Mac and Cheese

Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
  • 1 quart milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.


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4.5 880
I made the recipe exactly as written and my husband loved it.  I like traditional mac n cheese so it was an adjustment for me.  I loved the nutmeg flavor but will use less next time.  There were far too many bread crumbs, I'll also use less next time.  It's very expensive to make.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
.....I'm hungry... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good recipe,  no problem with flavor, but beware of the Gruyere cheeses that are cave aged....they can be a little gamey smelling when baking which will prompt you to open some windows. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina is normally one of my "go to" chefs, but in this case I think she missed the mark big time!  This recipe is flavorless.  After spending a lot of money on the ingredients, my husband and I were highly disappointed, and had to throw the entire casserole in the garbage!  To coin a phrase, I'm now "once bitten," and will be "twice shy" the next time I consider one of her recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this tonight for an easy Saturday meal. Yes, I used what I had on hand, which was five different cheeses in the deli drawer of the refrigerator. This recipe of Ina's was my guide to a terrific dish that my husband loved. In Northwest Kansas, Gryere is not available (no matter how many times I have requested my store to get it), so substitutions are just a matter of course. Ina, you are the best! Thank you. BTW, if the flour is cooked the correct two minutes, and the milk is heated as instructed, the result is amazing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it! I made this for Christmas dinner with ham and it was a hit. I used gluten free elbows, gluten free bread crumbs and Jarlsberg cheese (to save on cost) instead of Gruyere. I also added garlic to the béchamel and omitted the nutmeg and tomatoes. Cabot Extra Sharp worked just fine for the cheddar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this recipe many times and decided to add it to my holiday celebrations this year and it is a HUGE hit with kids and adults alike. Adults think it's the best mac and cheese they've had and kids love the taste. I leave out tomatoes and have added bacon at times but it's good as is! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I usually love Ina's recipes, but I found this one -- followed exactly -- was an unflavorful dud. Given the expense of the cheeses, it was so disappointingly bland. After I made the sauce and tasted it, I followed the advice of one reviewer and added a dash of Worcestershire, but even that didn't perk it up. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been making this recipe for years but I've tweaked it a bit. I leave out the nutmeg and add fresh minced garlic to the melted butter before I add the flour. You can also add some garlic to the bread crumb topping. For those of you who think the recipe is a little bland, this will do the trick! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So disappointed . Bland , Bland . Followed it to a tee and even added some fresh garlic. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Why the hate for nutmeg? I leaned long ago that nutmeg is good in anything milky..for sweet AND savory. So anytime I add more than a cup of milk to something, nutmeg is in there too. It is sort of like when you add a touch of coffee flavor to chocolate things...you don't taste the spice itself, but it just enhances the flavor. I made this mac n cheese, and it was good, not amazing. I don't really want to fault the recipe too much as I did use 4 to one ratio of cheddar to gruyere. The gruyere was just a little pungent for my guests (some were kids.) I also thought there was too much crumb topping, even in a 13x9 pan mine was like a complete crust. I like it more thin with some filling showing. I could have just not used it all though. The texture of the mac n cheese was very nice, not too dry, not too wet. I just didn't get that "oooooh, cheesey" mouth feel. Maybe I need to experiment more with cheeses. This is a good starting place though! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely delicious! I get the idea that those who have ingrained memories of mac & cheese don't like this one because it deviates from the traditional in a way that strikes them as unsettling. Because I never had mac & cheese until I was an adult & always felt funny about eating what looked like cheese wiz, I never really loved this dish, until Ina Garten's version with gruyere and cheddar, two of my favorites. The flavors are BIG -- always something I love in any dish. I followed this recipe almost to a T. The only modifications was that I added slightly less salt and slightly less nutmeg (because I was influenced by other reviews). I'd guess that slightly = 85% of what Ina recommended. Next time I'll add all of the nutmeg but still keep the salt at a reduced level. In my neck of the woods, this dish costs approximately $20 to make with top of the line cheeses. While somewhat expensive, I'd say this is DEFINITELY worth the expense if you and your people like big flavors. