Cheese Lovers 5 Cheese Mac and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
35 min
5 min
1 hr

6 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) package macaroni (cellentani or other curly noodle)
  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to butter baking dish
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fontina
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyere
  • 3/4 cup grated white Cheddar (Australian)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain.

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Saute the onion in the bacon drippings until soft. Add the 5 tablespoons butter to the onion mixture and melt the butter stirring with a wooden spoon.

Using a whisk, add the flour, and stir constantly until well mixed with the fat making a roux. Whisk in the mustard. Gradually add the milk and cream whisking constantly.

Add the thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Let come to a simmer and stir frequently for 15 minutes.

Strain the hot milk mixture into a metal bowl and discard the solids. Working quickly, mix in 1 cup fontina, blue cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere, 1/2 cup white Cheddar, 1/2 cup Parmesan, the reserved bacon, and parsley. Continue to stir until all cheese is melted.

Add the cooked noodles to the cheese mixture to coat. Add the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread crumbs together and sprinkle on top of the noodles. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown. Remove from oven when done and rest for 5 minutes.

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4.5 148
Great recipe I've made it 5 times. I didn't discard the onions either. I would suggest adding some extra bacon and parsley to add to the breadcrumbs mixture so to make the bacon ibits and green of the parsley pop to the eye. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is AWESOME!! I don't strain the milk mixture- why would you eliminate the onion sauteed in that lovely bacon grease?? I have gotten rave reviews every time I have made this!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I get rave reviews every time I make this. I omit the onion' but otherwise stay true to the recipe. Last time I made it ahead, popped it out of the fridge to the oven until hot and it was still awesome. It saved me the last minute stress so I could enjoy the company of my guests. This is a fairly labor intensive dish, but is so worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
amazing i make it twice a year. i buy the cheese up ahead of time so iam forking out all the money at once. but its a big hit item not reviewed by moderator and published
Simply awesome!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe! This is what I always make to take to our family suppers on the holidays. It never fails to be requested and is ALWAYS a hit! Comfort food at its finest. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I read a lot of the reviews and made this exactly as the recipe says, and I must have done it right because it took exactly the amount of time specified at the top...but I didn't like it. I would add more bacon, plus I would leave OUT the blue cheese, along with the thyme and onion in the roux, assuming I'd ever make it again, which I know I won't. The other 4 cheeses in this are mild and the blue cheese overpowers them even though there is less blue cheese than the other cheeses in it. Also, this was a VERY expensive recipe to make. I'm sure there are other, less expensive and easier recipes online that will taste better than this one. If you do decide to make it - unless you really really LIKE blue cheese - I suggest you leave that out and put in more cheddar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
***MUST TRY**** It is the most AMAZING Mac-N-Cheese ever! I absolutely loved how all the different textures and tastes came together; BRILLIANTLY DONE!!!! I have never been a big fan of Mac-N-Cheese but this is all in a class of its own and Certainly a MUST KEEP recipe. I also enjoyed the subtle taste of blue cheese; just the right amount and not overpowering. Truly an amazing dish and one to make over and over again. ****MUST TRY FOLKS**** You wont be disappointed for sure. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wish people would quit rating recipes that they have changed!!! If you aren't going to follow a recipe, ie, leave out the blue cheese, then don't rate it, it's not the written recipe!!!!! This is a great recipe as is! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the most amazing Mac and cheese! I've made it Several times and everyone says its the best they've ever had. It is about $50 t item not reviewed by moderator and published
I can't believe people on here are rating the recipe based on eating it at Friday's. of course it is going to be different and not be as good. It's Friday's, not a gourmet restaurant. Now on to the recipe, I've made it once a week now and can't get enough. Everyone we make it for just loves it and I don't think it is too pricey to make. I guess it depends on where you go to buy you cheeses, but even then, when the cheese that I buy is enough to make at least 2 batches,so it's not that bad. Don't judge until you've tried it. There is a lot of prep work involved, but it is TOTALLY worth it! The only modification I've made is to add more bacon, but that's because I love bacon : TRY THIS RECIPE!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was worried the blue cheese would be to strong for my kids but "truth be told" I made it for me.. Everyone including my Kids loved it. They especially loved the "BACON" in it. It came out perfect. Mac-N-Cheese is by far one of my favorite comfort foods and Rick's Recipe is The Best thus far..I wouldn't expect anything less from Rick Massa, He is truly a professional. Watch this episode. He is an awesome human being. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the most amazing Mac and cheese! I've made it Several times and everyone says its the best they've ever had. It is about $50 to make but totally worth it. The dish goes a long way since its so rich. My husband helps me when I make it because it's a little overwhelming. Especially if it's your first time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sooo good! I highly recommend this dish. It is expensive to make (about $50-60 if you don't have the ingredients on hand. I would suggest measuring everything out beforehand, especially if you're preparing solo. The dish is extemely rich, but a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I will definitely be making for my next dinner party or work get together! Enjoy! : item not reviewed by moderator and published
