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Smoked Gouda Mac And Cheese With Pancetta

Elevate your classic mac and cheese game by infusing it with the bold flavors of smoked Gouda and pancetta in this show-stopping recipe. A harmonious blend of elbow noodles, white cheddar, garlic, crispy pancetta or bacon, caramelized shallots, and more, comes together to create a delectable dish that’s sure to impress. Enjoy it as a sophisticated side dish or the main event, and get ready for seconds and a clean plate guarantee! This gourmet macaroni dinner is a masterful twist on the beloved comfort food we all know and love, with the added richness of smoked Gouda and noodles. It’s the perfect family favorite that’s sure to become a staple in your household.

How to Make Grown Up Mac and Cheese

To begin, cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions and drain it. Concurrently, start preparing the cheese sauce. In a hot skillet, add oil and sauté the pancetta or bacon until crispy, then set it aside, leaving the flavorful grease behind. Next, melt butter in the same pan, followed by the aromatics – garlic and shallot. Once they’re softened, add flour to thicken the mixture, stirring constantly. Then, gradually pour in the cream and milk, ensuring a smooth integration of all ingredients. Afterward, fold in the shredded cheese, then combine it with the cooked pasta and pancetta or bacon. Transfer this medley into a casserole dish and top it off with French onions mixed with melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes before serving the smoked gouda macaroni dinner hot.

Mac and Cheese History

Pasta and cheese have been paired for centuries, with the earliest recorded instances dating back to the 1300s. However, the modern version of mac and cheese as we know it today didn’t emerge until much later. The first written recipe that resembles a familiar mac and cheese dish was found in an 18th century cookbook, where pasta was combined with béchamel sauce, cheddar, and parmesan. This iteration of the dish eventually made its way to the United States, where it was served at a state dinner hosted by Thomas Jefferson in 1802.

Grown Up Mac and Cheese FAQs

Serving smoked gouda macaroni is all about timing – it’s best when served hot, straight from the oven. While it makes a satisfying lunch or dinner on its own, it also pairs well with grilled meats like steak or pork. The key to making this recipe ahead of time is to stop just before baking and refrigerate it until you’re ready to finish cooking it. When reheating leftovers, cover the dish with foil and warm it in the oven at 375°F for about 15 minutes or in the microwave on low power. Leftovers will keep for up to four days. If you’d like to experiment with different cheeses, white cheddar or sharp white cheddar would be a good substitute, resulting in a creamy and indulgent dish. This smoked gouda macaroni recipe is a twist on the classic that’s sure to become a family favorite due to its ease of preparation and delicious leftovers.

Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese with Pancetta Recipe

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Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese with Pancetta

Indulge in a sophisticated dinner experience with this smoked Gouda mac and cheese, expertly elevated by the addition of crispy pancetta. The harmonious union of elbow noodles, Gouda cheese, garlic, pancetta or bacon, and shallots creates a dish that can be enjoyed as either a satisfying side or a main event. With a mere 15 minutes spent on prep work, this indulgent mac and cheese requires only 40 minutes of cooking time to serve 9 generous portions, making the total preparation time a manageable 55 minutes.


As you bring four cups of salted water to a boil, cook your elbow noodles al dente and set them aside. Meanwhile, heat a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add olive oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom. Then, add pancetta and let it cook for five minutes before removing it from the pan and setting it aside. Don’t drain the pan just yet! Add butter and melt it, then sauté minced garlic and shallot for two minutes. Next, whisk in flour and cook for one minute, followed by slow additions of heavy cream and milk, whisking well after each addition. Let the mixture simmer for five minutes to thicken, stirring in grated cheese until melted and smooth. Combine noodles, cheese sauce, and pancetta in a large bowl, stirring well to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish. In a separate bowl, pulse fried onions in a food processor for five to six times before mixing with melted butter, truffle salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir until combined, then evenly spread the crumb mixture over the top of the macaroni. Place the casserole on the center rack of your oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Serve hot in bowls.