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What Cheese To Use For Mac And Cheese

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George Reily

Dec 2, 2023, 6:13:09 PM12/2/23
Mac and cheese is a classic dish that brings back a whirlwind of nostalgia for many. Though it is considered to be a pretty simple and standard meal that everyone from children to adults adore, there is so much more to this pasta. Mac and cheese has played a huge role in the cultural cuisine of the United States. While we don't know the exact origin of this iconic dish, examples of it are first seen in Northern Europe in 1769.

What Cheese To Use For Mac And Cheese

When it comes to ingredients, the name "macaroni and cheese" is pretty self-explanatory. However, while the macaroni pasta is obviously a huge part of the recipe, nothing is more important than the cheese. From cheddar to Monterey Jack, the using the best cheeses in mac and cheese is what makes this decadent dish so legendary. That being said, we've rounded up some of our favorites so that you can get cooking and cure your craving!

Cheddar is perhaps one of the most widely loved and known cheeses in the country. Nutrition Advance says cheddar is a medium-hard cheese made from cow's milk, and its origins date back to at least the 12th century. When it comes to color, this beloved cheese can vary between a pale yellow to a bright orange, and its taste can depend heavily on how long it has been aged. That being said, there is also a big difference between sharp cheddar and regular cheddar.

Sharp cheddar is best for cooking since it has a more pungent and strong flavor, whereas more mild varieties might get lost after being melted or mixed with other ingredients. When it comes to making the perfect batch of mac and cheese, cheddar is a key player that results in a creamy and rich dish that never gets old. While cheddar is a great base cheese for a variety of dishes, this staple can also be topped with other cheeses for a more dynamic flavor profile.

If you want to put a rich and upscale twist on your basic mac and cheese recipe, gruyère is the way to go. Gruyère has wonderful melting ability, making it a popular option in recipes like fondue and French onion soup. Though this cheese is very high in fat (that's part of what makes it so creamy and decadent), VeryWellFit says gruyère is a wonderful source of calcium and can take a simple recipe to the next level with very little effort.

Looking for something extra vibrant and flavorful? Goat cheese is a pungent cheese that can add a tangy twist to your traditional mac and cheese. What's Cooking America says goat milk is much lower in fat and cholesterol when compared to milk from cows, and it is far easier to digest. If you have an intolerance to lactose, goat cheese can be a wonderful substitute that still provides a dairy flavor that is hard to find with nut-based, vegan cheeses.

Parmesan is a distinct and vivacious cheese that is typically sprinkled over pizza, salad, or pasta for added flavor. Authentic parmesan is a hard cheese from Italy that also has a distinct scent. The process of making parmesan dates back more than 1,000 years, says Healthline. This hard cheese is one of the most widely known and loved varieties. While it is not typically used in large doses in most dishes, it is the perfect enhancer thanks to its strong flavor.

Cream cheese is the ultimate ingredient when it comes to making your mac and cheese as creamy and silky as possible. Cream cheese can be used for far more than your typical morning bagel. From ice cream to pasta sauce, this rich and decadent cheese can enhance even the most basic of dishes by bringing out the flavor and improving the texture. For the most part, cream cheese is made from cow's milk, though you can also find goat milk-based cream cheese and even vegan cream cheese at most grocery stores.

Ready to hear why Gouda is so great? According to Live Eat Learn, Gouda cheese is a dynamic and complex cheese that can differ immensely in taste and texture depending on how long the cheese has aged. For example, young Gouda cheeses are much more mild and soft, and there is a sweetness in the aftertaste. Older gouda has a much more potent, strong, and savory flavor.

This Dutch cheese is most often made from cow milk, though you can find sheep or goat varieties that might be easier to digest for some people who have an intolerance to lactose. When using Gouda in mac and cheese, it is best to stick with a younger selection to keep things simple and avoid overpowering the dish. On top of that, aged gouda is much drier and loses moisture as it ages, meaning a young varietal will provide a much creamier texture for your mac and cheese.

Brie is perhaps one of the most decadent and beloved soft cheeses known to man (at least, we think so). Brie is recognized by its soft center and hard outer rind. Even when it is enjoyed cold, brie maintains a very creamy texture that makes it spreadable on bread, fruit, and more. That being said, melted brie is out of this world. Between the buttery flavor and the gooey texture, warm brie is an absolute must for cheese lovers.

