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Thomas Jefferson Mac & Cheese


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  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • pinch fresh (or dried) nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups cheddar or mix of cheddar/gouda/gruyere.
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8-16 ounces macaroni (less macaroni = creamer mac & cheese)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon butter



Step 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne pepper, and white pepper; cook and stir another minute, then whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and whisk again. Bring the sauce just to a simmer.

Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 2 1/4 cups of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Add Dijon mustard.

Transfer the macaroni into a casserole dish, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta. Mix panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes.


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