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Creamy white cheddar mac and cheese being scooped out of pan after baking
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5 from 5 votes

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Today’s twist on a classic mac and cheese includes hearty mushrooms, fresh thyme, flavorful cream of mushroom soup, and loads of sharp white cheddar cheese! Baked Mushroom and Thyme Macaroni and Cheese is a luscious, decadent dinner you and the family deserve to treat yourselves to!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 522kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter separated
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms washed and sliced
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped and separated
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups whole milk warm or at least room temperature
  • 10 oz cream of mushroom soup I used Campbell's
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella divided
  • 2 cups sharp white cheddar divided
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  • In a large saucepan set over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the sliced mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of thyme, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until tender and deeply browned, about 10 minutes. A fair amount of liquid will be released from the mushrooms, as they cook the liquid should evaporate.
  • Transfer the mushrooms to a heat-safe bowl and set aside. Place the saucepan back on the heat.
  • To the saucepan, add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. Allow the butter to completely melt. Do not let the butter brown. Add the flour, whisking constantly as you do, then cook that mixture for 2-3 minutes or until toasted but still pale.
  • While the roux is forming, add the macaroni to the now boiling water. Cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain.
  • Carefully pour the milk into the saucepan and whisk vigorously to combine. The roux will considerably thicken the milk. Cook for 5 minutes, constantly whisking.
  • Once thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, add in the condensed soup, 1 ½ cups mozzarella, 1 ½ cups sharp white cheddar, the seasonings, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of thyme. Whisk to combine.
  • To the cheese mixture, add the drained macaroni and sautéed mushrooms. Mix well.
  • Transfer the Mac and cheese into a 9x13 baking dish. Spread the remaining ½ cup of mozzarella and ½ cup white cheddar over the top. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Top with extra thyme and fresh cracked black pepper!

Notes

CAN I FREEZE LEFTOVER MACARONI AND CHEESE? 
Yes, you can! Freezing mac and cheese is a great way to extend the life of your leftovers. Save them for a busy night when you don’t have the time to cook! 
To freeze, you must first allow the mac to come to as close to room temperature as possible. Then, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. I’d recommend either wrapping that container in heavy duty foil or placing it in a freezer-safe zip top bag to avoid freezer burn. 
Frozen macaroni and cheese can stay in the freezer for 2-3 months. 
TIP: This recipe makes quite a bit of mac and cheese! I will often split the mac into two smaller baking dishes rather than one big one. I’ll bake one immediately and freeze the other to be baked later. Be sure to cover the secondary baking dish with heavy duty foil before storing. 
HOW TO REHEAT WHITE MAC AND CHEESE 
Whether you’re reheating from refrigeration or from frozen, it’s best to use the oven. The oven allows the mac to slowly come up to temperature, preventing it from drying out. 
To Reheat from the Fridge
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the mac in an oven-safe dish (unless you already kept it stored in one). Stir in a little milk for added moisture. Cover the dish with foil, then bake until heated through.
To Reheat from Frozen
When it's time to reheat or cook your frozen macaroni and cheese, you don't have to let it thaw out or come to room temperature. You're going to cook it right from the freezer.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and either place your frozen dish on a baking sheet or transfer your leftovers into a baking dish, then cover with aluminum foil. Cooking time will depend on the size of the dish: a 9x13 will take 60-70 minutes whereas an 8x8 will need 40-50. 
In the last 10 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 996mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 922IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 420mg | Iron: 2mg