Spoonful of mac and cheese being pulled out of baking dish with cheese dripping down
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5 from 5 votes

Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese

Take your homemade mac and cheese to new heights by adding Roasted Garlic. The caramelized hint of the garlic makes this baked mac and cheese truly irresistible!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 738kcal
Author: Chris Collins
Cost: £1.50/$2

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 14oz / 400g Elbow Macaroni (or other short-cut pasta)
  • 4 cups / 1 litre Milk, at room temp
  • 1 large bulb of Garlic
  • 2 cups / 200g Sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups / 200g Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup / 70g Parmesan, grated (save half for top)
  • 1/2 cup / 30g Breadcrumbs, or as needed
  • 3 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Fresh Chives, finely diced
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil / Oil Spray

Instructions

  • Slice the tip off the garlic bulb to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Pop in the oven for 45-60mins at 356f/180c or until golden brown and soft as butter.
  • Squeeze out the garlic & mash with a pinch of salt to completely smooth it out. Add to a large saucepan with butter and stir to combine. Stir in flour to form a paste, then gradually pour in your milk, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Once thickened, add mustard and seasoning, then stir in your cheeses (remember to save half parmesan).
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted boiling water until only JUST cooked. You want it still a bit hard. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water (see notes) then drain and combine with cheese sauce.
  • Add everything to a baking dish, top with parmesan then breadcrumbs and finish with a pinch of salt & pepper and oil spray. Pop in the oven at 390f/200c for 20mins or until golden on top. Sprinkle fresh chives over the top and serve.

Video

Notes

a) Roasted Garlic - Timings will vary depending on the size of the garlic, so just be vigilant after 40-45mins. If it looks like it's turning too dark too quickly simply lower the temperature. 
 
b) Al dente pasta - You want to make sure the pasta is only just cooked. It will finish cooking when you bake it in the oven. 
 
c) Consistency / Pasta Water - The sauce may seem overly stringy at the start, but when you add pasta, the little bit of water that comes with it will help smooth it out and turn the sauce silky. Use more pasta water as needed to help this. Also, when pasta is added there may seem too much sauce, but it will thicken when baked. 
 
d) Sauce - Make sure the sauce has thickened before you add the cheese, don't use the cheese to thicken the sauce or it will lose it's texture (namely the mozzarella).
 
e) Chives - Try not to think of these as just garnish, they add gorgeous flavour to the dish. I use around a tbsp to sprinkle on top, but work to preference.

Nutrition

Calories: 738kcal | Carbohydrates: 68.94g | Protein: 37.72g | Fat: 34.18g | Saturated Fat: 19.461g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.848g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9.057g | Trans Fat: 0.73g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 923mg | Potassium: 505mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 10.97g | Vitamin A: 2650IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 820mg | Iron: 1.8mg