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Too much nutmeg for my taste. I added exactly 1/2 teaspoon as called for. Will try again without it or try 1/4 teaspoon instead. Wish I would have read the reviews before I made it for Christmas dinner. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love all the comments about how this is a "GREAT recipe" from people who go on to say how they substituted, omitted, or altered the proportions of most of the ingredients. Sounds like you folks have some great recipes--if this one was so great you wouldn't have to make so many diversions from it. Maybe this is a great inspiration for your own recipe. Personally, I don't think this recipe is a good choice if you're going for classic/traditional. It may be good to serve to your own household or entertaining friends with more adventurous tastes, but for holidays I think it's best to go with traditional and this receipt isn't the one. Tomatoes, nutmeg, and Gruyere are all great things, but not together and not in a mac n cheese recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you have to add the tomatoes? I'm not a big fan of tomatoes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this Mac & Cheese recipe tonight but cut it in half...It was perfect, superb! Gruyere cheese is expensive but worth it...the hint of nutmeg is the piece de resistance! Ina is Amazing and Jeffrey is probably the luckiest guy in the world! Great Recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my go-to mac n cheese recipe and it comes out 100% each time! Guests rave about this each and every time I make it. Made for thanksgiving and wowed everyone. Gruyere can be pricey so I generally use 2 cups Gruyere and 4 cups sharp Vermont Cheddar. I feel like this recipe will never fail even if you use a different cheese of your choice. Just try to use good quality cheese if you can. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was one of the stars of my thanksgiving dinner table. I couldn't find the gruyere and used Monterrey jack instead. It was so creamy and rich. We all loved it! I accidentally omitted the nutmeg, but will definitely try that next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was so embarrassing how nasty it was. The Gruyere cheese is not good at all! The Mac and cheese tastes like feet smell! Just disgusting. I can't believe it has 5 star ratings. I made two pans and for the second one I had to subtract the Gruyere and add sugar, more cheddar and a bit of mozzarella and even then it was bad. And also, this recipe calls for too much flour, you can feel it in the texture. And too much salt YUCK!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Scrummy... Just needed a little more salt and a little more liquid. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is always everyone's favorite dish at our Thanksgiving dinner. I don't add nutmeg or tomatoes. I use panko instead of breadcrumbs, and I add a hint of truffle oil to the cheese blend to make it more sophisticated. It's to die for! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great & versatile.nUsed cheddar and jarlsburg. You're the best, Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Plain and simple........Awesome recipe! I made it larger and also used havarati it was great best mac yet! that little nutmeg makes big difference who wudda thunk lol! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Definitely just take the nutmeg out. And the recipe should be reworded because it looks like 1 tablespoon of salt AND pepper AND nutmeg. Didn't see the correct proportions until it was too late. Ew. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think the nutmeg was weird tasting in this. It seemed out of place. It kind of ruined the dish for my husband and I. I would make it again, but omit the nutmeg or replace with a different spice. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yum!!! This is such an easy recipe. I used sharp cheddar and mozzarella because that is what I had in the fridge. I also omitted the nutmeg since I am not a fan of that spice. It was a bit dry, but that could be because i didn't use the tomatoes because i didn't want my kids to turn up their noses. Next time, I would leave out the bread crumbs or just do a light dusting on top AND I would add jalapenos! My kids don't mind heat. As it was, we just added some to our own servings. Very yummy, easy and makes a lot! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a GREAT recipe, keep 'em coming Ina! Made recently while RV camping, it was a major hit and I'll definitely make again. I omitted the tomatoes and didn't use the full amount of cheese (used the correct type but used the quantity I had on hand) and used Panko bread crumbs, which were awesome. I only had a nonstick metal pan, next time I'll try a glass baking dish (got too hot on the bottom and burnt). item not reviewed by moderator and published
All I can say about this recipe is that I cannot stop making this recipe. Ina picked the right blend of cheeses and the tomatoes on top is the right addition to making this recipe the best ever in this category. Make it every week and even for friends who love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
