A Chef's Secret-Ingredient 30-Minute Macaroni & Cheese Recipe by Chef Gigi
Love macaroni and cheese? Yes, my family has a secret macaroni and cheese recipe, but I'm sharing it with you. Cook once, eat twice! This is a fantastic mac and cheese recipe to serve this Thanksgiving as a side dish with that roasted turkey and ham.
This easy macaroni and cheese recipe has two secret ingredients that make it off-the-charts-good: Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. Trust me, you won't be able to stop eating this macaroni and cheese side dish recipe.
To make this creamy macaroni and cheese you will need just a few simple ingredients. Here is your shopping list: elbow macaroni, olive oil, butter, flour, broth (chicken or vegetable), heavy cream or nut milk, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. The mac and cheese is ready for dinner in about 30 minutes!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or nut milk
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces white cheese (I like cream cheese)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- You could use any short pasta for this recipe.
- Add as much crushed red pepper flakes as you like. You can't beat the flavor!
Here's how you make it:
- Cook macaroni to package directions. Drain and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan on low heat, melt the butter and flour together to make a roux. Mix and cook flour, but don’t brown. This will thicken your sauce.
- Combine cream with the stock. When roux is thick, pour to combine liquids in a steady steam while whisking out the lumps. Add more liquid as you stir to smooth out to a mac ‘n cheese-like consistency. The key is to work fast over low heat. The sauce will get tight and you’ll think you’ve made a mistake. Keep going! Keep consistently whisking at a steady pace. It’s OK to take the pan off the heat if you think it’s cooking too fast.
- Add cheese, salt and spices. Combine well. Adjust liquid if necessary. You will know it’s ready when it coats the back of a spoon and you can run your finger through it and it says clean.
- If you’re using the secret ingredients (crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan) add them now.
- Add the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Total Fat: 44.2g
Saturated Fat: 23.9g
Total Carbohydrate: 68.2g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8g
Total Sugars: 2.5g
Vitamin D: 13mcg
Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.
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