My new go-to recipe for Mac and cheese. This was beyond delicious. My whole family thinks this is the best they have ever eaten. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh my Gosh, this is the best recipe. I sometimes changed some of the cheeses, mostly the blue cheese but my grandkids love it and always ask me to make it. Not cheap to make but oh so good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! I have made this meal on many occations and everyone who tries it, loves it! Even our friends 6 year old son (the pickiest eatier I have ever seenloves it! I am not a blue cheese fan, but I find it adds a nice "umph" to the dish, I do not find it over powering at all. They only con to this dish is shredding all that cheese : item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the most amazing grown-up mac n cheese ever. I've made it numerous times (always a double recipe, most recently for a family gathering. That, Old Bay wings, and a fresh tossed salad and everyone was happy. I follow the recipe exactly with one exception--I double the bacon bits (but not the grease. Use good quality center-cut bacon for more meaty taste. Keep in oven a little longer to get good browning on the top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This macaroni is amazing!!! I've made this dish over 10 times and all times it has been a hit. However, I'm not a fan of blue cheese, so I substitute the blue cheese for something like mozzarella. This still leaves all of the cheesy integrity of the dish without the overpowering flavor of the blue cheese. Also, I use two boxes of pasta when making this recipe because : 1) one box leaves a lot of extra sauce 2) by using more pasta, you get more macaroni, which makes the cost of the cheese even out with the amount you get 3) finally, you can freeze the leftover macaroni and thaw it whenever you are ready to enjoy more Mac and cheese without all of the hassle of cooking GREAT RECIPE! MUST TRY!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This would be a GREAT recipe if you left out the blue cheese. The 1/2 cup simply overpowers the dish! I may try it again and leave out the blue cheese. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You will know you have died and gone to heaven when you take your first bite. So many yummy flavors!! Like no Mac & Cheese you have ever tasted!! Thank you Rick! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this mac n' cheese three years in a row for Thanksgiving and finally decided to post a review. I made some variations with the cheeses and added 3 eggs but THIS IS THE BEST MAC N' CHEESE I HAVE EVER HAD! I have even brought leftovers to my job and co-workers LOVED it. Some were making it for Thanksgiving this year so I have to find out if their families loved it too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this dish last year for Thanksgiving and evereyone loved it! It is the best mac and cheese I've made! It's so creamy and tasty. It is perfect, everyone should try it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I haven't made this yet but I did have it at TGIF a week ago and am still thinking about it. Excellent!!! I only hope it is as good when I make it myself. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The BEST mac and cheese ever! yes it is a bit rich and takes time, but its delicous. I get asked to make it again and again. Don't devaite - I tried and it is not as good... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this several times and it is always as good as the first time we had it. I never tire of it and look for "excuses" to make it. When I buy the cheeses I always get enough that I can make it a second time in a couple of weeks because after I make it, and it's gone I keep thinking about it for days! Really good the way they make it at TGIF with a chicken breast on top! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this WINNER at TGIF's and it was FANTASTIC. I came home and madeit and it was UBER-FANTASTIC. It may be costly to make, your waistline may suffer, and your colon might rebel, but it is worth it!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I scrolled thru all the recipes and this one caught my attention because of all the ingredients. Yes it's a lot of expensive cheese to buy. BUT oh so worth it in the end. The end result was awesome. I made it for my family on Christmas day. There were so happy. They loved it. So now this will be one of those old traditional recipes we will have for many years at our holiday table. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have never made a dish, where family members have begged me for the leftovers! This delicious macaroni and cheese made me a superstar because it was so rich, creamy, cheesy, and sprinkled with bacon(which was the unique surprise!). I'll admit, it took a long time to make but it was WORTH IT! I'm planning on making it for Christmas dinner! This recipe is simply faboulous! However, I made one slight deviation from the dish and substituted Fontina with Mozzeralla, because every market I went to did not have Fontina in stock. However, it still turned out delicious!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's the ultimate! Fun to make as a family. I watched this episode while on the treadmill. In the long run it's probably counter productive to that. But, WOW, it is worth it. Every bite gets better!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just thought I knew good mac and cheese before....this was incredibly good! Kudos to the Chef! