Your LIfe Arizona

The Chic Chef’s amazing Mac ‘n’ Cheese


  • 1 lb. dried elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 4 cups shredded medium sharp cheddar cheese divided (measured after shredding)
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese divided (measured after shredding)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3-quart baking dish (9′x13″). Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking.

While water is coming up to a boil, shred cheeses and toss them together to mix. Divide into three piles.

  • About 3 cups for the sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups for the inner layer
  • 1 1/2 cups for the topping

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. The mixture will look like very wet sand. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often. Slowly pour in about 2 cups (or so) of the milk/half-and-half while whisking constantly. Whisk until smooth. Slowly pour in the remaining milk/half-and-half, whisking constantly until combined and smooth.

Continue to heat over medium heat, whisking very often until thickened to a very thick consistency. It should almost be the consistency of a semi-thinned-out condensed soup.

Remove from the heat and stir in spices and 1 1/2 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown.

Chic Chef Marketplace and Cafe | 2302. N. Central Ave., Phoenix