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Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese for Adults

Last modified on January 25th, 2019 at 9:29 pm

Whoever said Mac and Cheese belonged on kid’s menus was clearly wrong. Our Creamy, Baked Mac and Cheese for Adults uses “adult” ingredients like pancetta, thyme, shallots, white wine and a three cheese blend of goat’s brie, cheddar and soft unripened chèvre. 

Whenever we go out to eat and there’s menu options for kids, I always peruse the little plates of deliciousness. I  love the classic versions of favourite eats that have become staples for little ones, and while I secretly wish I could order from this junior section, I often wonder why adult versions of these dishes don’t exist on the adult menu. 

Gourmet Mac and Cheese served on a plate and bowl with a black spoon

You know the dishes I’m talking about: chicken fingers and fries, mozzarella sticks and the classic Macaroni and Cheese. Inspired by the kid’s menu, our Creamy, Baked Mac and Cheese is made for adults, using adult flavours and ingredients like pancetta, thyme, shallots, white wine and a three cheese blend of goat’s brie, cheddar and chevre. 

Swapping out orange cheddar for a selection of goat cheese adds dimension, tanginess and texture, making our Creamy, Baked Mac and Cheese for Adults, well creamy. A mac and cheese not known for it’s stringiness, but it’s rich, ooey, and elegant flavour, the additional adult ingredients white wine, shallots, chilis and thyme, compliments the goat cheese and truly makes this a pasta not found on the kid’s menu. 

Close up of brie cheese cut in wedges, crumbled goat cheese, and grated white cheese

A bowl and plate with macaroni and cheese, black spoon, and jar of chili flakes

What we love about this dish is the adult ingredients coming to life in a simple favourite. The pancetta adds a subtle and less smokey undertone, the delicateness of the shallot adds sweetness and the thyme brings it together for a complimenting dish tied up brightly with the white wine. 

Taking a notch up from a classic homemade macaroni and cheese, don’t confuse this elegant dish for one that isn’t a classic. Perfect for large gatherings like family dinners, holiday’s and even Super Bowl, or quiet intimate dinners meant to impress like date night, Valentine’s Day or hosting your in-laws, this Creamy, Baked Mac and Cheese involves simple preparation, accessible ingredients and a whole pot of deliciousness waiting for you in every bite. 

Make this adult mac and cheese a full meal by serving it with our Brussels Sprout Caesar, Chicken Puttanesca, Fried Chicken Sandwich, or Homemade Big Mac.

Blue Pot with Macaroni and cheese with two plates of mac and cheese and a black spoonClose up of Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese on a plate topped with bread crumbs

How to Make a Creamy, Baked Mac and Cheese

Get Prepared

Like with most recipes, preparation is key to making a successful homemade macaroni and cheese. Cut the pancetta, slice the shallots, chop the thyme and grate the cheese. The brie and be cut into small wedges, leaving the rind on, which will just melt into this super creamy mac and cheese. Once your ingredients are prepped, preheat your oven at 400°,  then  fill a large pot with water. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water and set the pot on the stove to boil. In a small saucepan, heat the milk on medium heat. You need the milk to be hot, but not boiling, when you start making the cheese sauce. 

Ingredients for Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Add the diced pancetta into a French oven, then place on your stove set to medium-high heat. Cook the pancetta for 7-8 minutes until it begins to crisp, then add the shallots and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes, until softened and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl to use later, then return the French oven to your stove. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add the bread crumbs and thyme, then cook for 3-43 minutes, again until golden and transfer to its own small bowl. Once this is done, you can begin cooking the macaroni. 

Make a Roux

The first key to a super creamy mac and cheese is making a roux. A roux is a sauce consisting of butter, flour, and milk which functions as the base for our cheese sauce. Start by melting a half cup of butter in your French oven at medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until it turns pasty and golden. Slowly pour in the milk, while whisking, and mix until smooth and creamy. 

Two images of blue oval french oven. One with cheese in roux, the other with macaroni and cheese

Turn the Roux into Cheese Sauce

Add all the cheese to the roux. Stir until the cheese has melted. There may be a few bits of rind remaining, but don’t worry, they will melt when the mac and cheese is baked in the oven. Once the cheese has melted add the white wine and give it a stir. Then finally stir in the pancetta and shallots, thyme, chilis, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Put it Together and Bake

Drain the cooked macaroni and pour directly into the cheese sauce. Give it a good stir so the macaroni is evenly coated. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and bake in the oven, uncovered for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with an additional hit of chilis and thyme, if desired. 

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese with Bread Crumbs on top, served in a blue oval Le Creuset French Oven

Close up of a plate of goat cheese mac and cheese from the side

 

Print

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese for Adults

You may not have ever had a goat cheese pasta, but it’s just the ingredient to turn a homemade macaroni and cheese into adult mac and cheese. Pancetta, shallots, chilis and thyme are mixed with three different types of goat cheese making for the tangy and super creamy baked mac and cheese. It’s the perfect gourmet Mac and cheese for game day and date night alike.

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Food and Drink, Main
  • Method: Stove Top, Oven
  • Cuisine: North American

Ingredients

  • 150g pancetta, small diced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 454g macaroni pasta
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 200g goat cheddar
  • 200g goat brie
  • 200g soft unripened goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

No. 1 | Preheat oven to 400°.

