My Recipe Box

Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 103

Who says you can’t have indulgent comfort food on a weeknight? Be sure to use a broiler-safe skillet, such as a cast-iron one.

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. dried spiral pasta, such as cavatappi, rotini, or double elbows
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat (2%) milk
  • 4 oz. grated Emmentaler (1-1/4 cups)
  • 4 oz. grated Gruyère (1-1/4 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 cups)

Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until just tender. Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking until well combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the milk and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the Emmentaler, Gruyère, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme and whisk until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth, 2 minutes. Stir in the pasta to coat with the sauce. Off the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly over the pasta.

Broil until the top is browned, 3 to 4 minutes, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

To get your veggies in, serve with sweet, salty, and tangy Balsamic-Bacon Vinaigrette Sauce over steamed broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or broccolini.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 750; Fat (g): fat g 32; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 19; Protein (g): protein g 36; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 77; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 930; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 95; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I followed the recipe exactly the first time I made it and everyone agreed that the dried thyme was overpowering. I cut it in half a week later and it was better. If you use a 1/2 tsp. of *fresh* thyme it is perfect.

Very good, and easy to do. I used skim milk, and didn't bother to broil, but otherwise followed the instructions. Creamy texture with the called for cheeses, and I loved the extra flavours from the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Yummy for lunch the next day too.

I'm terrible at sticking to recipes but did my best this time and also made it gluten free. I considered adding a bit of bacon for flavour but wanted to taste the cheeses on their own the first time around. I added and extra half tbsp of butter because that was what was in my hand. The entire dish was easy and made very little dishes to clean up, a huge plus. It was done in under and hour, which is also great. I would increase the Worshteshire sauce by half a tbsp next time and introduce one more cheese. Perhaps sub out half of each the gruyere and emmenthal. The sauce was creamy even with my sub of flour for cornstarch. I used wohle milk too. Considered adding some finely diced onion for next time. The quality of your ingredients makes a difference in a dish with so few to begin with. I used organic cheeses and Annie's roganic vegan brand of W-sauce. Some smoked paprika would be nice on top and I will add the rest of the package of pasta next time. It was just a little more than was called for. Overall a positive gluten free experience. MMmm no tummy ache!

I made this Mac and Cheese the other day wasn't too impressed. I followed the recipe entirely but it felt like it was missing something, it just needed something to make it stand out and I felt it definitely didn't do that, it was just sort of bland.

I loved this mac & cheese recipe, although I made a few changes. Cheddar instead of Emmentaler. I grated 1/4 cup onion sauteed it with the butter, and used whole milk. Mixed the Parmesan with some panko then broiled it. This will be my go to mac & cheese recipe.

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