Sunny's Creamy 5-Cheese Mac 'n' Cheese

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

For the Pan:

2 tablespoons salted butter

Sauce:

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons hot Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon ground mustard

3 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp

4 finely chopped scallions, white and green parts

1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Frank's or Cholula

8 ounces whipped chive-flavored cream cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups reserved pasta water

8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded from the block

8 ounces Gouda, shredded from the block

8 ounces mozzarella, shredded from the block

3 ounces Pecorino Romano, shredded on a box grater

Topping:

1 pound elbows, cooked al dente in salted water, 2 cups pasta water reserved

8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded from the block

8 ounces mozzarella, shredded from the block

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a deep 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  2. Make the sauce. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients in order, combining completely between additions. Start by adding the flour, paprika, ground mustard, garlic, scallions, hot sauce, cream cheese, a pinch of salt and more grinds of black pepper than normal. Mix this until combined completely. In a liquid measure, mix the heavy cream and pasta water together and add slowly to the bowl while whisking. Add the Cheddar, Gouda, mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheeses.
  3. Bake. Add the pasta to the bowl of liquid and stir until the liquid seeps into the elbows and everything is distributed evenly. Pour into the prepared dish. Level with the back of your spoon. Toss together the Cheddar and mozzarella in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake until the edges are bubbly and the top is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.