Black Pepper Gouda and Gruyère Mac and Cheese Recipe

Black Pepper Gouda and Gruyère Mac and Cheese Recipe

On the seventeenth day of Christmas, Aldi gave us a cheese perfect for a black pepper Gouda and Gruyère mac and cheese. The flavors work together beautifully in a delicious, creamy mac and cheese fitting for any occasion.

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Using Cheese in Mac and Cheese

When you take a bite of mac and cheese, note how long it takes for the flavor to develop. If it takes a few seconds to really shine, this is what I call a closer cheese. These cheeses are best paired with something that opens up immediately, but closer cheese flavors will carry throughout the end of the bite. If the cheesy flavor pops immediately, but fades this is an opener cheese. Well rounded mac and cheese recipes make use of both opener and closer flavors.

Black Pepper Gouda

Gouda is a bit of an anomaly on the opener/closer cheese spectrum. Younger aged Gouda, like we see in the Aldi cheese calendar, are almost exclusively opener cheeses. They’re perfect for welcoming you to the bowl and work great with a cheese that will carry cheese flavors throughout the bite. If a Gouda is aged for an extended period of time, it can cross the opener/closer line and is great for finishing out the bowl.

This black pepper Gouda is a great opener cheese is a great, lightly spiced cheese that is dying to stand at the beginning of a mac and cheese bowl.


Gruyère (pronounced groo-yair) is a bold closer cheese that originates in Switzerland. It holds its own well in a mac and cheese and is great to pair with a variety of opener cheeses.

Lumache Pasta in Extra Mature Cheddar and Gruyere Mac and Cheese

One of the most important choices in mac and cheese is what you use as the pasta vehicle. If you grab a pasta that is too small, you run the risk of your dish becoming a soupy mess. On the other hand, if your pasta is too large it will be cumbersome and difficult to eat. It’s important to hit that Goldilocks middle between too large and too small when selecting a pasta shape in your mac and cheese.

Today, I grabbed lumache. This pasta is almost like shells and elbows had a baby. With a large opening on one side that curves around to another end that is pinched closed, it’s perfect for holding onto sauces guaranteeing every bite is full of delicious cheesy flavor.


Mac and cheese toppings are a fun bonus that elevate your mac and cheese. Toppings add extra pops of color, texture, and flavor and take your dish from so-so to something to be proud of.

This Black Pepper Gouda and Gruyère mac and cheese is layered with garlic pepper crispy onions and Honey Sriracha Hellmann’s Drizzle Sauce. Crispy onions add a crunchy texture that you don’t see throughout the dish and packs a pop of oniony flavor that enhance the flavors of the dish. Drizzling another sauce across the top adds another interesting layer of flavor. By layering your dish instead of stirring it all together, you balance variety in the bite, keeping it interesting.

Reheating Black Pepper Gouda and Gruyère Mac and Cheese

Reheating mac and cheese tends to be a lesson in futility. No matter how you do it, you wind up with a greasy soppy mess. However, I’ve seen that when using roux based sauces that isn’t as much of a concern. Reheating it in the microwave for a minute or so will yield a delicious lunch. This is even a recipe that you could prepare a day in advance and reheat when you’re ready to eat. I’ve noted that giving the ingredients a chance to meld together in the fridge is often better than it was the day of. You can absolutely cook and eat it the same day, but don’t be afraid of reheating this mac and cheese.

Add a Fork

Black pepper Gouda and Gruyère mac and cheese is beautiful, creamy, and perfect for dinner on a cozy night in or bringing to impress at your next cookout.

Black Pepper Gouda and Gruyère Mac and Cheese

Black Pepper Gouda and Gruyère Mac and Cheese Recipe

Black pepper Gouda and Gruyère mac and cheese layered with garlic pepper crispy onions and honey sriracha sauce for a bold, flavorful mac and cheese.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree, Side
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 pound Lumache (shellbows) Or other medium sized pasta

For the Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • 4 oz Black Pepper gouda Grated
  • 4 oz Gruyère Grated
  • 1/2 tbsp Better than bullion Chicken flavor
  • 1 tsp Ground mustard


  • Crispy Onions Garlic Pepper flavor
  • Hellmann’s Honey Sriracha Drizzle sauce


  • 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 Pasta

  • Layer pasta with crispy onions and honey sriracha sauce. Serve immediately.
Keyword black pepper gouda, gruyere, lumache, shellbows