While I'm in the minority here, I thought this was just so-so. It wasn't the creamy, moist dish I was hoping for and the flavors were muddy. Wouldn't make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You've got to try adding a little prosciutto, onion and garlic to this. pre cooked off in a frying pan with a little butter then mixed with the macaroni before adding the cheese. wow!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is fantastic and excellent. I love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Accidentally added too much nutmeg and pepper making it a bit strong. Be careful when reading the directions. It calls for a "tablespoon of salt, pepper, and nutmeg," but that measurement is just for the salt. The pepper and nutmeg are only a half a teaspoon. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was an excellent recipe. A half batch made 3 1/2 entree sized servings for us. I used a gruyere/cheddar blend, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. (I also used 1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crumbled, instead of the bread crumbs.) The sauce stayed creamy after baking, and the flavor was wonderful. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's absurd to put a stick of butter in this recipe. Yes, anything is tasty with a ton of butter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious! My 3-year-old requested Macaroni and Cheese for her birthday dinner. I made this according to the recipe until it came to the flavorings. I added a dash of Worcestershire sauce, about a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a dash of cayenne pepper - was adored! I love Ina's recipes - tried her chocolate butter cream frosting for the birthday cake - total hit! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Another great recipe from Ina. Simple, easy to make and delicious. Used 8oz Gruyere and 4oz Smoked Gruyere, did not add the 1 tablespoon of salt or the nutmeg and I used Italian bread crumbs. Thank you Ina for the great homemade Mac and Cheese. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hmmm...I was really nervous about making this due to so many people saying it came out mushy, but my god, it's the most fabulous mac and cheese I've ever tasted in my life! I think the trick may have been the bechamel sauce. Melting the butter entirely then immediately adding the flour, then cook for 2 minutes on low/med heat. I like to add the hot milk in 3 or 4 consistency stages and I've yet to have a bad sauce. Please don't give up on this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was okay. Too much milk causing it to be mushy. Not sure why this has so many stars. Even people who say it was bland give it four stars. People add things and change the cheeses, but still rate this recipe. Changing the cheese in Mac n Cheese, isn't the same recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
#1 on our family menu! Love it!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well, I totally whacked up this recipe. It is very clear on what to cook, when to cook it, and when to add everything together. First, I wanted to cut the recipe in half, but somehow, I grated the same amount of cheese as in the full recipe. Totally my fault. So I added some more milk, so the mixture wouldn't be too thick. Reversed the ratio of Cheddar to Gruyere. Someone suggested mustard powder, and someone else suggested Worcestershire, which I did. And someone suggested sauteeing some garlic in the butter, so I did that. Then I realized I didn't have enough pasta, so I cooked up some more. And someone suggested adding bacon, so I cooked some in the oven, but burnt the first batch, so I'm trying again. Good grief. I've got ADD, can't you tell? Look! There's a bunny! So far, this tastes really great. I will thinly slice a couple of tomatoes to put on top, and maybe some panko crumbs. It's a miracle people like me can get dressed in the morning! item not reviewed by moderator and published
excellent, melt in your mouth dish, I used an Italian blend cheese along with sharp cheddar, my boyfriend says its a keeper item not reviewed by moderator and published
Giving this recipe a conditional 5 stars. Overall this mac and cheese was delicious. The consistency of the cheese sauce was perfect: creamy, gooey, and cheesy. Perfect comfort food. However, there were a couple of modifications I will make in the future. One Tablespoon of salt? Really? No way. I thought it might be a typo so I only used one teaspoon and it was plenty salty. Definitely recommend adjusting this amount to taste. Also saw some comments saying it was bland. Make sure you salt the macaroni cooking water well and that should not be a problem. Also, next time I will omit the nutmeg. Didn't like that at all. I think I will try some good smoked bacon and paprika mixed with the bread crumbs on top next time. Will definitely make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a very easy and delicious recipe. I made it for a bunch of teenagers, and they LOVED it! However, I agree with some of the other reviewers that it was far too salty. Next time, I will put in slightly less than half the amount called for in the recipe. I live in a rural area and our store didn't carry Gruyere cheese, so I substituted Jarlsberg, which worked fine, although I really would have preferred the Gruyere. The other substitution I made was Panko bread crumbs for the soft white crumbs. It was very good! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh My!!! This dish is SO delicious and creamy! I didn't follow the recipe as always and changed things up a bit. I didn't add the nutmeg but did add mustard powder and a couple pinches of cayenne pepper, course ground black pepper and white pepper. Added about 1 tsp of table salt. I used Gruyere 7 oz and 13 oz of white cheddar and about 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar (yellow) on top instead of the bread crumbs. I omitted the tomatoes and added sauteed mushrooms (8 oz) and 1/2 chopped onion. Cant wait for my kids to get home so that they can taste this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
