Macaroni with 4 Cheeses!

In this episode, chef Emeril does what he does best: comfort food kicked up yet another notch! Chef Emeril revisits a couple of classic[ comfort food dishes, Emeril-style!]

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
15 min
1 hr

6 servings

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Red Hot Sauce
  • 8 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces grated fontina cheese
  • 4 ounces grated gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence or Creole Seasoning

In a heavy, medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, season with the salt, pepper, hot sauce and 4 ounces of the grated parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste and, while stirring, add the macaroni. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until macaroni is very al dente (slightly undercooked). Drain in a colander and return the macaroni to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the garlic and stir to combine. Add the bechamel sauce and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Using the remaining tablespoon of butter, grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole and set aside.

In a large bowl combine 4 ounces of the remaining parmesan cheese, cheddar, fontina and gruyere cheeses. Toss to combine.

Place one-third of the macaroni in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture. In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 ounce of grated parmesan, and the Essence and toss to combine. Sprinkle this over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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    183 Reviews
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    By far the best macaroni and cheese I've ever tasted, with the use of the following ingredient - Boar's Head Smoked Gruyere Cheese. It adds a subtle smoky flavor to the macaroni and cheese that puts it over the top. But it can only be Boar's Head Smoked Gruyere Cheese. I've made this several times using other gruyere cheeses and the taste just does not compare.
    The best mac & cheese ever. I used 3 cups half & half, used parm , cheddar & italian blend. plan to make this again & again! Thanks Emeril
    I gave this 5 stars because if followed, it's probably outstanding, and my pet peeve is people who alter a recipe and then give it low stars because they didn't like ~their~ version of it.  
    My version = 3 stars.  
    I only had 4 TB butter, so I only used butter to make the béchamel sauce. I tossed the pasta in olive oil and prepared the pan w/olive oil as a substitute.  
    I accidentally tossed all of the remaining parmesan with the other cheeses in that step - so there was more parmesan in the cheese mix than called for. Then I just took a handful of extra not-as-expensive parmesan and added it to the bread crumb mix.  
    I omitted the garlic and hot sauce. 
    I used a bagged, shredded "cheddar mix," smoky gruyere cheese and subbed [smoky] Gouda for Fontina (Google's recommendation). As I layered the dish I poured scant half and half over everything at every layer. 
    Result? Smoky flavor, relatively dry, and altogether not worth the $. Sad; I ruined this otherwise awesome sounding dish. Ah, well.
    Yum! I loved this Mac and Cheese. I did add some more half an half (about half a cup) and it maybe could have taken a bit more. I kicked it up with more hot sauce and yum! Also I did half bread crumbs and half panko and it was great!
    This was a big hit with my friends...each of them had 2 1/2 large pieces. Even my very picky goddaughter liked it. Very glad I found this recipe. I preferred it without the bread crumbs so I left them out and mixed the seasoning in with the roux.
    This is SO good! I took it to a pot luck and it was eaten up. Nary a leftover. I will DEFINITELY make this again very soon. Couldn't find Emeril's Red Hot Sauce so used tabasco.
    Fantastic! I made a double batch because I was feeding a lot of people and everyone wanted more! I'm almost sorry to say I kept the left overs for immediate family members only and after 3 days of eating it .... we still wanted more!
    De-LISH! I was craving mac & cheese. I followed other users and did 1.5 of the sauce. I put in the hot sauce but didn't do the creole seasoning or the breadcrumbs. Thought my kid wouldn't like that but it was so good anyway! I do love the crunchy part on top so will do the bread crumbs next time. I will definitely make this again. I froze individual portions of what was left since my husband wasn't home to taste. I just loved it! can't wait to have leftovers today!
    This is delicious! Based on other reviews, I made a 1-1/2 size batch of the bechamel sauce and I'm glad I did. This has the potential to be very dry if you're not careful.
    Great for adults and kids. Easy to make , a definate "go to" for our family.
    I make this mac-n-cheese recipe for all of my parties and I can honestly say that EVERY SINGLE TIME, I am told that it is the best mac-n-cheese my guests have had in their entire lives! I still have not found anyone's recipe, including restaurants, that can come even remotely close to the this one. Although it may cost a little more to buy the four cheeses, it is well worth it! I am constantly being asked for this recipe. Point blank, it rules!
    I made this recipe exactly as written. The sauce had a good flavor, but was too dry. Next time I will either decrease the macaroni or increase the sauce by 1 1/2.