Originating from California, Monterey Jack cheese is incredibly meltable, making it a popular option for nachos, mac and cheese, and more. This cheese can be semi-soft or dry from the aging process, but the high-moisture varieties work best when making a creamy and melted dish like mac and cheese. This cow's milk cheese has a pretty mild flavor, which makes it a solid foundational cheese that can easily be built upon with more pungent and strong varieties.

Fontina cheese is a rich and creamy variety that is known to have a slightly nutty aftertaste. Kids Are Great Cooks says this cheese was first made north of Italy in the Aosta Valley, and it is definitely one of the stronger cheeses out there. It can be recognized by its pale yellow coloring and semi-soft texture. Though some people prefer to slice Fontina while it is cold and put it on a sandwich or a cheese board, it is most decadent when it is baked.

This cheese melts pretty easily, and it's a great resource for adding a unique flavor punch to your mac and cheese. Since it is very buttery, Fontina enhances the creamy and milky undertones of this beloved pasta dish. Fontina is made from cow's milk, and it pairs nicely with other cheeses like gruyère, provolone, and Gouda for smooth mac and cheese. Though it might not be the most common cheese, it is a great option to have on deck in the fridge.

Similar to Monterey Jack, Colby cheese is a great option when it comes to making a creamy and somewhat sweet mac and cheese. Kids are Great Cooks says Colby cheese is on the sweeter side, though it is considered to be pretty mild in flavor overall. It often is sold cubed and is used as an appetizer on a cheese board or with other meats like salami and turkey.

Baked Mac and Cheese: Once the pasta and cheese sauce are combined, add it to a baking dish and bake with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. We shared this Baked Macaroni and Cheese a while back.

Meanwhile, make the creamy cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a large high-sided pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk the butter and flour together and around the pan until they smell toasted and look light brown; 2 to 3 minutes.

After adding the pasta to the cheese sauce, spoon into a large baking dish, scatter breadcrumbs (optional), and more shredded cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven until bubbling and browned on top; 25 to 30 minutes.

This classic stovetop mac and cheese recipe starts with a roux, which is a cooked mixture of flour and fat (in this case, butter). The roux thickens the sauce and helps the cheese melt smoothly into the sauce instead of clumping up as it melts. While there are ways to make a cheese sauce without a roux, taking this extra step definitely creates the creamiest, dreamiest cheese sauce for your mac and cheese.

Cheddar is probably the most popular cheese for macaroni and cheese and sharp cheddar provides the most pronounced flavor. But if you want to experiment outside of the confines of cheddar, there are a ton of other cheeses that are great in macaroni and cheese! You can use one or a combination of cheeses to make your mac and cheese your own.

Begin adding 8oz. shredded cheddar to the pot, one handful at a time, whisking until it is completely melted before adding more. If the sauce cools down too much to continue melting the cheese, you can put it over low heat briefly, but avoid allowing the sauce to simmer again. Overheating cheese sauces will cause them to break and become grainy and oily.

Geat recipe! of course I made some adjustments, more salt, included fresh ground pepper, few slices of american cheese and some sour cream let it simmer till thick. Next time ill trow in some celery a can of tuna and some cream of chicken.

To start off, this cheesy bechamel sauce here is over-the-top! Aside from 1/2 cup of half and half (of light cream and whole milk), I also added a can of evaporated milk (different from condensed milk) to add more creaminess and texture to my mac and cheese.

Baking it at around 20 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 C) guarantees you that same stretchy cheesy baked mac and cheese with all the heart-melting sauce. Or you can also bake it at 30 minutes at 350 F(177 C);

This mac and cheese recipe has many similarities to another of my favorites; One Pan Baked Ziti. They are both creamy, and dreamy, comfort food that gets baked to cheesy, bubbly perfection in the oven.

The BEST Homemade Mac and Cheese of your LIFE. Outrageously cheesy, ultra creamy, and topped with a crunchy Panko-Parmesan topping, this mac and cheese recipe is most definitely a keeper. I used three different cheese and a homemade cheese sauce to take this macaroni and cheese recipe over the top. Love cheesy recipes? Make sure to try this Lazy Day Lasagna and Cheesy Kielbasa Rice and Broccoli Skillet next week for dinner!

Made this for the first time for my family and friends on Christmas. Everyone loved it and said it is a must for next Christmas. I shredded all the cheeses, that was key. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
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