Best Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
- Preheat broiler. Coat a 2 1/2- to 3-quart broiler-safe au gratin or baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.** Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the warm pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in flour, kosher salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Cook and whisk for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
- Add Gouda cheese, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, whisking until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Add the cheese sauce to cooked pasta; stir to coat. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl melt the 1 teaspoon butter. Stir in panko and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle panko mixture over pasta mixture. Broil 5 to 6 inches from the heat about 2 minutes or until top is browned. If desired, garnish with parsley.
From the Test Kitchen
Prepare Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese as directed, except drizzle crumb topping with 1 to 2 tablespoons truffle oil before broiling.
Nutrition analysis per serving: 759 calories, 36 g protein, 72 g carbohydrate, 36 g total fat (20 g sat. fat), 111 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 9 g total sugar, 20% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 858 mg sodium, 77% calcium, 17% iron
Prepare Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese as directed, except stir 3 slices crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled bacon and 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (1 ounce) into panko mixture before sprinkling over pasta mixture.
Nutrition analysis per serving: 781 calories, 39 g protein, 72 g carbohydrate, 37 g total fat (22 g sat. fat), 120 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 9 g total sugar, 21% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 1029 mg sodium, 80% calcium, 18% iron
Prepare Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese as directed, except preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes, in the prepared baking pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over squash pieces; toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir cooked squash into pasta with the cheese sauce.
Nutrition analysis per serving: 822 calories, 37 g protein, 83 g carbohydrate, 38 g total fat (21 g sat. fat), 111 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 11 g total sugar, 213% Vitamin A, 30% Vitamin C, 862 mg sodium, 81% calcium, 21% iron
Prepare Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese as directed, except substitute white cheddar cheese for the sharp cheddar cheese and fontina cheese for the Swiss cheese. Stir one 15-ounce can pumpkin and 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage into cheese sauce before adding to pasta.
Nutrition analysis per serving: 765 calories, 37 g protein, 77 g carbohydrate, 34 g total fat (21 g sat. fat), 116 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 11 g total sugar, 242% Vitamin A, 8% Vitamin C, 977 mg sodium, 74% calcium, 23% iron
To ensure a smooth, creamy dish, our Test Kitchen recommends buying chunks of cheese and shredding the cheese just before using. Using preshredded cheese did not work as well.
Baked Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese: If you don't have a broiler-safe baking dish, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. After sprinkling pasta mixture with panko mixture, bake about 10 minutes or until panko mixture is golden brown.
Nutrition Facts(Best Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese)
- Per serving:
- 739 kcal cal.,
- 34 g fat
- (20 g sat. fat,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 9 g monounsatured fat),
- 111 mg chol.,
- 858 mg sodium,
- 72 g carb.,
- 3 g fiber,
- 9 g sugar,
- 36 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet