Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that is loved by many. But plain old mac and cheese can get boring after a while. That’s why many home cooks like to jazz up this dish by adding different ingredients or flavors. One of the most popular ways to make elevated mac and cheese is based on a recipe by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. His mac and cheese recipe transforms the humble side dish into a gourmet masterpiece that will impress any dinner guests.
What makes Gordon Ramsay’s mac and cheese special?
There are a few key things that set Gordon Ramsay’s mac and cheese apart from regular versions of the dish:
- It uses multiple cheeses – A blend of flavorful cheeses like gruyere, parmesan, and cheddar gives the mac and cheese complex, decadent flavors.
- It includes mustard – Mustard adds a tangy flavor and helps the cheese sauce emulsify.
- It uses evaporated milk – Evaporated milk makes the cheese sauce extra thick, creamy, and rich.
- It’s baked – Baking the mac and cheese in the oven allows the top to become crispy and golden brown.
- It contains breadcrumbs – A crunchy, buttery breadcrumb topping puts it over the top.
Together, these special touches elevate humble mac and cheese into a gourmet dish that’s truly restaurant-worthy.
What ingredients do you need to make Gordon Ramsay mac and cheese?
The ingredients you’ll need to make Gordon Ramsay’s baked mac and cheese recipe include:
- Pasta – elbow macaroni or other short pasta shape
- Cheeses – a blend of gruyere, sharp cheddar, and parmesan
- Butter – for cooking the pasta and making the sauce
- Flour – for thickening the cheese sauce
- Milk – evaporated milk gives the sauce extra richness
- Mustard – Dijon or whole grain mustard
- Seasonings – salt, pepper, nutmeg
- Breadcrumbs – panko or regular, to top the mac and cheese before baking
Having all of these ingredients on hand before you start will make the process go smoothly.
Step-by-step instructions for making Gordon Ramsay mac and cheese
Here is a step-by-step guide to making baked mac and cheese just like Gordon Ramsay:
- Cook the pasta – Boil the elbow macaroni per package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Make a roux – Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in an equal amount of flour and cook for 1 minute. This will thicken up the sauce.
- Heat the milk – Pour in the evaporated milk and cook, whisking constantly until thickened and smooth.
- Add the cheeses – Turn heat to low and stir in the grated gruyere, cheddar, and parmesan a handful at a time until fully melted and smooth.
- Season the sauce – Add Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Fold in pasta – Add the cooked elbow macaroni to the cheese sauce. Fold to evenly coat pasta with sauce.
- Transfer to baking dish – Pour mac and cheese into a 9×13 baking dish. Top with panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake – Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes until browned and bubbling.
- Rest, serve, and enjoy! – Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with extra parsley if desired.
Follow these steps precisely, using the measurements in the written recipe below, and you’ll have show-stopping mac and cheese worthy of a Michelin-starred chef!
Gordon Ramsay’s mac and cheese recipe
Here is the full recipe for Gordon Ramsay’s baked mac and cheese:
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1⁄2 cups evaporated milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
- In a saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.
- Gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Add cheeses handful by handful, stirring until melted. Stir in mustard and nutmeg.
- Season cheese sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add sauce to cooked macaroni and mix well to coat pasta.
- Transfer macaroni and cheese to prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix panko with melted butter. Sprinkle over mac and cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes until browned and bubbling.
- Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.
The special touches in this recipe, like the blend of gourmet cheeses, mustard for tang, and crunchy breadcrumb topping, elevate it from everyday mac and cheese to a dish that’s truly fit for a Michelin-starred restaurant!
Tips for perfect Gordon Ramsay-style mac and cheese
Here are some helpful tips to ensure your Gordon Ramsay mac and cheese turns out perfectly cheesy and delicious every time:
- Be sure to cook the pasta just until al dente – you want it slightly underdone before going in the oven.
- Grate the cheeses yourself rather than buying pre-shredded cheese for the best flavor.
- Use a blend of cheeses for complex flavor – don’t skip the nutty gruyere!
- Make a blonde roux with equal parts butter and flour to properly thicken the sauce.
- Add cheeses gradually and stir constantly to prevent clumping.
- Use evaporated milk for an ultra rich and creamy sauce.
- Season well with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to balance all that cheesy richness.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce before transferring to the baking dish.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over the top and make sure they get browned for crunch.
- Let the mac and cheese rest before serving so the sauce sets up.
Stick to these tips and you’ll be rewarded with the creamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted!