As in many of Ina's recipes I have found them too salty and I do user Kosher salt as she does so I always cut back the amount of salt she calls for. You can always add it but you can't remove it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well, I used this recipe as a basis for my "how to" on the roux, but re-created it by eliminating the breadcrumbs and replaced them with more cheese that I baked to a crisp on top, added mustard powder and paprika and used emmentaler and gruyere instead of cheddar. I liked how creamy the recipe made the cheese sauce, but thought the flavors could be better. To me, the crumbs and tomatoes weigh down the recipe and add too much water. If you want toe ee what I did, check out my blog www.nomnombombshells.com and look for One of my favorite things...Mac and Cheese! You won't regret trying out my version. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a great creamy Mac and cheese and tomato gave it a nice tang. My kids did not like this and it made a ton! If I were to make again I would for sure cut in half... I do like another Mac and cheese that Giada does better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good. Once in a while I get a craving for homemade mac and cheese. I have tried many recipes and so far this is this the best. I made only half a recipe using Trader Joe's sharp cheddar and their least expensive Gruyere. I also added sauteed onion, sweet bell pepper and zucchini. Reduce or eliminate the salt. Broccoli is also a good addition to mac and cheese, but make sure the vegetables are cooked. It was so creamy I ate one third of it myself. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Perfect comfort food for a cold winter! George Washington may be the father of our country but it is Thomas Jefferson who is often credited with being the father of macaroni and cheese. No small wonder that the brilliant mind who promised us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness made it manifest in the creation of ultimate comfort food. http://wp.me/p2qifI-23f item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely incredible, so rich and comforting. I am requested to make this for every occasion. I change it up a little depending on the event that I'm taking it to or the people that will be eating it. I frequently leave off the tomatoes. I change up the cheese, but always make sure to have either a total of 20ounces pre grated or 6 cups grated cheese. Beecher's Flagship cheddar is a great cheese for this because it is a mix of Gruyere and cheddar. And you can get a big enough hunk of it at Costco. I also underbake it a little so it stays extra creamy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Perfect comfort food on a cold day! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love the tomato twist! Great contrast! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fabulous! Made thIs for my family, and everyone loved it! Followed recipe exactly except did not add tomatoes. Grated the cheese which I think is fresher. Will add bacon next time as part of the topping. Awesome recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
pretty tasty, i cut back on the nutmeg and added a pinch of cayenne to give it a kick. It seemed like there was a lot of liquid but once baked, it was just right. Would make a great freezer/make ahead meal. I made it in the morning and added the tomatoes and breadcrumbs right before baking. Served it with a bit of freshly grated parmesan. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is fantastic. I've never liked Mac and Cheese but my two young sons and husband do so I thought I'd try a homemade recipe. It was pretty time consuming but worth every minute. Don't leave out the tomatoes (as many reviewers suggested). They provide a great contrast to the gooey cheese. I used a crumbled up pack of Ritz with melted butter as the topping instead of bread crumbs. This would be great for a family gathering or pot luck. I would highly recommend! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina: This recipe is awesome! I made a couple modifications: I left out the tomatoe and I cooked the pasta in salted water so it was flavorful. I brought this dish to a party and several people said they went back for seconds. It was so easy too. A couple notes: I think it could have used some sauteed, minced garlic to add some dimension to the flavor and I also found it a bit saucey for my taste, so next time I think I'll add more pasta. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's good. Did not add salt or tomato. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Total comfort item not reviewed by moderator and published
