Extra Special Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Extra-Special Macaroni and Cheese

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
535 Calories
32g Fat
33g Carbs
27g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 535
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 42%
Saturated Fat 19g 96%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Sodium 1002mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 670mg 52%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 228mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Special is the right descriptor for this macaroni and cheese, and it tastes as good as it looks. Besides the mixture of goat cheese, cheddar, and Parmesan cheese, fresh or dried herbs are added to the mixture.

It's a rich casserole, but it can be made lighter by decreasing the amount of cheese. See the tips and variations for more ideas.

Serve this delicious dish as a side dish or serve it as a main dish with sliced tomatoes or a tossed salad.


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni

  • 4 tablespoons (2-ounces) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs, or 2 teaspoons dried herbs such as thyme, sage, or chives

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 ounces plain or herbed goat cheese

  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

  • 4 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs

Steps to Make It

  1. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  3. Cook macaroni in salted boiling water following package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

  4. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly; continue cooking and stirring until slightly thickened. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper, then stir in the goat cheese and cheddar. Stir in about 3 ounces of the Parmesan cheese; set the rest aside for the topping. Continue cooking and stirring the sauce until the cheeses have melted.

  5. Add the drained macaroni to the sauce and spoon it into the prepared baking dish.

  6. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the breadcrumbs and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Mix until well blended and the crumbs are thoroughly coated with butter.

  7. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the casserole.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is browned and bubbling around the edges.

Recipe Variations

  • Add 1 clove of minced garlic to the saucepan with the melted butter and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the flour.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely minced shallots to the saucepan with the melted butter and cook until tender. Add the flour, stir, and continue with the recipe.
  • Replace the goat cheese and herbs with a package of Boursin cheese with herbs.
  • Omit the Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Add 1 cup of diced ham to the cheese sauce before adding the cooked macaroni.