Extra Mature Cheddar and Aged Havarti Mac and Cheese Recipe

Our day 19 recipe from the Aldi cheese advent calendar is an extra mature cheddar and aged havarti mac and cheese.

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.

Using Cheese in Mac and Cheese

Pay attention to when the flavor starts to develop when eating cheese. Sometimes it’s immediate but fades away quickly. These are what I call opener cheeses.

Other times the flavor takes a few seconds to develop, but hold throughout the end of the bite. These are closer cheeses.

Well-rounded mac and cheese recipes include at least one opener and closer flavor to maintain consistent flavor throughout the entire time you’re eating them.

Extra mature cheddar

Cheddar is one of my favorite cheeses to use in a mac and cheese. It’s what you picture when someone says cheese, and it’s easy to get your hands on. It makes a great opener cheese and is perfect for opening up a bowl of mac and cheese.

Extra mature is a designation for cheddar aging. This means that it was allowed to age for nearly a year, and that allows those flavors to develop giving you a sharper, more delicious cheese.

Aged havarti

Most havartis are younger aged, and tend to be opener cheeses. However, when havarti is allowed to age it crosses into closer territory and is a great cheese for finishing out a bowl of mac and cheese.

Cavatappi Pasta in Extra Mature Cheddar and Aged Havarti Mac and Cheese

Pasta is an important consideration when creating a mac and cheese recipe. If your pasta is too small, you lose valuable texture in your dish. But if you go too far the other way and your pasta is too large, it becomes annoying and difficult to eat.

Cavatappi sits in the happy spot between too large and too small, and offers plenty of ridges to hold onto flavorful sauce.

Toppings

Toppings add extra dimensions of color, flavor, and texture that you won’t otherwise get from just cheese sauce and pasta.

In today’s recipe I used Asiago crisps and mini croutons. I’ve been using mini croutons as a replacement for bread crumbs and they pack plenty of crunch. Asiago croutons add another layer of cheesy goodness and crunch.

Reheating Extra Mature Cheddar and Aged Havarti Mac and Cheese

While standard mac and cheese is notoriously difficult to reheat, roux-based mac and cheese like this recipe are the exception. A minute or two in the microwave and you’ll have delicious, creamy mac and cheese. In fact, letting the ingredients mingle together in the fridge for a day or two will give you even better mac and cheese than the day you made it.

Add a Fork

Extra mature cheddar and aged havarti mac and cheese is packed with flavor and perfect for any day you need some comfort food.

Extra Mature Cheddar and Aged Havarti 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 cavatappi Or other medium sized pasta

For the Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • 4 oz Extra mature cheddar Grated
  • 4 oz Aged havarti Grated
  • 1/2 tbsp Better than bullion Chicken flavor
  • 1 tsp Ground mustard

Toppings

  • Parmesan crisps

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 Past

  • Layer pasta with Parmesan crisps broken up. Serve immediately.
Keyword aged havarti, cavatappi, extra mature cheddar, parmesan crisps