Macaroni and cheese is consummate comfort food. Double-up on the cheddar and it becomes this Double Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese. To make it, tender jumbo elbow macaroni is smothered in a made from scratch double cheddar cheese sauce turning it into my go-to side dish for practically any meal that I serve. Baked until the top is gooey and golden then it’s ready to serve.
I love entertaining friends and family and made this macaroni and cheese recently for friends that were visiting. I served this alongside saucy baby back ribs, root beer baked beans and festive layered Southwestern cornbread salad making it a dowhome feast fit for a king. To me, there’s nothing like good conversation and a delicious meal shared with friends and comfort food is always a winning choice for dinner.
When I plan meals for entertaining I often gravitate to pasta dishes. When I’m looking for classics to include on the menu macaroni and cheese is a no brainer. When making this particular version which by the way, I have several mac and cheese variations in the recipe index, I chose jumbo elbow macaroni for fun. The Dijon mustard in the cheese sauce pairs beautifully with the sharp cheddar cheese and gives it an indescribable boost in flavor. For a time saver, you can assemble this macaroni and cheese in advance, chill it then bake it just before serving. When doing so, it’s ideal to take 20 minutes to bring to room temperature prior to baking. If there’s no time, adjust the baking time to accommodate giving it ample time to heat through and the cheese to become buttery and golden on top.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Double Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 16-oz box jumbo elbow macaroni
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 1/2 cups shredded medium yellow cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp butter divided
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt may adjust more or less to taste
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oz plain cream cheese softened room, temperature
- 5 cups whole milk or half and half
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cook the macaroni in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well, pour into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Mix the shredded cheese together. Set aside.
- In a medium-size heavy bottomed saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat.
To the melted butter add the flour, salt, Dijon and black pepper. Mix until the flour has been absorbed by the butter stirring constantly.
Increase the temperature to medium high and gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk constantly to prevent clumping. Bring to a boil then immediately lower the heat to low. Simmer for 3-5 minutes gently bubbling stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Turn off the heat. Add the cream cheese to the sauce. Stir until melted.
Remove from the heat, add 3 cups shredded cheese mix. Stir until melted. Pour the sauce over the macaroni. Mix until evenly coated.
Pour 1/2 into the baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with macaroni then top with the final 1 cup of shredded cheese. Dot the top with 2 Tbsp butter.
Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are bubbly.
Regular elbow macaroni may be used, if desired.