- 1 pound (16 ounces) elbow macaroni or pasta of your choice
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional, for topping)
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
1. Cook the Pasta:
- Cook the elbow macaroni or your chosen pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
3. Make the Cheese Sauce:
- In a large saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add Milk and Spices:
- Gradually whisk in the whole milk, making sure to eliminate any lumps. Add the dry mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Continue to cook and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Incorporate the Cheeses:
- Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gruyère, mozzarella, and grated Parmesan cheeses. Stir until the cheeses are fully melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
6. Combine Pasta and Cheese Sauce:
- Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix until the pasta is well coated.
7. Transfer to a Baking Dish:
- Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a greased 9×13-inch (23×33 cm) baking dish or a similar-sized oven-safe dish.
8. Optional Crispy Topping:
- If desired, sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over the top for a crispy topping.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the mac and cheese is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
10. Garnish and Serve: – Optionally, garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve your Five Cheese Mac and Cheese hot.
Cooking Time: The total cooking time is approximately 25-30 minutes in the oven.
Serving Size: This recipe serves approximately 6 people.