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black pepper gouda and cream cheese

Black Pepper Gouda and Cream Mac and Cheese

Black Pepper Gouda and Cream Mac and Cheese

The Aldi cheese calendar presented us with a gorgeous black pepper gouda on day 11. This cheese is a little more mild but it has a great peppery flavor that would be fantastic in a creamy mac and cheese. I wanted to highlight the flavors of this cheese, so I created a Black Pepper Gouda and Cream Mac and Cheese.

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.


When you bite into a piece of cheese, pay attention to where the flavor hits. If the flavor takes some time to build, it is a closer cheese. If it shines through immediately, you are eating an opener cheese. Well balanced cheese sauces make use of a balance of cheeses to help carry the cheesy flavor throughout the bite.

Gouda is a cheese that tends to walk the line between opener and closer cheeses. Younger gouda like we see in the Aldi cheese calendar is an opener cheese. The pepper flavor is mild but present, and I wanted to make sure and highlight this cheese specifically.

Normally I would reach for something like an Asiago or Parmesan to pair with a younger Gouda cheese, but I wanted to experiment a little bit and I was concerned about overpowering the Gouda.

Cream cheese is a really interesting ingredient in mac and cheese. While it does have a distinct flavor, frequently that flavor takes a back seat to other flavors in the dish. The value of cream cheese doesn’t lie in its flavor, but its ability to add a richness that you don’t see from other ingredients.

The other ingredients in this dish diluted the peppery flavor, so I added some extra for good measure.


The pasta you use in a mac and cheese is just as important as the cheese. If you choose a pasta that is too large, it will be cumbersome and difficult to eat. By contrast, if your pasta is too small your sauce will become a soupy mess. If you are a novice mac and cheese chef, this is even more important. Smaller noodles will showcase defects in your sauce more readily than larger noodles.

In this recipe I used cavatappi pasta. This is one of my favorite shapes to use, and for good reason. This pasta sits in the sweet spot between too large and too small and the structure perfect for holding onto sauces, making sure every bite is flavorful.

Add a Fork

Black Pepper Gouda and Cream Cheese Mac and Cheese is a delicious, sophisticated take on the world’s best food. It would pair beautifully with some roasted broccoli and grilled chicken or would be perfect to curl up with on a cold night.

Note: This article contains affiliate links to products that I love and use to make mac and cheese in my own kitchen. When you click links here and make a purchase, I receive a commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my Affiliate Link Policy here.

Black Pepper Gouda and Cream Mac and Cheese

Black Pepper Gouda and Cream Cheese 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 Black Pepper Gouda, grated
  • 2 oz Cream Cheese, 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.

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