Though I'm not a big mac & cheese fan I made this tonight for my family. I cut the recipe in half after reading other reviews. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Again maybe because I'm not big on mac & cheese, but to me it was bland. Tomatoes helped although the combo of pasta & tomatoes reminded me of goulash. May try again & search for something in the meantime to jazz it up. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this as a side dish for New Year's Day for my niece's birthday. I only had 8 oz of Gruyere cheese rather than 12 oz so I included 4 oz of Monterey Jack cheese along with cheddar. It was fantastic! I will definitely make it again. I also made Alton Brown's mac & cheese. The adults preferred Ina's recipe and the kids preferred Alton's recipe. Both were dishes were empty by the end of the party item not reviewed by moderator and published
Divine! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was so nasty! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic, made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was great. I only added half of the Kosher salt and used Italian bread crumbs.....Delish item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mac Daddy off the hook.... everyone kept telling me this was the best they every had... A++++++++ perfect holiday addition!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is very good mac & cheese, very creamy and cheesy with a depth of flavor. The black pepper and nutmeg work great. I never use bread crumbs in my recipe though; I always use crushed up Ritz crackers mixed with melted butter and have been doing that since the 80s. Everyone always loves it and I think it's better than bread crumbs. So you just might want to try that. My main concern about this recipe, and the reason I am reviewing it is because it is way more than 6-8 servings. It's more like at least 12, possibly 20. I seriously don't know who could only get 6 servings out of this, but if you do, you are eating way too much. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious and very cheesey! Four stars because it came out too salty for my taste. If you (and you should) boil your pasta with salt, then that should be sufficient. Next time I will omit the 1 Tbsp of salt as the sharp cheddar is enough for saltiness. Otherwise this is a great dish that I would prepare again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Didn't change a thing and it really is the best mac and cheese! item not reviewed by moderator and published
so good, love the tomatoes and the crunchy topping item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina you hit it out of the ball park again. Easy and so yummy. This is my new mac and cheese go to recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I like another reviewer did not realize the table/kosher salt conversion was buried in there somewhere else. I have kosher salt but it was behind the table salt so I just grabbed what was in front. I wondered about the amount, but I always like to follow the recipe exactly the first time I make something. I also think there is too much gruyere which makes it a whiter mac and cheese. If I use this recipe again I will definately make some changes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
By far the best mac and cheese I've ever had. Used 2% milk instead of whole milk as I saw the richness in this recipe a mile away. Skipped the tomatoes and the topping. Everything else I used was exactly as the recipe calls for. It was worth everyone of those five stars. Side Note based on other comments: I didn't add any extra salt other than salting the pasta water as cheese itself can be salty and it turned out FINE. And it's mac and cheese. It's supposed to be rich. This isn't diet food. item not reviewed by moderator and published
So mad that Food Network didn't revise the INGREDIENTS list to include specifics around salt content, e.g. "1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt or 1 Teaspoon of sea salt/table salt." I only later saw buried in the reviews a note from Food Network Admin that Ina uses Kosher and that any other salt variety will make this very salty. I just ruined $35 worth of amazing cheese, as well as the cost of the pasta, milk, fresh nutmeg and other ingredients I had to buy for this due to lack of clarity. One it's over salted there's really no turning back unless you have even more cheese/butter/milk on-hand for this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Took out the tomatoes but otherwise made it like the recipe. Very good! Except that the nutmeg was a little overpowering. I'd cut back on it next time but will definitely make this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe! Usually I dislike mac and cheese, so I was reluctant to try this. But I was surprised and ate all of it (not at one time)! Try this recipe at home! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this last night exactly as specified. I wouldn't categorize it as a stereotypical mac and cheese. There is a lot of béchamel (which we happen to like). I used whole milk and real butter for the roux, but took off a star as it could have used more than 2-3 min specified cook time. I wouldn't skimp on the cheese quality - the Gruyere is really the star here, adding a grown-up richness to the dish. I also used an extra sharp aged white cheddar. You could use panko for the topping but it's almost becoming too much of a crunchy cliché. Instead, try one of the many wonderfully flavorful artisan breads available. Would make again (and again..). 25 s item not reviewed by moderator and published