No. 2 | Fill a large pot with water, add one tablespoon of salt, and place on high heat. In a small saucepan, pour in the milk and set heat to medium. Ensure the milk gets hot, but doesn’t boil.

No. 3 | Add the diced pancetta into a French oven (minimum 4 litre capacity). Heat the pan to medium high, and cook the pancetta, stirring every minute or so,  until it’s just starting to crisp up, about 7-8 minutes. Add the thinly sliced shallots, and sauté an additional 3-4 minutes, until softened and browned. Transfer to a bowl.

No. 4 | Place the French oven back onto the heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the breadcrumbs and thyme and fry until golden brown, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

No. 5 | Add the macaroni to the boiling water. Cook as per the package instructions.

No. 6 | Meanwhile, begin making a roux by melting a 1/2 cup butter in the French oven, on medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine and continue stirring until the roux begins to become golden, about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the hot milk and whisk until it becomes a creamy sauce free of any lumps. Add all the cheese and stir until melted. Pour in the white wine, stir, then add the cooked pancetta and onions, 1 tablespoon of thyme, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

No. 7 | Add the cooked macaroni directly into the cheese sauce and mix well to get an even creaminess throughout the macaroni. Top with bread crumbs, then place the French oven in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.

No. 8 | Allow to cool for just a few minutes before serving.

Notes

  • This can be easily divided for date night, or multiplied for family gatherings
  • This is a dish best served the day of. It still tastes good the next day, but it won’t be as creamy.
  • You can leave the rind on the brie. It may take a little longer to melt and if there are a few chunks left, don’t worry, any leftover bits will melt when baking in the oven.
  • We’ve used a Le Creuset French Oven. If you don’t have a French oven, you can use a deep skillet for the stovetop, and a casserole dish for the oven.

Keywords: adult mac and cheese, gourmet mac and cheese, goat cheese recipes, goat cheese mac and cheese

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese for Adults Graphic


Products Used for this Recipe

Please note: Below are affiliate links from which we receive a small commission for any items purchased at NO additional cost to you. 

Le Creuset 4.7 L Oval French Oven – Oyster

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Le Creuset Stockpot with lid and Pasta Insert

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Le Creuset 2.8 L Saucepan with lid

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Le Creuset Revolution Spatula Spoon – Oyster

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You may not have ever had a goat cheese pasta, but it’s just the ingredient to turn a homemade macaroni and cheese into adult mac and cheese. Pancetta, shallots, chilis and thyme are mixed with three different types of goat cheese making for the tangy and super creamy baked mac and cheese. It’s the perfect gourmet Mac and cheese for game day and date night alike. - chefsouschef.com #goatcheese #macandcheese #comfortfood #cheese #foodphotography #chefsouschef

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Queen B
    January 21, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I saw you making this on your Instagram Stories and had to try it right away. Oh my goodness, it was so amazing. Really cheesy and the goat cheese flavour wasn’t too strong. The chilis actually gave a nice hit of heat. Definitely making this again!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 21, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      Amazing! We’re so glad you found the recipe through Instagram. We have a lot of fun doing stories.

  • Reply
    Leanne | Crumb Top Baking
    January 22, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    I’m loving this hearty and sophisticated mac and cheese! The brie and goat cheese really take it up a notch!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 22, 2019 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks Leanne! It’s definitely hearty, but a nice comforting dish for date nights or entertaining.

  • Reply
    Bernice Hill
    January 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Delicious! Adding cheese on top of carbs, then adding even more carbs is my jam! This is some high voltage mac n cheese!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 22, 2019 at 9:46 pm

      Everything in moderation… even moderation, right? 😉

  • Reply
    Donna
    January 22, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    This looks absolutely wonderful. I love the step-by-step images to the final product. My partner loves Mac & Cheese but I have to make it. I must admit, I’ve been a little intimated to tackle this one. It’s one of those recipes that seems really simple, but definitely requires that right kinds of ingredients to make it really good (i.e. the right cheeses, topping, creaminess, etc). I should try this one out! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jo Vanderwolf
    January 23, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! This sounds like a mac and cheese I definitely want to try. So sophisticated, yet so simple. Love it!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 23, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Jo! Thanks for the kind words. You’re definitely going to love this mac and cheese!

  • Reply
    Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli
    January 23, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    It looks great and I bet it tastes even better! The combination of those wonderful cheeses, the pancetta, the wine, all add to the sophisticated flavor.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 24, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Now – THAT is a gourmet Mac and cheese! It looks and sounds so luscious and decadent – and perfect for some of my family who can only tolerate goat milk. I am so looking to making it! Many thanks for sharing such a terrific adult Mac and cheese recipe. We are the same way when we go to a restaurant – the Mac and cheese in the menu is always so appealing. Your recipe would top any of them! ❤️

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 24, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Denise! Yes, always hard to resist a good mac and cheese in a restaurant. We do use traditional cow’s milk and butter in the recipe, however, both can be swapped for goat.

  • Reply
    Farwin
    January 24, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Wow! Adult version of the good ol’ mac and cheese? That got me perked up. It’s such a great idea and love all the flavor pairings going on this dish. Absolutely gorgeous photography too!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Vlug
    February 3, 2019 at 9:43 am

    This is a keeper. Will definitely be trying this flavour combination of pure comfort food. Thanks for sharing.

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