All the classic flavours of French Onion Soup transformed into the most delicious Mac and Cheese imaginable!
This mac and cheese is rich, silky smooth, loaded with flavour AND it’s all made in one pot. Follow me…
The key component of a French onion soup is the caramelized onions. Unfortunately cooking down the onions does take a little time, but fortunately, it’s so darn worth it.
The aim of the game when caramelizing onions is to slowly cook them down for them to release their natural sugars. From there, the natural sugars on the surface begin to caramelize and turn the onions gorgeously sweet. Cooking down the onions slowly also leaves them ultra-soft and sticky, with a jam-like texture.
The difference between caramelized onions for French onion soup and Classic Caramelized Onions is that you increase the heat towards the end for the French onions. By doing this you get brown bits/char on the base of your pan (as you can see below), which adds a ton of flavour.
French Mac and Cheese
For the mac and cheese itself, you actually don’t need a whole load of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Caramelized Onions – As discussed above. These will be fried in butter and oil.
- Macaroni – Dried macaroni, no need to cook it (more on this in a sec).
- Beef Stock – This is classically used in French onion soup and offers a gorgeous deep flavour to the mac and cheese.
- Milk – This helps create the sauce and cooks the pasta.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This deepens the flavour of the stock and onions.
- Cheese – Gruyere is a must! I also add cheddar and mozzarella too.
One Pot Mac and Cheese
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s all made in one pot. Cooking the pasta in with the sauce is an awesome technique for a few different reasons:
- No need to make a roux to thicken the sauce, the starch will do it for you.
- The excess starch helps create a glossy/velvety sauce which coats the pasta much better.
- The pasta soaks in all those gorgeous flavours from the stock and caramelized onions.
- Less washing up!
Process shots: add stock to onions (photo 1), add milk and Worcestershire sauce (photo 2), add macaroni (photo 3), simmer to cook (photo 4), add cheese (photo 5), stir until melted (photo 6).
Serving French Onion Mac & Cheese
Once the cheese has melted, serve it right up! You’ll notice the sauce thickens more as it rests, but if you need to loosen up the sauce at all just stir in milk a splash at a time. If you wanted to go full French onion soup you could also serve with a pinch of fresh thyme and thinly sliced toasted baguette!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this French onion mac and cheese shall we?!
How to make French Onion Mac and Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)
French Onion Mac and Cheese
- Large Pot & Wooden Spoon
- Jug (for stock/milk)
- Cheese Grater
- Serving Spoon
Ingredients (check list):
- 2lb / 1kg Onions, halved, peeled & sliced
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper
Mac and Cheese
- 1lb / 500g Dried Macaroni
- 3 cups / 750ml EACH: Milk, Beef Stock
- 2 cups / 200g EACH: Gruyere, Cheddar
- 1/2 cup / 50g Mozzarella
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Add butter and oil to a large pot over medium heat then add the onion. Cook on medium heat, stirring every few mins, for around 25-30mins until the onions soften. Season with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
- Increase heat slightly to medium-high and continue cooking the onions for another 20-25mins, or until deep golden with a soft and jammy texture, stirring more frequently to ensure they don't burn. If they begin to char/burn before they caramelize, just turn down the heat slightly. See step by step photos for how the onions should look when they're done.
- Lower heat back down to medium and pour in beef stock, milk and Worcestershire sauce. Use your wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot, then add the pasta.
- Give everything a stir, then bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the macaroni is al dente, stirring somewhat frequently. The sauce should be fairly thin at this point.
- Turn off the heat and add in cheddar, gruyere and mozzarella. Give everything a really good stir until the cheese melts. If the sauce is still too thin/pasta is not fully cooked just pop on low heat for a couple of mins. If it's too thick just add milk a splash at a time. Season to taste and serve!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
For a classic one pot mac and cheese recipe check out my Ultra Creamy One Pot Mac and Cheese!
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
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- Smoky Chipotle Mac and Cheese
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- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese
- Brie Mac and Cheese
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