This ooey gooey 5 Cheese Holiday Macaroni and Cheese is our favorite special occasion macaroni and cheese. It’s extra special due to the fact that this recipe incorporates a special blend of five specialty cheeses to create a fabulous flavor combination. It’s undeniably decadent and has a rich and robust flavor that makes it unforgettable.
Easy 5 Cheese Holiday Macaroni and Cheese
I only prepare macaroni and cheese like this once a year and that’s only during the Christmas season. Why, you ask? Well for one, it’s loaded with an over-the-top combination of cheese and is a bit pricier to make. Secondly, I think it’s nice to have a tradition of holiday dishes that my family associates with this special time of the year, when we celebrate the Christmas season. This five cheese combination is our favorite. If you like, you can certainly adapt using any of your favorite combination of flavors to create your own special holiday macaroni and cheese dish. How to make Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese:
- Pasta – One 16 ounce box cavatappi pasta or twisted macaroni.
- Sauce – Butter, all purpose flour, ground mustard, salt, white pepper
- Milk – Whole milk plus additional, as needed.
- Cheese – 2 cups shredded asiago cheese, 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, 2 cups shredded fontina cheese. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese plus 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese for the filling and half for the topping.
- Crumb Topping – Two slices of white bread pulsed in a food processor. finely grated Parmesan cheese and melted butter.
How to Make the Best 5 Cheese Holiday Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade 5 Cheese Holiday Macaroni and Cheese: On pound cavatappi pasta, butter, all purpose flour, salt, white pepper, ground mustard, whole milk, asiago cheese, fontina cheese, Italian (or Vermont) sharp white cheddar cheese, grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. For the crumb topping you’ll need two slices of white bread, finely grated Parmesan cheese and melted butter.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: A pasta pot, large heavy bottomed pot, cheese grater, measuring cups and spoons, a deep 13 x 9 inch baking dish, rubber spatula and whisk.
- How do you make 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese? First, cook the cavatappi pasta in salted water per the package directions, then drain. Grate the 5 cheese blend and toss together to evenly combine. Make the cheese sauce while the pasta cooks, melting butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan then add all purpose flour, salt, pepper an mustard. Gradually whisk in the milk then bring to a gentle boil and immediately lower the heat to low. Once the sauce has simmered for 5 minutes, add 1/3 of the five cheese mixture to the sauce. Next, pour sauce over cooked cavatappi mixing until evenly coated. Pour half into the dish, then sprinkle with cheese. Repeat ending with shredded cheese. Sprinkle the crumb topping and bake until golden and bubbly.
- If you make the cheese sauce in a large pot, it can double as the mixing bowl once you add the cooked cavatappi pasta. Go larger, not smaller.
- The blend of cheese in this dish is one that I wouldn’t change at all. That said, you could adapt using a similar flavor of cheese, to suit your personal taste.
- You could use panko bread crumbs in place of fresh breadcrumbs. You’ll need around 3/4-1 cup.
- You can use black pepper in place of white pepper if that’s what you have on hand. This is one time I do recommend white pepper for the flavor without the color.
- Store baked 5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave.
More Holiday Side Dish Recipes to Make
While this dish is super special, there would be a riot at our house if I only made mac and cheese at the holidays. Whether it’s Sunday supper, a family gathering or potluck party, there’s no event that wouldn’t be made more sweet with a dish filled with gooey macaroni and cheese. We enjoy it as a side dish or as an entrée depending on the day and the time allotted for making accompaniments. There’s simply no wrong way to serve it, at our house. More holiday side dish recipes to try:
- These Candied Yams are a holiday staple.
- Corn Pudding Soufflé just like my Mom makes.
- Brown Sugar Bourbon Glazed Ham is a stunner!
- My Green Bean Casserole recipe features a homemade sauce that starts with bacon.
- Crockpot Cornbread Dressing frees up oven space for other dishes at the holidays.
- Creamed Peas are a dish that’s filled with nostalgia.
- Soft and fluffy Honey Yeast Rolls.
- For more ways to enjoy mac and cheese checkout my Parade article featuring 15 Sensational Ways To Make Mac and Cheese.
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5 Cheese Holiday Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 16 oz box cavatappi pasta
- 1/2 cup butter plus 3 Tbsp for the topping
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 1/2-2 tsp salt
- 1/2-1 tsp white pepper
- 5 cups whole milk plus additional, as needed
- 2 cups shredded asiago cheese
- 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
- Crumb topping:
- 2 slices white bread
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook the cavatappi pasta in boiling salted water per the instructions on the box, until al dente. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, by hand shred the asiago, Italian (or Vermont) sharp cheddar, fontina and mozzarella cheeses, into a medium size mixing bowl. Toss together until they are evenly combined.
- To make the sauce: In a medium size heavy bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat.. Add flour stirring until flour is absorbed. Add salt, pepper, mustard and white pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 1 minute whisking constantly.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. (The roux tends to stay around the edge of the pot, so be certain to incorporate all of the roux so the sauce will thicken.)
- Bring to a gentle boil testing the thickness. [Add more milk 1/2 cup at a time only if the sauce needs to be thinned.]
- Immediately lower the heat and allow to gently bubble on low for 5 minutes until the flour has cooked and the sauce is creamy and thickened.
- To the sauce add 1/3 of the shredded cheese mixture and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix until melted and blended well.
- Add drained pasta to the sauce. Stir until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Pour 1/2 of the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated cheese mixture. Repeat ending with the final 1/3 shredded cheese.
- To make buttered crumbs: Remove crusts from two slices of bread. Pulse bread in a food processor until it becomes fine crumbs. Mix with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and three tablespoons melted butter.
- Sprinkle the fresh buttered breadcrumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese.
- Place into the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly, then serve.