Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese for Adults

Mac n Cheese with bread crumbs on a plate

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.

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


  • 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


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.


  • 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 n Cheese, Gourmet Mac and Cheese, Baked Pasta Recipes