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Two-Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese

Total Time

Prep: 35 min. Bake: 35 min.

Makes

15 servings

Updated: Feb. 25, 2023
A lot of stories claim that bechamel mac and cheese was created by Thomas Jefferson, Marco Polo or the cooks of China. My favorite theory? An Italian housewife invented it to introduce non-Italian Americans to the joys of macaroni. —Stephanie Sorbie, Glendale, Arizona
Two-Cheese Mac 'n Cheese Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, optional
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash salt
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. If desired, add garlic cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in flour, pepper and salt until blended; cook and stir until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 4 cups cheddar cheese and Asiago cheese until melted. Mixture will thicken. Drain pasta; stir in cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Bechamel Mac and Cheese

Can you use different cheeses to make bechamel mac and cheese?

Absolutely! Consider swapping out the Asiago with Parmesan, Gruyere or Swiss to keep that "nutty" contrasting flavor to the cheddar. Or use Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Muenster or white cheddar instead of the cheddar. One tip: Skip the packaged, pre-shredded cheese in favor of shredding your own cheese on your box grater. It will keep macaroni and cheese smooth and melty. If you have leftover cheese, we have lots of other cheese recipes to use it up.

How can you tell when the bechamel is thick enough?

Bechamel, a basic white sauce, is thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a clean line through it with your finger.

What else can you add to bechamel mac and cheese?

For extra pizazz and crunch, combine seasoned bread crumbs and melted butter and scatter evenly over your macaroni and cheese prior to baking. If it browns too much, you can tent the macaroni and cheese midway through baking with aluminum foil.

How should you store leftover bechamel mac and cheese?

When completely cool, store your mac and cheese in an airtight, lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can easily be reheated in the microwave, but consider adding a splash or two of milk to re-hydrate the cheese a little as it heats, bringing back some creaminess and moisture. You can also reheat it in the oven. Place the mac and cheese in an oven-safe dish, and heat at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 331 calories, 17g fat (12g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 306mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 16g protein.

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