Guest Editors

Cowgirl Creamery's Classic Mac and Cheese

By • October 22, 2013 • 77 Comments

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All this week, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith from Cowgirl Creamery will be sharing recipes from their forthcoming cookbook Cowgirl Creamery Cooks, answering our questions, and giving away a book every day.  

Today: Your classic baked mac and cheese, with a bite.

 Cowgirl Mac and Cheese on Food52

This version of mac and cheese is creamy and simple, so the flavor of your the cheese you use comes through. Choose a good sharp cheddar as a base; you can use all cheddar or a combination of half cheddar and half ends and bits of other cheeses. Some folks add parsley or other herbs before baking, as seen in this photo. Peggy and I like to make it without herbs. 

Classic Mac and Cheese

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 pound grating cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
12 ounces pasta (elbow or corkscrew)
1 1/2 cups panko or fresh bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or other cheese 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Want to win a copy of Cowgirl Creamery Cooks? Tell us in the comments: What do you like to add into your mac and cheese? We'll choose one random winner each day, and announce them this Friday! (Unfortunately, we can only ship books within the US.)

Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton.

Tags: cowgirl creamery, guest editors, cheddar, parmesan

Comments (77)


6 months ago Kaye Henley

I like to add a little bacon salt.


6 months ago nan marie

I use some monterey pepper jack cheese and always crisp bacon to the bread crumb topping!


6 months ago Patkunstenaar

Favorite additions are small pieces of Pancetta, just for the added flavor, buttered breadcrumbs lightly browned on top.


6 months ago susan ko

bacon & chives!


6 months ago Dbbq

chipotles in abobo and thick cut bacon


6 months ago FOODeAFFAIR

Kasseri and garlic....yum!


6 months ago Ross Buehler

Hatch Chiles.


6 months ago patti

my favorite thing to add to my mac and cheese is MY TEETH!!!!!


6 months ago Maria

I add a touch of cayenne pepper & T or so of sour cream to sauce!


6 months ago Millie

I add canned chopped tomatoes! Makes a macaroni and cheese bisque...


6 months ago DebMommy

Ripe Tomato Slices - so good!!


6 months ago Miriam Sulfaro

Lobster is delicious but shrimp is also great


6 months ago Allison Leach

Jalapeños, crispy pancetta & toasty breadcrumbs on top


6 months ago ChefCitron

Butternut squash and a generous layer of sautéed bread crumbs!


6 months ago S-hari

just a bit of nutmeg into the white sauce and of course, sauteed onions...


6 months ago Peg

Truffles... But since they are not in the budget.. A little truffle oil!


6 months ago Maggie Runkle

I like sauteed onion and/or bacon. What is life without them?


6 months ago Tracy Hollabaugh

I like to add lobster and truffle oil to my mac n cheese.


6 months ago Caryn Crasnick-Maloney

Smoked Paprika!