Gourmet mac and cheese- any favorite cheese combinations?

My daughter had her pre-school teacher write us a note saying that she didn’t like the lunch she brought to school every day, and that she wanted mac and cheese (and a bunch of other things). LOL

I could, of course, just buy some off-the-shelf mac and cheese . But given that I am quite fond of eating cheese in general, I’d like to make her something nicer, a version of mac and cheese that even an adult would find delicious. So I googled ‘gourmet mac and cheese’ and saw a number of recipes with different combination of cheese. I settled on one of them, went out and bought cheddar, gruyere, asiago, and fontina.

Do you have other combination of cheeses that you like for a dish like this?


Your daughter’s Pre-school teacher has critisized you for the lunches you send your daughter with?


Yeah i’m kind of flabbergasted by the situation here…

What kind of mac and cheese do you make that the kid likes? What kind of cheese does she like? This might not be the time to do something fancy.
The Martha Stewart mac n cheese recipe is rather clsssic with notes on how to modify it at the bottom -and it’s infinitely popular (notice it has been shared more than 800,000 times!)

I think if she is old enough to be vocal about her lunches (via the teacher) then she can participate in deciding what goes in it within reason (ie whatever options /choices you want to offer) and therefore will feel more included. Something along the lines of “string cheese or yogurt?” kind of options.

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No no. She doesn’t know how to write. So she asked the teacher to write the note for her. And she signed it and gave to me.


We don’t make mac and cheese at home or for her at school. Mostly just pasta without cheese. I guess she must have seen mac and cheese in other kids’ lunches to want mac and cheese.

That sounds like a good mix if cheeses. I like aged Gouda, like in this recipe

Our standard mac & cheese includes courgettes & bacon. The cheese comes from whatever “good” mature Cheddar is in the supermarket - invariably one of the top farmhouse ones like Keen’s or Quick’s. The dish gets a final topping of breadcrumbs and sprinkling of Parmesan or Pecorino (depends on what’s in the fridge) and goes under grill for a couple of minutes to melt.

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Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

I see a future for your daughter as a Union leader. Here are my two favorite and simple mac - n -cheese recipes. The first is to buy a port wine infused cheese, these either com in a container like (pictured) or as a spread. You can mix this with another more mild cheese or cheese product like Velveeta. (which I generally use as a base for any of my combinations of mac n cheese.) Added cool factor to this recipe for your daughter, if you get enough port wine cheese in the mix, the end result is pink mac n cheese. Believe it or not this was a big hit when I served it in my restaurant.

The second even simpler is just add some truffle (obviously an acquired taste for a young one) to any mac and cheese combination for a very nice layer of rich velvety flavor. (You can add a small side of caviar too, just for added snob; “My daddy has his own foodie web site” cool factor as well")

I dare you to write a note in response to your daughter, give it to your daughter to give to her teacher to read to her.


Lol, Not Jr “port wine” she’s in pre school :wink:
Humph, was mini - me raised on it … .he seems no worse the wear

Honestly, my best mac & cheeses are always the ones where I use up whatever is in the cheese drawer at the time. I always include a small amount of Velveeta or American cheese (or use sodium citrate) for a smooth melt, but the others vary widely. Cheddar or gruyere are usually present in the largest quantity, but then I add whatever odds and ends are hanging around. Fresh chevre adds a really nice tang if you like that, Jarlsberg swiss adds some nuttiness and a little stretch to the cheese goo, an overripe brie or camembert can add a subtle funk and smooth melt. Add a little white wine to your sauce for a “fondue” flavor. Only maybe not for your little one! :wink:


Oh now that’s funny!!
You will probably need to make an extra “loose” sauce so that it’s still creamy at lunch and not a blob.
A good plan might be to make it for dinner and then send leftovers for lunch if/when she likes it.

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So pink mac and cheese sounds like something that would sooooo be the talk of the preschool lunch room!!!
I’m thinking instead of the port wine cheese because, kids, the OP could totally just blend some canned beets into a sauce/paste to mix into the pasta and cheese for the same effect without resorting to food dye. And with all the dairy the beet flavor won’t be noticeable


I see a future of you the leader of pre-school lunch meals. If you do a Kickstarter, I’m in!


Funny to me I wouldn’t think twice about that. I would imagine the amount of alcohol (if any assuming it isn’t burned off in the process of making the cheese, which I’m not really sure what the process is for making this stuff) anywho…I couldn’t imagine the amount of alcohol once added to other cheese and mixed with pasta would be beyond a trace. Regardless I guess you have a valid point.

Here’s another mac n cheese favorite, baked mac n cheese with your choice of cheese(s) (again I usually use velveeta cheese block as the base cheese) mixed with tomato soup. Place in a deep baking pan, top with bacon, bake for about 30-45 mins until bacon is fully cooked. Ohhh the bacon grease ozzing into the mac n cheese and the crispy end of pasta once baked!! YUM !!! (this was my grandmothers recipe)

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Yes, as I said it was a big hit in my restaurant at the time so it’s popularity spans far after preschool!!!

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LOL. My goals are more modest. Instead of being the talk of the room, I just want her to actually eat her lunch.

But perhaps making it colorful and surprisingly colored may actually make her more likely to eat her food (or maybe less? who knows)


My closest friend growing up was Polish. Her mother was not a great cook, but she made
a mean homemade pierogi and a very, very good mac and cheese to which she added tomato paste,
soup or ketchup, whichever one was on hand. That little bit of sweetness and acidity really made a world of difference and IMO enhanced the flavor of the cheese. It’s still my benchmark mac and cheese.
re the port wine cheese
“Funny to me I wouldn’t think twice about that”
I was being playful that’s totally a personal choice … but in todays world, go ahead and serve it to a class of preschoolers and I guarantee you, after you were released from jail you would never hear the end of it :wink:


Sadly wouldn’t be my first night spent there!

Inmate: “Hey what are you in for big guy
Me: “Serving port wine mac-n-cheese to a pre-schooler”
Inmate under his breath: " Don’t f’k with this guy he is crazy”


tears running down my face …lolololololololololololololol
You would lose your mind if you had school age kids at this time
my sister would be the first one on line to advocate having you locked up

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