The Ultimate Mac and Cheese


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This post is brought to you by KitchenAid

We’re in it to win it today! Buckle up guys, and grab a fork, because it’s the ultimate Mac and Cheese recipe!!

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

Mac and Cheese is a staple in my life. I’ve told you this before it’s a miracle that I didn’t turn into a noodle considering 99% of my diet from age 2-18 was pasta. I love it every which way, but the ultimate pasta dish for me is a mac and cheese. And today, because I function with the mentality that more is more, I made mac and cheese and then gave it 3 variations because it’s December and that’s allowed!

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

Where do we start? A few months back I spent a whirlwind 48 hours in Seattle with KitchenAid learning all about their lines of both major and small appliances. (such a tough job, right??) After I got home, my kitchen got a little bit of a facelift with some new KitchenAid® countertop appliances and I’ve been putting them to work ever since. Perhaps my favorite is the KitchenAid® Compact Oven. I’ve always wanted one and Thomas has been begging for one for years and I just never got around to snagging one. But things have changed and this Compact Oven is my life. It’s now replaced the microwave for me almost 99% of the time and it makes baking SO EASY!! If I’m hosting a big dinner party this time of year, you can bet that I’m making most things in the Compact Oven which is a life saver.

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

That was a long-winded way of telling you what inspired my mac and cheese extravaganza today! Between the Compact Oven, my new KitchenAid® Mini Food Processor, AND the most epic KitchenAid® Multi-Cooker with Stir Tower, you’re basically set when it comes to making mac and cheese. Below you’ll find my master recipe and then 3 alterations. Some with meat, some with veggies and ALL with plenty of cheese!

There’s a Gouda + Crispy Pancetta Mac and Cheese, a Brown Butter + Sage Mac and Cheese, and a Broccoli + Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese! I mean, a little something for everyone am I right? Grab the recipes below, make all of them, and then let me know which you prefer! I can’t pick a favorite – it’s like asking a mom to pick their favorite child!!

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

And since it’s December and we’re giving things away and pretending to be Santa… how would you guys feel about 1 lucky winner getting all of these things aka a KitchenAid® Compact Oven, Mini Food Processor, Multi-Cooker and Professional Cutlery Set so you can make your own epic mac and cheese creation at home! All you have to do is whip up your own Mac & Cheese creation on Instagram, use #MadeWithKitchenAid and tag both @KitchenAidUSA and @whatsgabycookin and you’re entered to win! (Just make sure to tag me IN the actual photo so I can keep track easily too!)

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

Nitty gritty for the KitchenAid Giveaway:

1. All colors are subject to availability.

2. The prizes include:
KitchenAid® Multi-Cooker with Stir Tower (KMC4244Q)
KitchenAid® Compact Oven (KCO253)
KitchenAid® 7pc Professional Cutlery Set (KKFMA07)
KitchenAid® Mini Food Processor (KFC3516)

Giveaway ends Tuesday Dec 20th at 11pm PST

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese from (@whatsgabycookin)

Gouda + Crispy Pancetta Mac and Cheese



  • 8 ounces pancetta cut into small pieces
  • 1 pound Gremelli
  • 4 cups milk
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup smoked gouda shredded using the mini KitchenAid® Mini Food Processor
  • 1/2 cup gouda shredded using the mini KitchenAid® Mini Food Processor
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme


  • Preheat KitchenAid® Compact Oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In medium saucepan, sauté the pancetta until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same medium skillet, over medium high heat, add milk, raw elbow macaroni, 1 teaspoon salt and butter. Slowly bring the milk and macaroni mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently as it comes up to a simmer. Keep an eye on the mixture to make sure the pasta continually gets stirred.
  • Once simmering, turn down heat to low. Stir frequently. Cook for about 17-20 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. Drain the excess milk and place the pasta back into the pot.
  • Meanwhile sauté the shallot, garlic and thyme in the olive oil until shallot is translucent.
  • Stir in the grated cheese and ½ of the pancetta. Stir until the cheese is evenly incorporated into the macaroni. Transfer the mixture in a medium KitchenAid® baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining pancetta on top of the mac and cheese and the shallot mixture and bake for 15 minutes until crispy. Serve as needed

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns / Recipes from What’s Gaby Cooking

** This post is brought to you by KitchenAid. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for What’s Gaby Cooking**

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Recipe Rating


  1. Rachael

    Boy do I love Mac n Cheese! I NEED this in my life, I will have to give them a go 🙂

    Rachael xx.

  2. [email protected]

    I love alllll of these macs! They look so good, I need one of each in my life today. But I think I only have enough cheese for one, so that will have to do. And maybe that is a good thing :).

  3. Heather Brown

    I’m a Mac & Cheeseaholic! I love your recipes. I really like For the Broccoli and Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. Definitely going to have to try that one.!

  4. Mary

    I love mac and cheese – and this is the perfect time of year for it! I will definitely try these recipes, they look delicious!

  5. Heather Christo

    You are the cutest Santa Ever! I need to make some mac n cheese pronto!!

  6. Monika

    I just LOVE mac and cheese! I am so happy to know about these variations!! Comfort food is the BEST!

  7. Susan

    These look delicious. I would try the Gouda with Crispy Pancetta Mac & Cheese first!

  8. gerry speirs

    Gimme the Gouda and Pancetta any day of the week, though they all sound amazeballs!!

  9. M

    What do you do with the extra milk? You don’t make sauce with it? Do you throw it away?

    • Gaby

      I don’t do anything with it once it’s been used to cook the pasta. Reason being it has all sorts of starch in it after the pasta is cooked!

  10. Alena @ Necklace for Women

    Enjoying the brownish butter in this! I just enjoy mac and cheese! I am so delighted to find out about these variations. Comfort food is the most effective.