The reason I give this a 4-star instead of 5 is because the recipe is too rich. You eat a serving like half a cup of it and you feel like you ate a brick. Otherwise, very, very delicious. I would use 1 cup of bread crumbs next time instead of just 1/2 cup. Heavy, heavy...... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this for me and my husband. So I cut the recipe in half. OMG it was sooooo delicious!!! It took me back to my business trip to Washington DC when I had the fabulous Mac & Cheese at the fancy place in DC. Ina, you rock!!! I think I will make this on Thanksgiving Day this year and surprise everyone!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Has anyone tried this great-sounding recipe using chopped broccoli, scallions, kale, shiitake mushrooms, brussel sprouts, cilantro, chives or Herbes de Provence, and are the tomatoes essential? And what about Soignon goat cheese in addition to Gruyere? Or water chestnuts or edamame? I also think Chaumes ripened cheese would add a savory quality. I haven't tried this yet, but it definitely sounds well worth it. I'd like to prepare a family Thanksgiving dish that complements turkey, ham, and venison and offers an alternative to the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy and other excellent vegetarian casseroles at a family gathering of 40, including vegetarians, and one that isn't overloaded with flavors. A great seasonal simple pasta dish, sans bacon, despite how good that is, would be a welcome addition. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ok, so I was struggling with trying to make something that tasted good and this food had to be an all time favorite. I thought `you can`t go wrong with mac and cheese`, right? But since I think of myself as a lousy cook I wanted to try a recipe with the top ratings and boy I was right. It turned out great and actually I found the courage to cook again when I was doing some google search and ran into this lovely article titled cooking is a spiritual ritual :) It is worth reading for people like me who feel they can not cook. I think it was feelolight dot com. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and thanks to that article. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is a very good, easy standard mac and cheese recipe which you can adjust in many ways depending on your tastes. it makes A LOT so you may want to half it if just preparing for 4-6 for one night's side dish. we like our mac/cheese very plain and creamy so i used an extra 1/2 cup milk and omit tomatoes. initially the sauce looks too thin, but after baking/cooling, it is a great consistency, tho it will dry/tighten after refrigeration. i make this basic recipe often, tweaking it in different ways: adding crumbled crispy bacon, adding a can of condensed cheese soup (cut back on grated cheese, using herbed stuffing mix instead of plain breadcrumbs, using different kinds of cheeses tho i think ina's original combo of cheddar/gruyere is best flavor. gruyere is rather expensive and i feed 6 so i often opt for less expensive cheese options. still, its a solid go-to recipe if you want mac/cheese not made from powder in a box. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh My!! This was so good. My husband and I watched Ina make it on Barefoot Contessa and decided to try it. I used 1% milk and that was fine. This is what mac and cheese is suppose to taste like. It's a perfect comfort food. Loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My six adult guests loved this and finished off the whole dish. Based on other reviews, I made a few changes: used 1 teaspoon each for the salt and nutmeg, used 5 oz high quality Gruyere and 8 oz extra sharp cheddar, and used 1 cup of panko. I thought it was plenty cheesy even though I used a lot less cheese than called for. I served it as the main dish with a salad. Pretty and delish! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great Base Recipe! Kept the cheddar, and I changed out the cheese and added Gouda instead. Cut up chicken breasts and bacon.. Borrowed these ideas from a local restaurant. Didn't bake as long, so it would be creamier. Always enjoy her ease in the kitchen, as well as the recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
EASY! I made this tonight, instead of bread crumbs, I used panko. I was so surprise many people omitted the tomatoes, I did use tomatoes (one small. It turn out not that cheesy, my kids enjoy. Next time I would under cook the pasta, so that they don't get mushy when baked in the oven. Will definitely be making this recipe again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love this recipe! It is great for both kids and adults. I actually make it in individual ramekins for a party. Adults are more apt to eat it this way -- especially when there are kids around. You'll add this recipe to your favorites. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Another great recipe it was a breeze to make and tasted great. I took the left overs to work the next day and everyone love it!! They wanted to know what I was bring next. item not reviewed by moderator and published
