Spiced Apple Cheddar and Fontina Mac and Cheese Recipe

It’s time for our 12th recipe in the Aldi advent calendar and this is a spiced apple cheddar with fontina mac and cheese. Great cheese flavors blend together beautifully topped with roasted garlic sauce and mini croutons.

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Using Cheese in mac and cheese

Pay attention to how quickly the cheesy flavor comes out when you take a bite of cheese. Sometimes it hits immediately but fades away quickly. These are what I call opener cheeses. They’re great for opening up a bowl of mac and cheese. It’s the first thing you’ll taste when you take a bite. Other cheeses take a few seconds to develop but they carry throughout the bite. They’re great for keeping the cheesy flavor throughout the bite. These are closer cheeses. Well-rounded mac and cheese recipes make use of both opener and closer cheese.

Spiced Apple Cheddar

This cheese is so interesting. Apple and spices blend together beautifully in a creamy cheese that opens up the bowl. I leaned on the savory side for this recipe, but it’d be awesome in a sweeter recipe. The apple and spice wraps up the closer side of this cheese, making it both an opener and closer cheese.

Fontina

Fontina is a creamy Italian cheese with a great mild flavor. It melts beautifully and is great as an opener cheese.

Trottole Pasta in Spiced apple cheddar and fontina mac and cheese

When picking a pasta for mac and cheese, there is a balance that has to be found. If your pasta is too large, your dish will be cumbersome and difficult to eat. On the other hand, if your pasta is too small you run the risk of it becoming a soupy mess. Dan Pashman coined the phrase “forkability” to describe pasta that can easily be eaten with a fork and that’s exactly what you’re looking for in the perfect pasta shape. Something that is easy to eat so you can just enjoy your cheesy goodness.

Toppings

The right blend of toppings can take good mac and cheese to great. Toppings add more dimensions of texture, flavor, and color that you won’t normally get from cheese sauce. Topping your mac and cheese with them instead of stirring it in keeps dimensions in your meal, so every bite is slightly different. Plus it’ll maintain the crispy texture of certain toppings.

In this recipe, I used the roasted garlic drizzle sauce from Hellmann’s and mini croutons. This adds a great pop of flavor and crispy texture that you won’t otherwise see in the mac and cheese.

Reheating Spiced apple cheddar and fontina mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is notoriously difficult to reheat. You’re more likely to get a greasy mess. However, I’ve noted roux based mac and cheese reheat beautifully. A minute or two in the microwave and you’ll have a delicious meal. In fact, if you let your ingredients mingle for a couple of days you’ll get even better mac and cheese than the day you made it.

Add a fork

Spiced Apple Cheddar blends beautifully with fontina in a mac and cheese that is as delicious as it is interesting.

Spiced Apple Cheddar and Fontina Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound trottole or other medium sized pasta

For the Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • 4 oz spiced apple cheddar grated
  • 4 oz fontina Grated
  • 1/2 tbsp Better than bullion Chicken flavor
  • 1 tsp Ground mustard

Toppings

  • Roasted garlic drizzle sauce
  • mini croutons

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 mini croutons and a drizzle of roasted garlic sauce. Serve immediately.
Keyword fontina, mini crouton shaker, roasted garlic drizzle sauce, spiced apple cheddar, trottole