The Baker Upstairs: Beecher's Mac and Cheese

4.20.2019

Beecher's Mac and Cheese

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This Beecher's Mac and Cheese recipe is truly the world's best! It's so thick and creamy and has an amazing cheesy flavor!

This Beecher's Mac and Cheese recipe is truly the world's best! It's so thick and creamy and has an amazing cheesy flavor!

A few weeks ago we decided to try something new for spring break, and we took a road trip up to Seattle for a few days. We're only about 3 1/2 hours away here in Portland, but somehow in the nearly three years we've lived here, we hadn't made it up there yet. I was a little intimidated by the idea of exploring a new city, but we totally had a blast! I think we will plan lots more weekend trips in the future, and enjoy everything Seattle has to offer. Like all good tourists, we of course needed to visit Pike Place, and it definitely did not disappoint! We went to the original Starbucks store, browsed all the beautiful fresh tulips in the market, marveled at all of the fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables, bought some prints from a local artist, and enjoyed the busker playing his saxophone outside. 


Of course the most important part of any vacation is the food, and there was SO MUCH GOOD FOOD at (and around) Pike Place. We started the day with biscuits and gravy from Biscuit Bitch, devoured garlic and cheese piroshki from Piroshky Piroshky, enjoyed macarons from Le Panier, and got a handcrafted soda from Shug's Soda Fountain. It's hard to choose a favorite, but the one food I keep dreaming about is the absolutely amazing mac and cheese from Beecher's Handmade Cheese.


I had heard of their cheese before, and of course the free samples they have in the store were a huge draw, but I had no idea about the mac and cheese wonderfulness that was waiting for me! The sauce was thick and creamy and silky smooth, with the perfect cheddar flavor, and unbelievably delicious. I shared a cup of it with my husband and two kids, and none of us could get enough! We bought some Flagship cheese to take home with us, but I couldn't get the mac and cheese out of my mind. Luckily, Beecher's has kindly shared the recipe online, so I was able to make it at home (and now share it with you!). 

This Beecher's Mac and Cheese recipe is truly the world's best! It's so thick and creamy and has an amazing cheesy flavor!

The at-home version is just as delicious as the version in the store, and I love that I made it myself! The recipe is a little unusual in that it uses penne pasta instead of a traditional macaroni noodle, but it's a really fun change, and it means each noodle holds onto more sauce. The cheese sauce is so decadent and flavorful, and I love those gooey strings of cheese whenever you scoop up a spoonful of tender noodles and sauce.

This Beecher's Mac and Cheese recipe is truly the world's best! It's so thick and creamy and has an amazing cheesy flavor!

I changed the Beecher's recipe just a tiny bit, to add a few more noodles so it would stretch a bit further for my family. (Don't worry, there's still an excellent cheese sauce to noodle ratio!) I got six side dish-sized servings from it, but if you are serving it as a main dish, I would guess it would serve about 4. We ate it with some grilled garlic chicken sausage and sautéed vegetables on the side, and it was all delightful together. I think this is definitely our new go-to mac and cheese! 

This Beecher's Mac and Cheese recipe is truly the world's best! It's so thick and creamy and has an amazing cheesy flavor!
Beecher's Mac and Cheese

8 ounces penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
8 ounces Beecher's Flagship cheese*, grated (about 2 cups)
2 ounces monterey jack cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the penne for two minutes less than the package directions indicate, then drain and rinse with cool water. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir to make a paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, until golden. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook 5-7 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Flagship cheese and 1/4 cup of the monterey jack cheese. Add the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder, and the garlic powder, and whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce and toss to coat evenly. Pour the pasta into a 9 x 9 baking dish and top with the remaining cheese, then sprinkle with the remaining chili powder. Bake 20 minutes, then let sit 5 minutes before serving.

* If you don't happen to live near Seattle, Beecher's cheese is available at various grocery stores (I have found it at Kroger and Albertsons stores near me) and also available online. This recipe would also work great with any extra sharp white cheddar (I really like Tillamook and Darigold brands).
This Beecher's Mac and Cheese recipe is truly the world's best! It's so thick and creamy and has an amazing cheesy flavor!

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