While I am a big fan of Ina's recipes, this was ok. I did shred the cheese myself and I still didn't care for the texture and i thought the gruyere flavor was too much. 1.5 cups of breadcrumbs was way more than needed. This makes a lot of mac and cheese- served as a side-dish my family of four ate only 1/4 of the dish. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone loved this! I made it for six adults and we devoured all of it. I followed the recipe except for three things: used part Jarlsberg instead of all gruyere (just what I had on hand, left the tomatoes out, and used panko crumbs. I served it as the main course with a big salad and sliced tomatoes on the side. It was delicious and easy and I will definitely make it again. Love the cavatappi! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can't believe I made something so yummy! Ina is truly the best at helping amateur cooks feel like they know what they're doing. I did stray away a little bit from her original recipe by using 8oz Gruyere and 12oz Ex. Sharp Cheddar. I also cut the nutmeg amount by half. Used the cavatappi pasta and loved it! If you're thinking about trying this recipe ... you should! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! I had a ton of leftover cheeses from a party cheese platter and used that (swiss, cheddar and jack. It was still fantastic! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Such an easy and comforting dish the entire family enjoys! Love this! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This turned out excellent. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have prepared this recipe quite a few times and it always has been wonderful. I made it with superior quality Gruyere and Extra Sharp cheddar but today use Boar's Head Gruyere and by mistake Sharp Cheddar instead of Extra Sharp and could taste a difference. I always add extra Cheddar on top after baking, the tomatoes, and buttered Panko. I highly recommend using extra-sharp Cheddar per the recipe and the higher priced Gruyere. If you do not care for the taste of Gruyere which is very subtle when melted then substitute another cheese along with the Cheddar. I omit the nutmeg. Cavatappi the corkscrew by Muellers is more elegant than elbow macaroni. There is a video with this recipe and it is the same as in Ina's cookbook. If you go cheap then the taste will be cheap. Make it correctly or don't make it but certainly substitute Swiss or Jarlsberg for Gruyere. Just be sure to use EXTRA-sharp Cheddar and add another 4 oz. on top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this yesterday for a BBQ we were doing. Personally, I didn't like the taste of the Gruyere, but everyone else who ate it loved it. It has a very, very strong taste. I followed the recipe exactly except for one thing, which I thought should be mentioned since I have seen that many reviews are talking about the high price of Gruyere cheese: You can buy a 12 ounce bag of shredded Gruyere AND Swiss cheese blend at Trader Joe's for $4.99. This is what I used...and I'm glad I did because I don't think I could have handled a 12 ounce bag of just plain Gruyere, and because this is a much cheaper alternative...as I said, the taste is just WAY too overpowering. I think the Swiss mixed in the bag made it a bit more subtle. Other than that, it was super creamy and looked beautiful. Next time, I would flip the measurements of cheese and use 4 cups of cheddar and 2 cups of the Gruyere and Swiss blend instead. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love mac and cheese. Love gruyere cheese! Couldn't wait to make this recipe. In fact I made it to take to a covered dish picnic. Followed the recipe exactly. It was terrible! Absolutely no flavor. I wasn't the only one that thought so. I brought 3/4 of it home. Considering the price of gruyere... don't waste your money. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious. Absolutely delicious. Great comfort food. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was one of the BEST mac and cheeses I have ever had! Definitely will be making this again! I did it a little bit differently though, like some of the other reviewers. I switched the cheese amounts, only added a pinch of nutmeg, and added a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Fresh, ripe tomatoes make this dish! Don't omit these! Super creamy, super good, and it reheats well! Amazing mac and cheese! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made just the cheese sauce on several occasions using old white cheddar and adding 1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard and poured it over roasted broccoli and cauliflower. It is such a hit each and every time that it is all I am requested to bring to any family gathering (of which there are many!!! Each and every time it gets devoured...now that's success. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Definitely the BEST Mac and Cheese I have ever made. I was a little skepital about purchasing the gruyere since it was $9 for .52#. But I'm glad I did. Next time I won't add so much nutmeg, but other than that I think I've found my #1 mac and cheese choice! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Seriously delicious. Definitely the best mac'n cheese recipe I've tried. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am curious what you had to spend a lot of money on?  The ingredients seem pretty basic to me...<br /><br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
Me and my kids love this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes, you absolutely have to add them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
