Grown Up Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Oh man, do I have a winner recipe for you all today. Homemade macaroni and cheese that is so melt-in-your-mouth good, you will never reach for stovetop mac and cheese again. Ever. Guaranteed! This baked macaroni and cheese is designed with grown up tastes in mind, but it's really good for the whole family. My 19-month loves it, and i love it because this is a great macaroni and cheese for a crowd, freezes really well and makes for delicious leftovers. Winner winner!

Alright so what makes this macaroni and cheese "grown up"? First, the addition of onion and garlic. We cook this down so the flavors become really mild, but they add a delicious complexity to the flavors. Then we add nutmeg and cayenne. Cayenne for just a tiny hint of spice (very little), and nutmeg for a hint of sweetness. Then we mix in our three cheeses: Sharp white cheddar, creamy gruyere and nutty parmesan. The ultimate cheese trinity! All of this combined makes the most delicious macaroni and cheese you've ever tasted. If I was going to ask for one last meal, this might be it haha!


3 cups uncooked penne pasta noodles
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
12 cloves garlic, chopped (this cooks down, believe me)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2/3 cups flour
4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 stalks green onion, diced
8 oz sharp white cheddar, shredded
8 oz gruyere, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded


Preheat the oven to 375. Cook the pasta according to package directions using the minimum cook time. Pasta will be al dente, but will continue cooking later.

In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onion, garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne in butter until translucent. About 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the nutmeg, flour and milk. Then add the flour mixture to the pot with the cooked onion mixture. Stir constantly over medium heat until the liquid comes to a boil, about 10 minutes. Continue stirring for 2-3 minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in cheeses until melted. Stir in pasta.

Spoon the mixture into a large, ungreased 9x13 casserole dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and lightly toasted on top. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Kirsten Bell

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