    I just tried this as a test run for thanksgiving and it was so good. Since other reviewers said it was dry I added more half and half. I used the same cheeses but I used a smoked Gruyere and it gave it a nice smoky taste. My husband said it tasted like ham was in it, that's because of the smoked Gruyere. I added more salt and white pepper and the flavor was so good. This dish does NOT need to be cooked for 40 minutes, cook til the cheese is melted like the recipe says
    OMG.....throw out the old recipe.
    Expensive to make...but So Delicious. We just skip meat on this meal, and make this our main dish, with a soup or salad side. Our absolute favorite mac and cheese recipe!
    This was an excellent mac & cheese recipe, I too thought it was a little dry but it might be because I cooked it too long. I might try to make more of the bechamel sauce next time and try using other cheeses that aren't too pricey. All and all I will definetly be making this again.
    This is an outstanding version of an old favourite. I subsituted Swiss for the Gruyere to help cut the cost a bit. I also added fresh sliced roma tomatoes on top before the makes for a nice touch. This is an extremely rich, luscious dish! It has gotten rave reviews each time I make it...there are no disappointments. Not for everyday, but as a special occasion side, or a very full meal it is wonderful. You have to try this one!
    This was even more amazing after I froze the 2nd one...I made 1 batch & divided it...a couple days, thawed it out and baked it at 375 degrees for about 30 min. The 1st one I baked was very greasy.
     The 2nd one was perfect and I think it even tasted better.
     I didn't use Fontina...just parm, sharp white cheddar and gruyere. I added 1 tsp dry mustard and just a bit of nutmeg to the bechamel. For the 2C of liquid, I used 1C full fat half & half, 1/2 C fat free half & half and 1/2 C whole milk. I also splashed a bit of whole milk over the top of the casserole before I added the bread crumbs.
     This was a BIG hit at a dinner party we had!!
    It was excellent. I have made it twice in the last week for family gatherings and it will be our new go to mac and cheese recipe. the second time I added 1 cup more of the half and half to make it creamier, added a little more white pepper,and 1 tsp of yellow mustard powder to give it a little more pop. Thank you Emeril for a great recipe.
    Perfect! I've tried many different recipes for Mac and Cheese and this is the one that the kids and adults all liked!
    The best mac & Cheese ever!! Not a cheap eat and with all the cheese it can't be that good for the ol heart but oh so worth it. I have made this a few times and it just gets better and better. Add a little cream if you need to heat up leftovers and its as good the second time as it is the first! Thanks Emeril!
    This is a fabulous recipe! I did not have Creole seasoning so I made my own - easy. Don't skip the seasoning, I think it makes the dish.
    This dish is definitely pricey to prepare, but absolutely delicious! One of the best macaroni and cheese dishes I have ever had
    Excellent recipe. We are throwing away all other recipes. This has moved to the top of the list... A little pricey to prepare, but absolutely worth it... The flavor is phenomenal.
    A great recipe! My family cant get enough of this dish! Its also really easy to make! This goes into our traditional christmas dinner and Thanksgiving. It goes well with any kind of meat you prepare. Thank you
    I loved this recipe... I did not have the red hot sauce so I substituted red thai chili paste... about 1/4 tsp just like the red hot sauce... The Essence added to the breadcrumb mixture really gave the dish a little something extra... I intend to make this dish again and again...Thank you Food Network.. and Thank you Emeril!!!
    I served this with my Christmas ham to make sure my vegetarian guests had enough to eat. Everyone loved it! The reason I didn't give it five stars is that I modified it and liked the adjustments much better. The first batch I made, as a test, was exactly to the recipe and it was good, but a bit greasy and not very creamy. I modified it by exchanging the amounts of cheddar and Parmesan, multiplying the roux ingredients by 1.5 and halving the butter that was added to the macaroni. I used good quality cheese. The leftovers (the small amount that there was) disappeared shortly after dinner. The next day, my house guests were sad there was none left so I brought out the test batch I had made and it was gobbled up!
    This is an incredible kick-butt, best ever, mac & cheese recipe. It is a favorite any time I make it for a gathering. That being said, it is a special occasion only mac & cheese because the cheeses used to make it are expensive. Usually the cheeses cost about $25.00 to buy, making it probably the most expensive mac & cheese you'll ever make or eat. It is so wonderful though, it is worth it for holidays and special occasions. Emeril's 4 Cheese Mac & Cheese was requested for the main dish instead of turkey for Thanksgiving this year.
    This mac-n-cheese is the bomb diggidy!!! it's a must dish for anytime I have to take a covered dish to an event.
    I have made this recipe before and absolutely love it, but I am wondering if I can make it ahead today and just bake it tomorrow? Not sure how it would turn out.
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