<p>lol</p><p><br /></p> item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this many times, always to rave reviews, and have never included the tomatoes. You will be fine without them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Clearly you messed something up. Ina doesn't do nasty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Exactly !  Sugar and Mozzarella, where are you from??  That is nasty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this recipe didn't even call for salt. I'm thinking because the cheese is already salty enough. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Kosher salt is the first ingredient listed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You're supposed to salt the water in which you cook the pasta item not reviewed by moderator and published
It says add it too the cheese mixture not the water item not reviewed by moderator and published
It says add it too the cheese mixture not the water item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just curious... did you add 1/2 tsp of nutmeg (like the recipe calls for, which is very little) or accidentally add 1 TBSP like a few others did? One tbsp is waaay too much. If that's the case you many wanna give it a second chance ;-) . item not reviewed by moderator and published
My version of Mac &amp; Cheese is 8 oz of sharp cheddar and 8 oz of cream cheese with two tablespoons of good dijon. Try that, it makes it very creamy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe and the instructions are two different things. The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp. of pepper and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg. In the instructions, the reason it says add 1 tbs. salt, pepper and nutmeg is because it just said kosher salt in the recipe. In the instructions it's telling you to add 1 tbs. of salt, the pepper and the nutmeg. Not a tablespoon of all three. Make sense?? item not reviewed by moderator and published
How else do you expect to form a roux? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Update 29 Nov 14 Thanksgiving leftover turkey: Omitted the nutmeg and salt again. 3 cups 2% milk and 1 cup heavy cream, 4 cups Mexican 4 cheese, 2 cups sharp cheddar, Prepare as stated above and add 4-6 cups chopped leftover turkey and 2 cans Rotel, mix well and add to a extra large large lasagna pan 14Wx9Lx3H. 5 Stars. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I get irritated with people who completely change the recipe then rate it...it's NOT THE SAME RECIPE. And sometimes even one substitute ingredient or addition or omission can change the entire profile of a recipe. Why don't they just write their own recipes and post them on their own food blog? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I get annoyed at people like you who whine. The people you whine about here used the base recipe and added things to it per their/their families taste. They showed imagination and simply suggested it to the rest of us. Imagination....go find some. item not reviewed by moderator and published
In spite of my not following the recipe exactly, we are very pleased with the results! There is a bit of a tang from the mustard powder and the Worcestershire, and some depth from the garlic. The tomatoes on top really added a lot, so it wasn't 'just' macaroni and cheese. Of course, bacon is a wonderful addition to anything - no exception here. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Adding a suggestion, for people who usually follow a recipe exactly, and want to get a satisfying result. View each recipe you read as a starting point. Don't be afraid to add spices that you like. or change proportions. For example 6 cups of cheese may be suggested, but it's okay to change the mixture, or proportions of each cheese. The addition or deletion of spices won't have a big impact on how the recipe turns out; the spices you use may, or may not appeal to your tastes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Enjoyed reading your review. Made me laugh. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You cracked me up. Thanks for the chuckle and the encouragement that even with many changes and maybe mistakes, this can be delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm surprised you didn't come out with a souffle! lol. Lovely read. Made my morning :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Funny, funny, funny! That's the best review I've ever read. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I cut it in half for my version and it still made 6 servings as a side, easily!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
the recipe calls for cooking the pasta in salted water. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina has always emphasized the use of Kosher salt, and it's been explained by other chef's, as well, that table salt is much saltier/sharper and should be adjusted accordingly. The longer you work on "mastering" your cooking, the more you should realize the importance of tasting along the way..... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I mean I would use 2 cups instead of a cup and a half. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Err... why don't you do a search on whatever that is you are trying to make? This is a great Mac&amp;Cheese recipe.. what you are describing frankly sounds pretty nasty. Cilantro/shitake mush/kale? What? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Obviously, only one or two of the additional ingredients, and of course I simply was asking. And I did a search. Thanks for your helpful reply. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Ina Garten's Thanksgiving Menu