A Chef's Secret-Ingredient 30-Minute Macaroni & Cheese Recipe by Chef Gigi

Pasta Side Dishes Lunch Dinner
6 months ago

A Chef's Secret-Ingredient 30-Minute Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

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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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


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Recipe Notes

  • 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:

  1. Cook macaroni to package directions. Drain and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. If you’re using the secret ingredients (crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan) add them now.
  6. Add the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 750

Total Fat: 44.2g

Saturated Fat: 23.9g

Cholesterol: 105mg

Sodium: 848mg

Total Carbohydrate: 68.2g

Dietary Fiber: 2.8g

Total Sugars: 2.5g

Protein: 20.6g

Vitamin D: 13mcg

Calcium: 260mg

Iron: 3mg

Potassium: 342mg

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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Donna John
What other white cheese would you recommend, Chef Gigi Gaggero if you weren't a cream cheese fan?
Chef Gigi
Any white cheese that is not too stinky! You can also only use Cheddar - or White Irish Cheddar or even a Mexican three blend for a little kick!
Elisa Schmitz
Homemade mac & cheese by Chef Gigi Gaggero? It's what's for dinner! #yum
Chef Gigi
Donna John ⤴️🐭 If I want an Adult flavor you can use Gruyère -- it's a German cheese that is sweet but slightly salty, so adjust seasoning - it also has a flavor that varies widely with its age. It is usually described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming more assertive, earthy, and complex as it matures - sorta like me ! 😳 Although I think I might be Nutty at any age ! Enjoy
Hi Chef Gigi ! Do you think smoked Gouda would work here? I have a vacuum sealed block that I've been aging for about 3 years (1 of 7 varieties, + about 8 assorted bags of shredded. Some people age wine. I do cheese. 😬). And I want ALL the macaroni & cheese! Everyone else can fend for themselves. 'Course if I make it, it'll probably never even GET to the table!
Love your assertive, earthy, and complex, with a side of nuttiness thrown in comment. Fits someone I know very well, says she, looking in the mirror. But...I didn't wait to age to acquire those traits. They were pretty much in evidence by the time I hit my mid teens 😱. If my parents would have had ANY idea, I'd probably STILL be grounded, 50 years later 🤯, may they RIP.
Happy Thanksgiving! And thanks for the recipe, AND the chuckle!
Chef Gigi
Terry Eubanks sounds like you are my long lost twin! Of course you can use aged Gouda! NO rules in food— I think they only rule would be is - what ever you do it must be something that you completely love! I would often pair French champagne with buttered popcorn. Sometimes I drink white wine with red meat! Do what makes YOU happy!
Lemme know how it goes! I LOVED hearing from you! Happy Holiday Terry!!

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