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Red Pesto Gouda and Asiago Mac and Cheese

Red Pesto Gouda and Asiago Mac and Cheese

Today is day 2 of the Aldi Cheese Advent Calendar and I created a Red Pesto Gouda and Asiago mac and cheese. This gouda is a creamy cheese infused with tomato, oregano, and garlic flavors.

Every year, Aldi releases a cheese Advent calendar. The calendar contains one individually wrapped piece of cheese for each day. There are twelve different cheeses available so we have two opportunities to explore different recipes we can make to feature each cheese. This is one of those recipes. Follow along here.

Selecting Cheeses for Mac and Cheese

When you take a bite of cheese, note where the flavor starts to develop. With some cheeses, the flavor comes out immediately. These are what I call opener cheeses. The cheesy flavor is immediate, but fades before you’ve finished the bite. Other cheeses take a few seconds for the flavor to build but carries throughout the bite. These are closer cheeses. Well balanced mac and cheese recipes make use of both opener and closer flavors so every bite is full of flavor.

Red Pesto Gouda

Gouda is a bit of an anomaly on the opener/closer scale. Younger aged Gouda, like what we see in this advent calendar, is almost always an opener cheese. But the aging process will push Gouda across the line into a closer cheese.

The red pesto that sits throughout this cheese is a blend of tomato, oregano, and garlic. The sauce takes on the flavor of those spices, making the dish flavorful. I would love to experiment with mixing pesto into a sauce, but this cheese is a fantastic way to add pesto flavor.

Asiago Cheese

For the closer, I used an Asiago cheese. Asiago is a readily available closer cheese that pairs beautifully with a variety of openers. It’s bold flavor helps it stand out from other prominent flavors in the dish. Asiago is a cheese that can hold its own but blends beautifully with anything you want to throw at it.


The pasta vehicle in this mac and cheese is rotini. Rotini is a small, easy-to-eat pasta with plenty of ridges. These ridges provide pockets to hold the red pesto gouda and asiago cheese sauce, ensuring each bite of mac and cheese is full of flavor.

Add a Fork

Red Pesto Gouda and Asiago mac and cheese is a bold, flavorful, and impressive dish perfect layered with fun toppings as an entree or as a side for another star dish.

Red Pesto Gouda and Asiago Mac and Cheese

Red Pesto Gouda and Asiago Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 16 oz pasta cooked according to package directions
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 oz Red Pesto Gouda, grated
  • 4 oz Asiago, grated
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • Pre heat your milk in the microwave for 45 seconds – just enough to take the chill out of it.
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it heat until it becomes foamy.
  • Mix in flour. Cook it for a minute while stirring constantly
  • Slowly add warmed milk to the butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk it continually until combined. Season generously with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • Once all of the milk is added, cook for a few minutes while whisking it. Do not let it boil. You will feel the sauce start to thicken. It’s ready for cheese when you rub a small amount between your fingers and it feels silky.
  • Remove from heat and stir in your cheese until it’s melted and mixed into the sauce.
  • Once the cheese is incorporated, use a cooked noodle to taste your sauce. If it doesn’t taste cheesy enough try adding a little more salt to bring out the flavor.
  • Combine the pasta and sauce and serve.
Keyword asiago, gouda, Red Pesto Gouda, rotini

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