Variations on Gordon Ramsay’s mac and cheese
Once you’ve mastered the classic recipe, you can start to have fun and get creative with your own variations. Here are a few ways to put a new spin on Gordon Ramsay’s baked mac and cheese:
- Add bacon – Crispy crumbled bacon takes it to the next level.
- Use different cheeses – Sub in smoky gouda, Swiss, or mozzarella for different flavor.
- Make it spicy – Stir in chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for some heat.
- Add herbs – Fresh thyme, basil, or sage lend lovely aromatics.
- Toss in veggies – Broccoli, tomatoes, or roasted red peppers mix in nicely.
- Use unique pastas – Try mini farfalle, rigatoni, or cavatappi for fun shapes.
- Make it Italian – Use Italian parsley and parmesan for the topping.
- Add truffle – Stir in truffle oil or shaved fresh truffles if you’re feeling fancy.
The possibilities are endless for customizing this mac and cheese recipe and making it your own. Have fun with different add-ins to discover new flavor combinations you’ll love!
How to bake Gordon Ramsay mac and cheese perfectly
Baking the mac and cheese is what really brings this dish over the top. Here are some key tips for getting the baked version just right:
- Use a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish – metal pans can react with the cheese.
- Spread pasta out evenly and pat down lightly before topping with breadcrumbs.
- Make sure breadcrumbs cover the entire surface so they can get crispy.
- Bake at 400°F on the center rack for exactly 20 minutes – no more, no less!
- Allow to rest for 5 full minutes before serving so it sets up.
- The top should be browned and crusty around the edges when finished baking.
- If top isn’t browning enough, run under the broiler for 1-2 minutes (watch closely!).
When the baked mac and cheese comes out of the oven with a perfectly crisped, golden-brown topping, you’ll know you’ve nailed the technique. It takes some practice, but this dish is worth mastering.
Best side dishes to serve with Gordon Ramsay mac and cheese
While Gordon Ramsay’s mac and cheese is rich and decadent enough to be eaten as a meal on its own, having a few complementary side dishes to serve alongside it completes the gourmet experience. Here are some tasty sides that pair well with this elevated mac and cheese:
- Garlic bread – The classic partner, great for dipping in the cheesy sauce.
- Green salad – A fresh, crisp salad balances the richness nicely.
- Sauteed greens – Kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts add vitamins.
- Tomato salad – Cherry or grape tomatoes with vinaigrette.
- Sauteed mushrooms – Earthy mushrooms enhance the savoriness.
- Roasted vegetables – Try roasted broccoli, carrots, squash or zucchini.
- Garlic mashed potatoes – More comfort food magic.
Any of these would complement the mac and cheese beautifully. Mix and match a few for a complete meal.
How to store and reheat leftovers
With a recipe this amazing, you’ll want to make the most of any leftovers. Here are some tips for storing and reheating Gordon Ramsay’s mac and cheese:
- Allow to cool completely before storing.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- To reheat, add a splash of milk and place in a 350°F oven until warmed through.
- Can also be reheated in the microwave with a splash of milk, stirring often.
- Add a few tablespoons of water to loosen up if needed before reheating.
- The texture won’t be quite as perfect as fresh, but still tasty!
- Can also be fried in patties or balls for quick mac and cheese snacks.
With proper storage, you can definitely get a second go-around out of those leftovers. Just be sure to reheat gently and add a little liquid as needed.
Why make Gordon Ramsay’s mac and cheese?
There are so many reasons this is one of Gordon Ramsay’s most popular recipes. Here’s why you should give it a try in your own kitchen:
- It’s a surefire crowd-pleaser loved by both kids and adults.
- The gourmet flavors really elevate mac and cheese to new heights.
- It looks so impressive coming out of the oven bubbly and golden.
- It’s rich, creamy comfort food at its finest.
- The technique builds fundamental cooking skills like making roux.
- You can customize it endlessly to suit your tastes.
- It reheats wonderfully so provides great leftovers.
- It makes a spectacular centerpiece for potlucks or holidays.
Any home cook looking to expand their culinary skills should try conquering this top-rated recipe. Your friends and family will be so impressed by your Michelin-level mac and cheese!
Gordon Ramsay’s baked mac and cheese recipe may seem complex, but it’s very approachable for a passionate home cook. The key is following the instructions closely and not taking shortcuts. Made right, this mac and cheese is truly decadent and worthy of the most discerning foodie. With melted gourmet cheeses, silky sauce, and crisp baked topping, it’s miles above any boxed mac you’ve ever had. For an impressive addition to a dinner party or comfort food to please a crowd, look no further than this top-rated Gordon Ramsay recipe. Just be prepared for requests for second helpings!