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I seen the episode and wanted to make this....needless to say I did. All I can say is amazing! Now everyone in my house requests this at least once a month...some even offer to pay me for it. Now at every family gathering my dad asks me to bring this. Kudos to Rick Massa!!!!!!!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The gooeyness of this mac and cheese is just perfect. Don't make the mistake of thinking thicker is better. It should start off thinner than you want it to be at the end or the macaroni (I used cavateppi)will absorb the goo and it will be dry. The cheese sauce alone is worth making. I cheaped out on the cheese but it got rave reviews with Fontinella, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and tillamook 2 year old white cheddar (all on sale cheap) The other cheeses were all a dollar an ounce. The flavor may be for grown ups or kids with open minds but you could convert to kid friendly easily. My sixteen year old was very excited with the gobs of it we had leftover that microwaved up pretty well. He understands not to heat up the macaroni and cheese too much or it turns into an oil slick. It is in the "please make it again" section of my recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe for a dinner party a week after the episode aired, and it was to die for! My picky kids even loved it. I made the recipe exactly as stated, and I wouldn't change a thing. It is NOT a light recipe--you will need to spend an extra hour or so on the treadmill--but it's well worth it! The cold weather has returned, and I can't wait to make this amazing comfort food recipe again. If you are looking for heaven in a 9x13 dish, this is it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So, my husband and I decided to give this recipe a try after eating the mac and cheese @ TGIF. This goes well above and beyond!!! We did cut the recipe in 1/2, which was a good thing b/c the full recipe makes well over 6 servings. I also used less bacon drippings,a little less onion and a little less butter. Other than that, we followed the recipe exactly and it was fantastic!! Dont skimp on the cheese, buy good cheese! We went to Whole Foods and had some help choosing the best types and flavors and it was worth every penny!! Anyone who looks at this recipe has got to give it a try! item not reviewed by moderator and published
my mom and i watched URS way back so one day she told me to make it so i did i swear that was the best mac and cheese in the whole world OMG my gosh if ur on a diet u still have to cheat once in a while this is what u should cheat to. but dont go to TGI Fridays after u make it cuz i went with my friends after the high school play we always go there after the play on fri. and i ordered it and i swear not even close to how good it is home made PLEZZZZ U GOT TO TRY THIS U HAVENT LIVED. kudos to RIck Massa the creator. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been dying to try this ever since seeing it on URS. However, I knew there was no way my digestion could handle the high fat content. I finally tried it today with some modifications and was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was. These are the changes I made: 1. I eliminated the bacon (I don't care for it, anyway. I imagine turkey bacon would be OK for those that want that flavor) 2. I sauteed the onion in a little olive oil and some trans-fat free margarine 3. I used reduced fat white cheddar, reducing the other cheeses by half and increasing the amount of the cheddar so that the total amount of cheese was the same (the whole point of the recipe is the flavors of the different cheeses - I didn't want to compromise that by eliminating any of them, so this was my compromise) I used italian bread crumbs for a little extra flavor and voila! I'm sure it's nothing compared to the original, but it's a couple of steps above the plain cheddar I normally make and certainly puts the box to shame! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I agreed to make mac and cheese for a dinner party a couple Sundays ago and this one sounded the best out of the bunch. I also had the nerve to TRIPLE the recipe! Other than a HUGE pot pain it still came out great with a few liberties added. I used Apple Smoked thick cut bacon, Black Truffle Oil with the milks, and Nutmeg with the breadcrumbs. It added some of the amazing characteristics the other recepies had> all in one! Everyone is begging for the recipe and I have to admit it isn't mine, but I MADE IT MINE! HAVE FUN AND MAKE IT YOURS!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We tried the version served at T.G.I.F and really liked it. We were pleased with both the price and the taste. However, once we made it at home following the recipe exactly, there is no comparison! Making it in your own kitchen with the exact measurements produces a much creamier, much most tasty dish. It's a winner and will remain a staple in our house. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was a little disappointed, but it was totally my fault. I was a little heavy handed with the cheeses as I grated and measured them, which resulted in a very thick sauce. I should have known better and added a bit more milk. It baked up rather dry. I will know better next time. I added a LOT of bacon and think I would have cooked a bit of it in the sauce a little longer than adding it in the end, but those bits of bacon in the bites are wonderful! Just remember, if your sauce seems to thick, add more milk because the mac will suck up the sauce. I will definitely make it again. Oh, some of the reviewers mentioned the sauce being grainy. I don't think it's as much the sauce breaking as it is the grated parmesan being a bit grainy. The blue cheese leaves a bit of an aftertaste, but if you are a blue cheese lover, you already know this. Next time, I might use less. All in all, it's one of the best I've tasted. I just looks strange being white instead of what most of us are used to. Get all your ingredients in order ahead of time. Shredding all that cheese takes time! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I absolutley loooove this recipe. I call it my grown up mac and cheese. I do use the bacon to top it off before putting it into the oven... Everything is better with bacon. So all the ingredients are kind of pricey but I always have enough cheese to make this twice, so it actually ends up not being too expensive. But either way it is worth it. I also love it cause I can make a day before,without baking and put it into the fridge until I want to bake it. And the leftovers are amazzzing!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe today and I followed it exactly except I used Vermont Cheddar instead of Australian and while I would rate it above average, Martha Stewar't's recipe is still the best I have ever tried and I have tried at least 20 different recipes. I think Patti Labelle's recipe is excellent as well. I think this one is my second fav and Patti's is third. But Martha's recipe (which also uses Gruyere) is my very favorite. My husband thought so too and he offered his opinion without my asking which he liked better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw this winning recipe on Ultimate Recipe Showdown and I thought it looked very good. Being a mac & cheese nut, I thought I HAD to try this for myself! I went to lunch at TGI Friday's, tried this dish, and it was the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had! If you think you've had the best mac and cheese in the world, think again. THIS is the best mac and cheese in the world, hands down! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this dish twice according to the recipe. Next time I will cut down just a little on the blue cheese because both my husband and son are not fans of it. I schedule a family dinner at TGIF's so I could taste their version and I truely feel Rick's is much better. My son loves having it in the refrigerator ready to go. Thanks for a job well done! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Low calorie? NO. Low cost? NO. Delicious? YES!!!! This is a gourmet mac n cheese and in no way even compares to the boxed stuff! It is worth every calorie and dollar! But if you don't like strong cheese, like bleu, don't waste your time or money, because that's what it is made of. If you do, it's heaven! My husband suggested I add more bacon next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Need I say more? It's ridiculous how good this is. Served it to friends one night, and we all just about fell out of our chairs. Someone stopped by the next day and I force fed him a small dish (wasn't willing to part with too much of it) and he literally looked up and apologized to his dead mother for liking mine so much more than hers. :) Perfectly balanced flavors... the proportions are just right. Do the recipe to the letter the first time around and then tinker with it... though I don't think you'll want to. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm really suprised at how much my family liked it! My sister is very picky with what she eats and she LOVED it and said it was her favorite Mac and cheese she'd ever had! Everyone loved it as well as me. Though it did cost a lot it was definately worth it!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This mac and cheese is the bomb! Some substitutions can be made for the cheeses to make it less expensive, look them up online. The super sharp white cheddar is a must, as is the blue cheese. I used a little more bread crumb mixture on top, just do it to your liking. I will never make another mac and cheese other than this one. It is the best!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not liking bleu cheese, I was nervous about putting it in the recipe, but I thought I will just try it. It was the best mac and cheese I have ever had. The flavors of all the different kinds of cheeses on one curly noodle was delicious! My guest all copied down the recipe to take home and have again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is, by far, the best mac and cheese recipe I've tasted! The only thing I changed was I used fresh bread crumbs and tripled the amount. My whole family loved it and it will definitely be on our table often!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Several of us went to T.G.I.F Fridays to try the macaroni dish. We thought it was very good. Do not believe they had all the ingredients listed in the recipe. We did not find any chicken in the dish. We had it with steak. Also tried the baby cakes and was terribly disappointed. Tasted like dry spice cake and the frosting was awful. Both were extremely cold (fridge). item not reviewed by moderator and published
We LOVE this. EVERYONE I've ever made this for LOVES it. It is very expensive to make, as others have commented. Also, it's REALLY greasy. Next time I'm gonna try and cut down on the butter and drain the bacon grease instead of incorporating it. And maybe try some turkey bacon.... otherwise, AWESOME. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was very creamy and I love strong cheese flavor but my kids did not like the strong blue and fontina flavors. I will try again with a less pungent and expensive set of cheeses item not reviewed by moderator and published
Make this recipe yourself! The TGIF version is dry, dry, dry, with chicken and no "gooey" anywhere. What a disappointment! Why can't they make it like it was written?? We don't usually go to TGIF, but we were willing to try some of these URS recipes. I was afraid to try the BabyCakes--especially since they were called some kind of spice cakes. I don't recall any "spice cake" ingredients in the original. I think they're going to find this has been a big mistake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We went to TGIF today. We normally don't eat there, but we wanted to try the winning mac and cheese and the spicy grits and shrimp. We were extremely dissappointed with both dishes, esp the mac and chs. Don't bother paying $6 for the watery and bland dish at TGIF. TGIF adds chicken to the mac and chs that at least made it a small light lunch portion. (There was only about 3/4 cup worth of the mac n chs itself.) Velveeta mac and chs out of a box is 10 times better than the mac and chs at TGIF.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this last night and my husband and I really liked the creaminess. (Although I agree with earlier comments about it needing more salt.) My daughter wouldn't touch it for dinner, she hates blue cheese. But when she came home later, her hunger got the best of her and she not only tried it, she also loved it. I think the blue cheese adds a nice subtle contrast without overpowering - you wouldn't know by taste that there is blue cheese in it. And the bacon just adds something nice. If you only tried this at TGIF, I highly recommend making it at home. We liked it with penne pasta, rather than traditional elbow pasta. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for my wife's "inventory" party at her store and it was a big hit. They are a small group and they wouldn't let her take the leftovers home. They wanted it for the next day. I am surprised about the comments about being expensive. Real cheese isn't cheap and this recipe does not require a lot. For example, 1/2 cup of blue cheese is about a 1/4 lb. I bought a piece that is about 1/2 lb and I will be able to make the dish twice (in fact tonight for our dinner). I was not going to look for Australian cheddar, so I substituted a very sharp cheddar. I also did not strain the mixture. I wanted the onion pieces and just removed the baby leaf and thyme. I also increased the salt or you will not get a "cheese" flavor. The amount will depend on the cheese you buy so you have to do this by taste. I probably added an extra one and half teaspoons. You should be able to taste the salt before you add the mixture to the pasta. Also, I always cook my pasta in salted water. Without the salt, this will probably taste bland and not that "cheesy". Finally, I used about a cup of buttered Italian bread crumbs (1 cup crumbs saute with a couple tablespoons butter to brown them) mixed with the remaining cheese for the topping. This is comfort food, not diet food. Eat reasonable portions. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is very expensive to make and for the amount of calories in each serving, wasn't worth it. Kind of bland. item not reviewed by moderator and published
So I was sitting around with my family watching URS and we saw this recipe and wondered how it actually tasted. So seeing as how it was going to be at TGI Fridays we went there to try it. First of all they added chicken and I don't know what they made but it looked nothing like what it did on URS. So tonight I made it for my family. I must say it's totally worth the effort and cost of the ingredients because made at home was so delicious. Take the time and make this right you won't regret it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for some friends and myself and it was good but holy crap I spent like $30 bucks or so on cheese; we could of had fillets for that price. Albeit I will make this recipie again only with traditional cheeses. Thanks but no thanks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for my husband's birthday and he loved it! So creamy and delicious. Do have everything ready to go before starting the bacon. It will make it easier to move quickly. The ingredients are expensive, but, I see this as a "special" recipe and we had small servings and put the rest up in the freezer in small servings so we can enjoy it again and again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was disappointed with this recipe. It was expensive to make, and though it was very creamy, it definitely wasn't worth the money. We found it rather bland even though we used extra sharp cheddar. I guess I'm still on the hunt for the perfect Mac n Cheese recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Prepared this recipe as a side with steaks on Valentine's night for hubby and friends. OMG! Very rich but so delicious. Agree with others that one needs to have all ingredients ready to go and that it is somewhat expensive (especially vs Kraft dinner!), but it is so worth it. I used everything specified in the recipe after finding all cheeses at Whole Foods Market. Not a real fan of bleu cheese, but it was hardly noticeable. For the reviewer whose sauce was grainy, the key is to whisk in the flour for the roux (using bacon drippings really helps) and continue whisking when adding cream and milk. Will definitely make again after I lose the five pounds I gained after eating it! A real winner! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It took longer than i wanted to spend on dinner but even the kids liked it, they even wanted more(very unusual). I use this site all the time when im home, i work offshore in the oil field and spend a lot of time cooking to relax. So try it out but be ready to spend some time cooking. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family and I went to TGI Fridays yesterday to celebrate my birthday. Even though the closest one is 45 min from my house, I chose this restaurant because I wanted to try some of the great dishes I have been watching on the show. We ordered the mac and cheese and the spicy grits and shrimp and baby cakes. I was extremely disappointed with all dishes. I don't know if they altered the original recipies but they were all three barely edible. I am so glad that I did not make these at home. I will never go to that restaurant again and it makes me very hesitant to try any of the other recipies from that show. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had my teenage grandchildren for Valentine's Weekend, and wanted to upgrade their family favorites without resorting to the usual on the go boxed or frozen options. When the show aired recently, I heard the judges comments regarding the Blue Cheese in the recipe, and I said "that's the dish for me", and "if I can get the teenagers to eat it, it's definately a winner"! (I discreetly added the Blue Cheese). It was cold & pouring rain all weekend. The aroma was enticing, the finished dish looked tantelizing, it made a large amount, and needless to say, when the grown-ups arrived, they were inpressed grandma had made homemade for the kids. I paired this dish with Paula Deen's Chicken Nuggets w/ Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, & made some fruit kabobs w/optional Carmel Dip. The whole meal was simple, but a real hit - think I'll take it to the next family reunion. Thanks Rick for a wonderful new addition to Grandma's favorite recipes! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The week this recipe aired my husband wanted to try this. So I added it to the menu and off I went to find the cheeses. Not all of them are easy to find, but I did after visiting several stores. This recipe makes a HUGE pan and is really good. I highly recommend it if you like Mac and Cheese. This recipe will be kept in my "special occasions" rotation. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First off I went in wanting the Spicy Shrimp and Grits and the waiter told me it was horrible and did not recommend it. I chose the mac and cheese--how could they mess that up you ask?? Well the grilled chicken was burned and hard. The pasta was oily w/ blue cheese crumbles on top. It was not creamy or cheesy at all. I ended up with the BBQ Sliders which were DELICIOUS!!! TGIF just isn't a pasta spot..stick to the real bar food. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was THE hit of my Valentine's Dinner - everyone loved it! For those who complain about the cheeses, I'd like to remind them that this is a Cheese Lover's recipe -- if American cheese food slices are exotic to you, then you probably won't like it. Some others complained about the flavor after making substitutions - go figure. This recipe is very easy to make, has great flavor and makes a large (but not over-sized) quantity. It is very well adapted to the average home kitchen, and the trouble of buying all 5 cheeses was well worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hands down the best mac and cheese ever! Very simple instructions and positively sinful taste. I left out the blue cheese b/c my family hates it and it tasted absolutely perfect! Highly highly reccomend this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this on a stormy night, and it certainly warms the soul. I did modify slightly by using a bit more cheddar than called for, and a little less blue cheese to make it more kid friendly. The bacon inclusion - well, who doesn't like bacon - really knocks this out of the park. I agree with one reviewer who advised having everything ready before you start the noodles. It does come together really quickly. Make this tonight, for family and friends. It will not disappoint. Great job, Rick. Congrats! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is incredible. On a cold day, when you want a little 'comfort', this is the dish. A bit of prep, but not too bad. I had everything prepped and ready before I started the bacon. I'm glad I did, because it comes together quickly. I left off the reserved cheese topping, and put all the cheese in the dish, then only put the bread crumbs on top. Simply delicious. A must try. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is definately one example of how you can take an average dish that everyone is familiar with and turn it into something extrodinary! My husband loved it! Not often he opts for something over his favorite grilled chicken .. but this dish was the highlight of our dinner! Awesomely delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have never liked mac and cheese, even as a child. I saw Rick prepare his receipe on the Showdown episode on Food Network and thought I would go to TGIF and try it. All I can say is "WOW". It was without a doubt the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted. I am a big fan of bacon and blue cheese and the combination of the two in Rick's recipe was perfect. I have downloaded Rick's receipe and will prepare it tonight. I just hope I can duplicate the taste of this great receipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sophisticated but still down home enough that the kids loved it. All it needs is a side salad and this is a great meal. I hope you have more recipes of this caliber Rick. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe! Even my children, ages 10, 8, 6 and 5 thought that is was the BEST! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this several times now and even the picky men in the house RAVE about it. Since I love to cook (and Rick has helped teach me how) this is a fabulous recipe for a nice Sunday afternoon!!!! Thanks, Rick! Can't wait for more of your recipes :-) item not reviewed by moderator and published
We watched the episode and went to Friday's to try the mac & cheese. It was wonderful in the restaurant, and I wanted to duplicate at home. I got the exact cheeses (with the exception of Australian white cheddar- used New York white Cheddar), even the expensive Maytag Bleu Cheese and not a cheaper counterpart, however I used half & half and 2%. I did not strain the onion, used dried thyme (all I had), and only fished out the bay leaf. It was BETTER than at Fridays. Totally worth the effort of grating all those cheeses. Lovely, amazing, magnificent. My husband loved it. We could taste the Bleu, but it did not overpower the rest of the sauce. Creamy and rich and filling. What a great recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this EXACTLY as the recipe indicated and it was fabulous. If you choose to change the recipe then don't be surprised if it doesn't taste as good. I just don't understand people's negatives reviews when they completely change the ingredients. That said...................Thanks Rick! We loved it. KMA 367 item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had the privlage of sampling some of this AWESOME Mac and Cheese from the Chef himself! What a delight! I ate more than I should have, but not half as much as I wanted. Excellent Job Rick! I also went to TGIFridays. The Mac and Cheese was good, without a doubt. But the taste was different from the "Original". I enjoy the Blue Cheese mixed in with the sauce not crumbles on top. I am not a big fan of blue cheese and in the Original you can hardly taste it. But overall, Excellent choice of TGIFridays to keep Rick's Mac & Cheese! I will still have it at TGIF (just no blue cheese). I recommend everyone to enjoy the meal for yourself, you won't be disappointed! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Super Easy To Make!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
