"Real" Mac and Cheese

By: Kirsten Vala
FNM020109WN012.PSD

FNM020109WN012.PSD

On a recent snowy evening, the Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese recipe from our Cheese Guide beckoned. Okay, confession time: My normal mac and cheese comes in a box with a packet of powdered cheese. But this recipe is the real deal – you make a creamy béchamel sauce, fold in two cheeses and the pasta, and then bake until it's hot and bubbly. It's deceptively simple and it tastes amazing!

So what the heck is a " Croque Monsieur?" I had to look it up. It's a French ham and cheese sandwich that's either toasted or dipped in egg and sautéed in butter. This mac and cheese is a playful twist, using the traditional Gruyere cheese and sliced ham. And, for my favorite part, a bread and egg mixture forms a savory bread-pudding-like crust over the top.

For a more calorie-conscious version of Mac and Cheese, check out Ellie's made-over recipe, part of our Monthly Meal Makeover features. You can also find tips for slimming down this classic dish from HealthyEats.com. Or you can just do what I did: Serve the ooey-gooey full-fat version with a side salad.

- Kirsten, Web Editor
Keep Reading

Next Up

Favorite Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Satisfy your cravings for this all-American favorite.

Meet the Macaroni and Cheese Made with 10 (Yes, Really) Cheeses

Believe it or not, Sunny's decadent recipe is both simple to make and easy on the wallet.

The Beauty of Halloumi (and Other Melt-Resistant Cheeses)

Try frying non-melting cheeses like halloumi and paneer, or use them in place of their gooier counterparts on pizza.

Five Tips for Mastering Mac and Cheese

These tips will help you whip up an ultra-decadent macaroni and cheese that will satisfy every comfort-food craving.

6 Ways to One-Up Side Dish Favorites with Cheese — Sensational Sides

Cheesy does it, cheese lovers. Instead of taking your favorite food by the block, use cheese to improve your favorite go-to side dishes.

50 Grilled Cheese

Make a sandwich from Food Network Magazine for any meal of the day—even dessert!

Chicken-and-Cheese Taquitos

Deep-fried restaurant-style taquitos can have hundreds of calories per piece, but Robin Miller's lighter, baked tortillas are a healthier, make-at-home alternative.

Chicken-and-Cheese Enchiladas — Recipe of the Day

With the help of a store-bought rotisserie chicken, these enchiladas come together in under 30 minutes.

Know It All: Pimiento Cheese

The Southern spread is hitting it big. Whip up a batch!

On TV