This Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese is the grown-up mac and cheese recipe you’ve been looking for

When you think of macaroni and cheese, chances are you picture something out of a box, and maybe even some childhood memories. While you can obviously eat the boxed stuff if you want — no judgment here! — if you’re looking for a more grown-up take on the dish, I recently tested a recipe you should definitely try. Not only does it use two kinds of cheese, but it was also incredibly easy to make and is customizable.

The recipe comes from wine purveyor Spoken Barrel, who suggests pairing it with their Cabernet Sauvignon. Because I’m a stickler for rules (OK, because I like wine…), I did just that and it really did go amazingly well together.

They also suggest adding chopped chives on top and I’m going to recommend that as well. It really made the flavors pop. You could also add more cheese if you want and — if you like a bit of spice — more cayenne pepper. I thought it could use a bit more cheese, but I do like things cheesy.

While this dish is super quick and insanely easy to make (you don’t even have to drain the pasta!), I did find it a bit runny at first. I stirred for quite a while once I added the milk, cheese and spices and, eventually, it got thicker. So be patient! Spoken Barrel also recommends serving it right away, but I actually liked it better the next day. It was good either way, though, so leftovers are no problem (if there’s any left)!

Since you’re likely drooling now, I’ll stop talking and just let you get to it. Here’s the full recipe:

Spoken Barrel Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese Recipe


· 1 LB. Cavatappi Pasta

· 1 ½ c. whole milk

· 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

· ½ lb smoked Gouda, grated

· ½ lb. sharp cheddar, grated

· ½ tsp cayenne pepper

· 1 tsp. ground white pepper

· 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

· 1/3 c. chopped chives, optional


1. In a large deep sided skillet, bring 4 c. of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the cavatappi pasta and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Bring back to a boil and stir frequently for 10 minutes, until almost all the water has been absorbed and the pasta is cooked.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, stirring until the cheese is melted and everything is fully combined.

3. Serve the mac and cheese with a sprinkling of the chives and eat immediately with Spoken Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon.

Kaitlin Gates

Just can’t get enough mac and cheese and want more recipes? Try this how-to for making the dish in a slow cooker or these seven unique mac and cheese recipes that include ingredients like bacon, feta, jalapenos and Greek yogurt.

Will you be making Spoken Barrel’s smoked gouda mac and cheese recipe for your next dinner?