Aged Gouda and Gruyere Mac and Cheese Recipe

Aged Gouda is one of the most ubiquitous cheeses. It’s creamy, packed with flavor, and works beautifully in an aged Gouda and Gruyère mac and cheese. Topped with green onions and bacon bits, this mac and cheese is perfect as a side or on its own as an entree.

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Using Cheese in Mac and Cheese

When you take a bite of cheese, I want you to start paying attention to how long it takes for the flavor to come out. Sometimes it’s immediate, and fades away quickly. These are what I call opener cheeses, and they’re perfect for welcoming you to a bowl of mac and cheese. Other cheeses take a few seconds to develop but the flavor carries throughout the end of the bite. These are closer cheeses.

Opener and closer flavors aren’t exclusive to cheese. Many foods have the flavor come out in unique ways and well rounded mac and cheese makes use of both opener and closer flavors.

Aged Gouda

Gouda tends to walk the line between opener and closer cheeses. Younger aged Goudas are almost always opener cheeses. However, longer aged cheeses lean toward the closer end of the spectrum. This Gouda is sharp, but not the boldest of the calendar and sits solidly as a closer cheese.

Gruyère

Gruyère (groo-Yair) is a Swiss cheese that you frequently see in fondues. It melts well, and is a great closer cheese that finishes out the dish beautifully. It packs a ton of flavor, and holds its own well against other bold cheeses.

Wagon Wheel Pasta in Aged Gouda and Gruyère Mac and Cheese

One of the most important decisions when making a mac and cheese recipe is the pasta. The wrong pasta can destroy a perfectly good dish. If your noodle is too small, you run the risk of your meal becoming a soggy mess. Beginner mac and cheese chefs are also at risk of small pasta showing defects in their sauce. On the other hand, if your pasta is too large your meal will be cumbersome and difficult to eat. The perfect mac and cheese vehicle sits perfectly between too small and too large.

Wagon wheels is a great medium sized pasta that works amazingly in mac and cheese. In addition to being a great size, it offers plenty of pockets to hold onto sauce so every bite is full of flavor.

Toppings

A great blend of cheeses and pasta can give you a great mac and cheese, but the toppings really take it from so-so to something special. Toppings add an extra pop of color, texture, and flavor and are great inclusions in your recipe. Additionally, toppings can be your opener flavors when your recipe skews more toward closer flavors (like this one).

I used both bacon bits and green onions in this recipe. Bacon bits go well with everything and add a savory salty addition. Green onions are a great way to brighten up your dish with freshness and a bright green color.

Reheating Aged Gouda and Gruyère Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is notoriously difficult to reheat. It usually winds up a greasy mess. But I’ve seen with roux based sauces like this one, reheating isn’t an issue. A minute or two in the microwave and you’ll have perfectly creamy not greasy mac and cheese. In fact, giving the ingredients a couple of days to mingle in the fridge will yield even better mac and cheese.

Add a Fork

Aged Gouda and Gruyère blend together beautifully with green onions and bacon bits for a mac and cheese that is creamy, cheesy, and perfect for an entree or as a side.

Aged Gouda and Gruyere Mac and Cheese Recipe

Aged Gouda and Gruyère blend together for a delicious, creamy mac and cheese that comes together quickly.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree, Side
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pound Lumache (shellbows) Or other medium sized pasta
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • ½ Tbsp Better than bullion Chicken flavor
  • 3 Cups Whole milk
  • 4 Oz Aged Gouda Grated fresh
  • 4 Oz Gruyère Grated fresh
  • Salt To taste
  • pepper To taste
  • 3 Stalks Green onion Chopped
  • Bacon bits

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions in well salted water. If you think it’s salty enough, add more.

Prepare the Sauce

  • 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. Stir in mustard powder and Better than Bullion
  • 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.

Plate Your Mac and Cheese

  • Layer pasta with green onions and bacon bits. Serve immediately.
Keyword aged gouda, bacon bits, green onion, gruyere, lumache