This quick and easy mushroom garlic mac and cheese has plenty of gruyere and goat cheese for an elegant macaroni and cheese that comes together in under an hour.
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Let’s just go ahead and file this homemade mushroom macaroni and cheese under “NEXT. LEVEL.”
Because this pasta? Ohhhhhh, you’re going to want to be a part of this pasta.
What you need for this mushroom garlic mac and cheese recipe:
- Pasta! (Cavatappi = probably our favorite mac and cheese pasta shape of all time)
- Fresh minced garlic (we’ll also be awarding bonus points if you swap it out for roasted garlic, because YUM)
- Plenty of baby portobello mushrooms
- Goat cheese
- The usual mac and cheese suspects: butter, flour, and milk (although we 10/10 recommend swapping the milk + flour for a few scoops of our Magic Cauliflower Cream Sauce if you want to keep things on the lighter side!)
The result? A cozy, creamy garlic mac and cheese that feels ultra-fancy without much work at all. (Prep the sauce ingredients while the pasta cooks and you can have this meal on the table in 30 minutes flat!)
How to bake this macaroni and cheese:
This recipe makes a quick stovetop garlic mushroom macaroni and cheese, but you can also top it with breadcrumbs and pop it in the oven for a baked version!
If you decide to bake this mac and cheese, we recommend undercooking the pasta by a minute or two and adding an extra 1/4 cup of milk to your sauce, then toasting a cup of panko breadcrumbs in a saucepan with a Tablespoon or two of butter for the topping. See a full walkthrough of our favorite baked macaroni and cheese techniques here!
Serve this mac and cheese as is or add chicken, sausage, or extra veggies (we love adding broccoli, peas, or roasted brussels sprouts!)
You can also mix things up by adding baby spinach for a spinach mushroom mac and cheese riff, or swapping the gruyere in this mac and cheese recipe for parmesan (or whatever cheese you have on hand!)Print
This quick and easy mushroom garlic mac and cheese has plenty of gruyere and goat cheese for an elegant macaroni and cheese that’s ready in under an hour.
- 3/4 pound pasta (we used cavatappi)
- 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 ounces baby portobello mushrooms (about 4 cups), sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
- 2 ounces goat cheese (about 1/4 cup)
- Cook pasta in very salty water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. (We like to use the same pot we just cooked the pasta in!)
- Add garlic and mushrooms to butter. Sauté until mushrooms have softened and reduced in size, about 8 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Add remaining butter to mushroom mixture and stir until melted.
- Add flour to saucepan and stir to combine. Let cook for a minute or so until flour has soaked up all the butter and smells slightly nutty.
- Add milk a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to remove any lumps. Stir until all milk is incorporated.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes until sauce has thickened and just barely begun to simmer.
- Remove sauce from heat. Add gruyere and goat cheese. Stir until cheese has melted.
- Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss to combine. Taste your mac and cheese and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.
Additions. Add broccoli, peas, spinach, kale, arugula, or roasted brussels sprouts for some extra veggies. Add sausage or chicken (grilled, baked, or shredded) for extra protein. Add a few drops of truffle oil to the sauce if you like!
Substitutions. Use white cheddar, parmesan, havarti, or fontina in place of some or all of the gruyere and goat cheese in this recipe. Use our Magic Cauliflower Cream Sauce in place of the flour and milk for a lightened-up version. Use roasted garlic instead of fresh garlic for a sweeter, deeper flavor (you may want to use an extra 2-4 cloves if you swap roasted garlic in for fresh!) 1%, 2%, whole, or skim milk all work fine here. Substitute chicken or vegetable stock, half and half, or heavy cream for part of the milk if you like (though if you use cream or half and half, know that it will make the sauce VERY rich – you definitely don’t need it, but if you’re out of milk and in a pinch they’ll work!)
Taste and season as needed! Salt is always important in cooking, but it’s especially important here, when we’re working with so few ingredients. Taste your mac and cheese before serving and, if it still doesn’t quite “pop,” add seasoning as necessary. And don’t forget to salt your pasta water!
For a baked version of this mac and cheese, undercook the pasta by 1-2 minutes and add an extra 1/4 cup of milk to the sauce. Top with toasted panko breadcrumbs (full directions here!) and bake at 375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until sauce is bubbling and breadcrumbs are browned. For a full tutorial on baked mac and cheese, check out Mac and Cheese 101!
Keywords: vegetarian, portobello, winter