When I saw this dish on the URS, I thought it looked very tasty. I was excited when I saw it on the menu and ordered it. IT WAS AWFUL. If I were Rick Massa I would be upset at what they did to my dish. It was not what he presented. It tasted like it was prepared many hours beforehand and left in the oven or just left out. It was not creamy but dry and tasteless. The pasta was hard and crusty. It was inedible. A couple of bites and the rest was left uneaten. I feel that if foodnetwork is going to team up with a rstaurant chain and tout it, then it should monitor the food they serve that is reflecting your recipes. Believe me that food they served reflected badly on your reputation. item not reviewed by moderator and published
As several have said, TOO BLEU! I guess I'm not a sophisticated "cheese lover"; had never tried 3 of the required cheeses (Gruyere, Fontina and the Australian white cheddar). (Low-fat mozzarella, smokey cheddar & American sandwich squares are more my speed, with historical notes of Camembert & La Vache Qui Rit.) Overall cheese taste, besides the Bleu, is a sort of acrid sourness. I'm hoping time in the freezer will calm it down some; the recipe made a HUGE volume, it will take me months to get through it. The bechamel apparently broke at some point, the sauce is quite grainy. Also too onion, and I used a fraction of what was called for. I used EVERY large container I have to make it (short of the canner!) I had to substitute my favorite Black Forest ham (dice) for the bacon, it was what I had; the ham flavor did not permeate AT ALL. Maybe bacon would have done better on that note. The bread-crumb topping came out very nicely, first time I've made one of those. I guess I'll just keep on with my awful American bechamel that I can make in one skillet, in one or two helping volume. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This macaroni was truly delicious but fair warning: there are a lot of really strong cheeses in this recipe that can hurt sensitive tummies. I did ok but our 8 year old and my husband both made a few trips to the bathroom afterwards. Even though they ended up on the pot, they still came back wanting more. It is really yummy. I went to 3 different grocery stores and couldn't find gruyere so I looked for a substitute online and found several people suggesting emmetale or yarlsburg. I used emmetale. Also couldn't find cheddar from australia, so I used an irish cheddar. It was delicious! :) Will definately make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My daughter and I had this at TGIF last night. It was delicious! Rick Massa deserves to have won in the comfort food category. I wanted to get some to go. It would be great to eat while watching the Super Bowl this Sunday. Let me also say that TGIF's price for this dish was a real deal. It's a meal for the price of a #1 at the drive thru fast food restaurants. It also helped that the server last night had a great personality. TGIF is our favorite of the chain restaurants, and it's because of their food and their service. Thanks for making this recipe available. We're going to give it a try this weekend. To heck with my Biggest Loser competition at work:). item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is SOOOO good!! I made it for the first time tonight and, like the judges, wasn't sure I was going to like the Blue Cheese. But it was absolutely fabulous!! Thanks for the recipe, Rick. This is our new favorite! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed this recipe fairly closely, though I used a slightly sharper VT cheddar and cooked the onions in the bacon fat with some added spices. Overall it was an exceptional, though slightly overwhelming, dish. Just overflowing with cheesy bacon flavor and enough to satisfy anyone, even as a full meal. Great job! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe for 2 differnet families that I cook for as a service project to help them out. Because the Gruyere was so expensive (as most cheeses) I substituted plain old cheddar, and it was delicious!! A beautiful smooth sauce and great flavor A rich treat that I will definitely make once in a while. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I did not like the flavor of the combined cheeses even though I like each of the cheeses individually. The heavy cream also made it way too rich. I'll stick with sharp cheddar melted into a bechamel made with regular milk flavored with a little salt & pepper, onion, mustard powder and thyme. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First let me say I am a "purist" when it comes to mac and cheese. I normally only like macaroni and sharp cheddar made with a roux, no eggs. Nothing fancy. But I had to try this recipe. I was a bit hesitant with the bacon and bleu cheese (thought it might be overpowering) but it was wonderful. I did not measure the bleu cheese, just broke off a few chunks and tasted after every additon. Eliminates the worry of adding too much. I also did not strain off the onion and just fished out the thyme and bay. I used a shallot instead and loved it. This was by far the best mac and cheese recipe I have ever made and I have made LOTS since it is my favorite food. Since I am the only one that likes it in my home, I just cooked enough pasta for one serving, added the cheese mixture to make it creamy and froze the rest. This way when I feel like mac and cheese I just have to defrost my cheese sauce and cook some pasta. This is my new standard. Cheese is expensive, but what isn't? And this is a treat for me...can't eat this way too often (although I would love to!). Keep 'em coming Rick! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a very good recipe. Hats off to RICK MASSA. I had this for a side dish for dinner. My 10 year was going to spend the night at a friends. They were going to grab some fast food on the way. He tried the mac& chesse and asked for a plate to go instead of the fast food that is compliment! item not reviewed by moderator and published
