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