doesn’t hold a fork to homemade macaroni and cheese. If you’ve never made it from scratch, today is the day you’re going to learn!

ALSO TRY: Instant Pot Mac and cheese

Three cheeses and more!

Certainly you could make your mac and cheese with cheddar and be happy with the end result. It is homemade, after all. But why not go cheese crazy and let cheddar, colby jack, and (our favorite) smoked Gouda turn your basic mac and cheese recipe into a scrumptious gourmet meal! Be adventurous and try other cheeses to give your taste buds even more to anticipate. Gruyere, fontina, and Parmesan are delectable go-tos for homemade macaroni and cheese. Gorgonzola, feta, and goat cheese are distinctly-flavored options that deliciously surprise in the first bite. They are best when combined with milder cheeses.

It’s cheese! You can’t go wrong when you make meals with cheese!


Cook your elbow macaroni

Just like the stuff in the box, you start by cooking the pasta in boiling water. Once your macaroni is cooked until just tender, drain it, and pour it back into the pasta pot to keep warm.


Create your roux

Mix melted butter and flour together in a sauce pan creating the base of your roux.


Pour half-and-half into roux

Add the half-and-half to the sauce pan, whisking constantly to create smooth, creamy texture.


Add colby jack cheese mixture to the roux

Stir 1 cup of colby jack cheese into the roux mixture completely, melting and creating the first cheesy sauce for your macaroni and cheese.


Pour cheese sauce over elbow noodles in pot

Add the cheese sauce to your cooked macaroni and toss to combine. Set this aside while you make the next mouthwatering mac and cheese component.


Combine remaining colby jack, cheddar, Gouda, salt, and pepper

Mix last cup colby jack cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup smoked Gouda cheese, salt, and pepper (to taste) together in a mixing bowl.


Whisk eggs and add to mixing bowl

Add the eggs to your cheese mixture and stir completely until fully blended.


Pour second cheese mixture into pot

Stir together both cheese mixtures and elbow macaroni noodles until well-mixed. Pour noodles into a greased casserole baking dish and spread out evenly.


Sprinkle remaining Gouda cheese and parsley on top of macaroni

Top with remaining cheese and parsley and then bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and hot. Allow macaroni and cheese to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Spoon out generous helpings of this creamy macaroni and cheese

Don’t be scared! There is plenty to share and your family will be asking for seconds of this delicious dish.


Look at all the cheese!


Have you ever seen macaroni and cheese look this good?


Creamy baked macaroni and cheese

Yield 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided into 1 tablespoon and 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half, warmed
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) Colby Jack cheese, shredded, divide into 1 cup and 1 cup
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) smoked Gouda cheese, shredded, divided into 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Butter an 8x10-inch casserole dish with one tablespoon of butter.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  4. Add the pasta and cook until it is al dente, about seven minutes.
  5. Drain pasta and return it to the cooking pot.
  6. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle flour over the butter.
  7. Make a roux by continuously whisking flour with the butter until the mixture turns a golden brown. The roux will go through several phases before coming together and coloring. Be patient.
  8. Slowly whisk in half-and-half and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth.
  9. Add one cup of Colby Jack cheese and stir until the sauce is creamy.
  10. Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni, tossing to coat well.  Set aside.
  11. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, one cup Colby Jack cheese, one cup Cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup smoked Gouda cheese.
  12. Add salt and pepper and adjust the seasonings according to taste.
  13. Whisk the eggs into the cheese mixture.
  14. Pour the cheese mixture into the macaroni, stirring until well combined.
  15. Pour macaroni into the prepared casserole dish.
  16. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni with remaining 1/4 cup of smoked Gouda cheese and parsley.
  17. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and hot.
  18. Allow the macaroni and cheese to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Courses Side dish