The Ultimate Mac and Cheese



  • 1 Pound  cavatappi pasta, cooked to package instructions
  • stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup  all-purpose flour
  • 4 Cups  whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  grated nutmeg
  • 2 Cups  shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 Cups  shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 4 Cups  shredded fontina
  • 1/2 Cup  breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Cup  grated Parmesan cheese

I call this the ultimate because of the sauce — it's perfectly smooth and creamy, just the way I like it. If you prefer a less smooth cheese or a different flavor profile, feel free to substitute your favorite cheeses in. Just remember what Laura Werlin says when it comes to cheese: an infinite number of cheeses can go into your mac and cheese, but what matters is the results you're looking for. Choose the cheeses that will give you those results. 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Add the cooked pasta to a greased 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. 

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the stick of butter over low heat. When the butter is melted, slowly whisk in the flour and whisk well until its evenly incorporated into the butter. Let the roux cook, while whisking, over low heat, until a buttery-baked smell permeates and the roux starts bubbling all over the surface. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, and then increase the heat to medium. Season the bechamel with salt and pepper to taste, and then add the nutmeg. Let the sauce cook over high heat until boiling, and then remove from heat and add the cheeses (except the Parmesan). Stir well so that they're all completely melted. 

Pour the sauce over the pasta in the baking dish and, using tongs or a spoon, toss well so that each piece of pasta is coated well with the sauce. In a small bowl, melt the tablespoon of butter and add the breadcrumbs. Stir well, and then add the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the breacrumb mixture evenly on top. Bake the mac and cheese in the oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 30-45 minutes.


Calories per serving:

1,109 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Vegetarian, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 568g 873%
  • Carbs 489g 163%
  • Saturated 336g 1,681%
  • Fiber 19g 75%
  • Trans 10g
  • Sugars 76g
  • Monounsaturated 152g
  • Polyunsaturated 30g
  • Protein 446g 892%
  • Cholesterol 1,791mg 597%
  • Sodium 10,498mg 437%
  • Calcium 10,540mg 1,054%
  • Magnesium 693mg 173%
  • Potassium 3,456mg 99%
  • Iron 14mg 80%
  • Zinc 58mg 384%
  • Phosphorus 7,795mg 1,114%
  • Vitamin A 4,755µg 528%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 153%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 7mg 383%
  • Niacin (B3) 17mg 86%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 101%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 494µg 124%
  • Vitamin B12 23µg 375%
  • Vitamin D 22µg 6%
  • Vitamin E 10mg 52%
  • Vitamin K 52µg 64%
MORE FROM EDAMAM Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
Rate this Recipe

Bring your favorite dish to our table

Join the Daily Meal's Community and Share your Thoughts

The Daily Meal Editors and Community Say...