Extra Special Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Extra-Special Macaroni and Cheese
Extra-Special Macaroni and Cheese. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (18)

Special is the right description for this macaroni and cheese, and it tastes as good as it looks. Besides the mixture of goat cheese, cheddar, and Parmesan cheese, fresh or dried herbs are added to the mixture.

It's a rich casserole but it can be made lighter by decreasing the amount of cheese. See the tips and variations for more ideas.

Serve with sliced tomatoes or a tossed salad for a wonderful meal, or use it as a side dish.

What You'll Need

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups raw)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk, 2 percent is fine
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mixed herbs, or 2 teaspoons dried leaf herbs (thyme, sage, chives, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese with herbs or plain
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

How to Make It

  1. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions; drain, rinse, and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Stir in flour until well blended and bubbly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly; continue cooking and stirring until slightly thickened. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper, then stir in the goat cheese and Cheddar. Stir in about 3 ounces of the Parmesan cheese. Continue cooking and stirring until cheeses have melted. Stir in the drained macaroni and turn into the prepared baking dish.
  1. Combine the bread crumbs with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Mix until well blended and the crumbs are thoroughly coated with butter.
  2. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and nicely browned.

Tips and Variations

  • Add 1 clove of minced garlic to the saucepan with the melted butter and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the flour.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely minced shallots to the saucepan with the melted butter and cook until tender. Add the flour, stir, and continue with the recipe.
  • Replace the goat cheese and herbs with a package of Boursin cheese with herbs.
  • Omit the Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Add 1 cup of diced ham to the cheese sauce before adding the cooked macaroni.