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Dinner Dans le Townhouse: Unbelievably Good Mac and Cheese

I received a few emails requesting I share the recipe for the mac & cheese that made an appearance in yesterday’s post.  I’m happy to oblige because I think it’s important other people are as severely addicted to this as I am.  It’s easy to make, but has a fabulous, restaurant-quality taste.  When you’re craving some mac & cheese, you’ll never turn to the boxed stuff again!

Easy gourmet mac & cheese recipe

The recipe is from Macaroni & Cheese, 52 Recipes from Simple to Sublime, but has been modified to maximum tastiness by my Mom & I!

1 lb pasta (a 500g bag works for me)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour (generous heap)
2.5 cups whole milk
1 tsp herbs du provence (one of our modifications, be generous!)
1 tsp nutmeg (again, generous spoonful)
Pinch of salt & cayenne pepper  (we skip the Tabasco sauce suggested)
2 cups grated gruyere cheese (another of our mods because this cheese is so tasty)

Countdown to tastiness:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Butter a 9×13 pan.
3. Cook pasta and drain, set aside (in the pot).
4. While pasta is cooking, you can start on the roux: melt the butter over low heat, then add the flour.
5. Whisk the flour and butter mixture so it makes a paste, cook for about one minute.
6. Whisk in milk and increase heat to bring to a boil – it will start to thicken and gently bubble – but keep whisking as it heats (this takes some time, around 15 minutes).
7. Add the spices and cheese to bubbling, thickened milk, stir until melted.
8. Pour sauce on noodles and stir together.
9. Resist eating it at this stage.  Hubby struggles with this, hovering around, asking why we can’t eat it now.  Your patience will be rewarded.
10. Bake 25-30 minutes (until the top is a little browned with slight crispy cheese).

Easy gruyere mac & cheese recipe

Our substitutions make this a fancy “gruyere mac and chesse,” with spicing fit for a nice restaurant.  It is excellent as a side dish, or on it’s own.  Cheesy but not too gooey – know what I mean?  Perfectly creamy.  This is winter comfort food, but perfect for dreary, cold, rainy spring days too! 



  1. Lil
    May 1, 2013 / 1:01 pm

    Oh this is lovely. I'm having the cook (aka husband) make this. Because really, you don't want me messing around in the kitchen too much.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 1, 2013 / 5:53 pm

      Haha! I am a ridiculously sloppy cook. I am surprised I don't break more things, but I do emerge incredibly disheveled and covered in flour. Nice you have a Hubs willing to cook! Mine's not too shabby in the kitchen, either 🙂

  2. Jazmyn Strydom
    May 1, 2013 / 5:02 pm

    Please make this a Pinterest post!! :)I have never heard of that cheese nor the provence herbs..

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 1, 2013 / 5:52 pm

      You mean pin to Pinterest? It's pinned to my recipe box board 🙂 I buy both the spice (in the spice section) and cheese at the Metro. So I think they should be readily available. Actually, Costco also has the cheese. It's so good, and not too strong.

  3. Jazmyn Strydom
    May 1, 2013 / 9:51 pm

    Costco is an hour and a half away! We have Superstore… Co-op.. and Wal-mart.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 2, 2013 / 2:24 pm

      The spice is not hard to come by – even Walmart might have it. Superstore might carry the cheese, but you can also substitute a nice cheddar, which the recipe originally calls for.

  4. nickarmadillo
    May 2, 2013 / 5:36 am

    Gonna have to give this a try. Me and the missus are mac 'n' cheese fanatics.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 2, 2013 / 2:21 pm

      You might want to check out the whole book of amazon – the whole thing is delicious mac and cheese-ness.

  5. cred
    May 2, 2013 / 12:11 pm

    this looks so good- I will have to make it with those tasty mods.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 2, 2013 / 2:22 pm

      Bon Apetit!

  6. Rachel Moran
    May 3, 2013 / 10:59 pm

    I've never tried macaroni and cheese with gruyere. It sounds tasty! I have made one with smoked gouda once though, and it was quite nice.

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