When I first saw this recipe I went to Friday's to try it out. It was good but didn't have the flavors I expected with those different cheeses. Last night I followed Rick's recipe and added chicken on the side. This Mac and Cheese dish is a home run, it rocks! It is very rich and should be used for special occasions when you want a real treat. I cannot believe how everyone ate and ate this Mac and Cheese. You can easily grill chicken before hand and add it under Rick's Mac and Cheese when served. The flavors are awesome combined. I am look forward to more recipes from Rick...great job. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My son and his girlfriend made this mac and cheese and it is excellent. Takes some time, and the cheese can be expensive, but it is worth it. The blue cheese adds just the right tang - use gorgonzola if you are concerned. Really filling. Loved it item not reviewed by moderator and published
What a wonderful, comforting and delicious treat! Lucky for my family we had a bunch of cheeses left over from holiday parties and happened to have all five needed for this dish. It did make a lot. I ended up with a 9x13 pan and a small casserole dish full. Made this with only a couple of slight variations. 1) The white cheddar was not from Australia and was Extra Sharp. It added a great tang that I'm not sure would have been there without that extra sharp taste or texture. 2) I also made my own breadcrumbs and more than just 1/4 cup. Used 6 slices of white bread pulsed in processor 10-12 times to make fine crumbs. Once I had all the cheeses that needed to go onto the top, I added them to the food processor with the bread crumbs and pulsed all of them together a few times to mix well. Although it was quite a bit more than 1/4 cup, I knew my family would like the more crispy crumb texture on top. It was FABULOUS! 3) I took the advice of another reviewer and made it early in the day, so I only had to remove it from the fridge 1/2 hour before putting in oven. I reduced the oven temperature to 385, covered with foil and baked for 20 minutes. Removed foil and cooked for another 15 minutes. I had originally thought I would bake without foil for 20 minutes, but when I checked it at 15 minutes, the top was nice and golden brown. No need for the broiler or any longer time. I don't think my husband, daughter and son could not have been more impressed. My 7-year old son RAVED! He had to take it in his lunch the next two days (good thing it made alot!.) My 15-year old daughter ate it for breakfast the next morning. None of us could get enough. It was really rich, and had I not had all of the cheeses on hand, it would have been rather pricey, but this is definitely a keeper! Great going Rick! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am not a big fan of mac and cheese. This was the best I have ever eaten. However, it is the most difficult recipe I have ever made and I do a lot of cooking, particularly baking. I would not go to the trouble of making again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm reading the recipe, and it sounds wonderful, I'll make it the next time I make mac & cheese for a crowd. I'm not a huge fan of bleu cheeses, so I may sub in some firm goat cheese with red wine, a kind I picked up at an upscale supermarket in my area instead. For a more affordable version of this luxe(and pricey) recipe here, go to the deli dept at the market and ask if they'll "cheese ends" in a bag to you. For a while, some deli sections would take the ends of the slicing cheeses like swiss, provelone, mozzarella, yellow and white American cheeses and sell them together in a clear plastic bag. I would buy them and toss in the shredded or cubed cheeses in with the Extra Sharp cheddar I always use. I also took out a lot of the salt called for because the deli cheeses have a lot of salt added, and only salted the pasta(I taste the sauce before adding the macaroni, then added salt if needed). The sauce was always very creamy, and I had Southern born people ask how I got the southern style perfect despite being born and raised in NJ. The results were always great, has a lot of flavor, and a classic comfort dish was as affordable as it's supposed to be. The bacon works wonderfully, and I also add a pinch (less than a 1/4 teasooon) of nutmeg to bring out the flavor of the cheese in my recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was one of the best tasting macaroni and cheese recipes I've ever tried.. No wonder this one won the comfort food contest - this would even compete well against Bobby Flay! It did cost me around $50 for all the cheeses, but that's because of the size packages of cheeses I had to buy, however, cheese freezes well, and I have enough left for another batch of this fantastic dish. I highly recommend this one.. cheese, cheese, cheese there I said it 3 more times, lol.. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow it sure was not Kraft Mac and Cheese! This recipe has such a wonderful rich taste. I feel fortunate enough to have tasted the original. Someday I will have to make it on my own however I don't think I will ever go to Friday's and taste it. From what I have heard they have pretty much changed every great thing about Rick's Mac. You might as well call it pasta with chicken. Hopefully TGI Friday will get the hint and go back to the original recipe. Rick your recipe rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this recipe and brought it to work to share a couple times now. Each time, there has not a macaroni left in the dish. is a little expensive to make, but it is so worth it. One time made it I knew that there was a vegetarian in the group, so I deleted the bacon, but still go the smokey goodness by using smoked gruyere cheese. I have also tried the Friday's version....what a disappointment. I couldn't understand how they could make the dish the way the recipe calls for and only charge $5.99. Once I ate it, I understood. The only cheese that I could taste or even see was the blue cheese, there was barely any sauce on the pasta and the chicken was dry. Do yourself a favor, spend the money and try Rick's original recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese with Bacon Two Ways

Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro