To create a mac and cheese with the silky consistency of Velveeta, but using a flavorful, aged cheddar, chefs and brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio add sodium citrate to bind their cheese sauce. “Sodium citrate will be your new best friend for cheese sauces,” says Bryan. “It gives you that creamy, melty, gooey texture, but with nutty, sharp cheeses that don’t typically melt smoothly.” Think of the nacho cheese possibilities!
Even if you’re not feeling nostalgic, you’ll find this slightly updated version of an old favorite irresistible. And it’s incredibly fast and easy because you don’t have to make a sauce or even bake the macaroni.
Macaroni and cheese goes upscale with fontina, mozzarella, and Parmesan. This particular combination provides plenty of flavor and meltability, but don't limit yourself to our selection: Make your own trio from the cheeses you have on hand.
Cream cheese makes the sauce here especially rich and smooth. In addition to being made with gluten-free pasta, this mac and cheese is topped with crushed rice cereal instead of the usual bread crumb topping.
At the end of their wine-and-cheese parties, Helen Jane Hearn and Natalie Wassum gather any leftovers to make an incredible mac and cheese later in the week. The adaptation, based on a recipe from Marion Cunningham’s The Supper Book, works beautifully with any semihard cheese but is particularly good with an international blend of French Mimolette, aged Dutch Gouda and American Vella dry Jack. A fine layer of Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano forms a crisp topping.
Anything big made small is ultrafun for cocktail parties, and these quick, one-bite mac and cheeses are the ultimate example. Cooked in mini muffin pans, the mini macs can be assembled early and baked just as guests arrive.
You would expect Grant Achatz’s macaroni and cheese to have some chef tricks, but it doesn’t. He uses a white sauce, elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese, just like the rest of us. His personal touch: a tablespoon of paprika (to enhance the color of the sauce) and lots of smoky, crisp bacon bits.
Brian Perrone makes his mac and cheese using just cheddar, but its flavor is so rich that customers often assume he uses several cheeses. That inspired Perrone to create this decadent version, which includes cheddar, Muenster, Swiss and just a touch of cream cheese.