To Die for Macaroni and Cheese



This recipe absolutely blows my old homemade mac and cheese recipe out of the water. I made it once a month or so ago, and could not remember where I got the recipe from! It took me forever, but I finally found it, and thankfully was able to make it again!!! It uses monterey jack cheese, which gives it a nice flavor, and is so creamy and cheesy!!! The first time I made it I omitted the cayenne pepper, which I liked better. With it, the mac and cheese has a bit of a bite to it, which DH loved. Totally personal preference. I got this recipe from the blog The Way the Cookie Crumbles! The recipe is originally from Cooks Illustrated.

I have, like the original recipe, played with the amounts of cheddar versus monterey jack. I also just broiled cheese on top and omitted the bread crumb topping. I agree with the author of the blog, 10 oz of cheddar and 6 oz of monterey jack seems to be the best combination.



  • 1 pound elbow macaroni ( I used RIgatoni, all we had in the house)
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons powdered mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 5 cups milk
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese , shredded (2 cups)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt


Directions: These are a little different then the original, because I do not have a dutch oven (yet!)



  1.  Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large sauce pan. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
  2. In now-empty pan, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) and whisk well to combine. 
  3. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute.
  4. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). 
  5. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
  7. Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9 by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Broil until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.



2 Responses to “To Die for Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. I’m so glad you liked it! I made this a few weeks ago, and I ate way too much of it. I just couldn’t stop…

  2. 2 foodislovee

    Thanks again for the recipe Bridget, I have already made it twice!!! I can never stop eating when I make it, DELICIOUS 🙂

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