This Three-Cheese Gruyere Mac and Cheese is the best, most sophisticated, and cheesiest homemade mac and cheese ever! Combine sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated Swiss-style Gruyere, and dry Jack in this recipe to make the ultimate macaroni and cheese.
The Best Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
This Ultimate Three-Cheese Gruyere Mac and Cheese recipe comes from a friend who makes it often. She got the recipe from a newspaper clipping years ago. Her friends always request it, and she brings it to dinner parties, pot lucks, and get-togethers. And after making it myself, I know why! Cheddar, gruyere, and dry Jack cheeses meld together in this recipe to yield the cheesiest, creamiest homemade macaroni and cheese. It’s the perfect side dish to make all year long, but I especially love making it in the winter. This mac and cheese will warm you up from the inside out and keep you full to enjoy those snow days!
I think the key ingredient in this dish is the gruyere. So, if you’re a Gruyere fan, you’ll go gaga over this dish. This homemade mac and cheese recipe has plenty of cheesy sauce that will erase any memories of dry, flavorless, store-bought mac and cheese.
And don’t forget the bread crumbs! Make the crispy bread crumb topping by sautéing fresh bread crumbs in melted butter and sprinkle on top just before baking. It’s the perfect crunch before every creamy, cheesy bite!
While this recipe may sound sophisticated or even complicated, it truly could not be more simple to make! And the best part is that you likely have most of the needed ingredients in your fridge and cabinets right now.
To make the best homemade mac and cheese, you’ll need dry macaroni (or whichever short noodle pasta you prefer), unsalted butter, fresh bread crumbs (or store-bought, if easier), all-purpose flour, whole milk (or any milk you have on-hand), salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Additionally, you’ll need the three cheeses for this three-cheese macaroni and cheese — sharp white cheddar, Swiss-style gruyere, and dry Jack. It’s crucial that your cheese is freshly grated. This ensures that they all melt evenly and that you get a creamy cheese sauce.
Tip: Feel free to change up the cheeses used in this mac and cheese recipe to best fit your family’s palette. Parmesan, Monterrey Jack, mozzarella, or yellow cheddar would also work.
How To Make Gruyere Mac and Cheese
- In a large pot, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, ,. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add breadcrumbs and toast those for a minute or two.
- Set the breadcrumbs aside and in the same pot, prepare the cheese sauce by melting the rest of the butter. Spoon the flour and stir until cooked for a minute or so. Then slowly stir in hot milk, keep whisking until all the milk is incorporated and the sauce starts to thicken. Take the pot out of the heat, and add the grated cheeses and seasonings. Toss the macaroni and sauce together in a casserole dish and sprinkle some more of the cheese, then finish up with the breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake in preheated oven on 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown on top. Serve warm, and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Boil the pasta until al dente or slightly underdone. The pasta would continue to cook with the sauce in the oven and get to the right consistency.
- Add the milk into the sauce slowly while constantly whisking to avoid creating any lumps from the flour.
- Shred your own cheese, as it has more flavor and would incorporate better and get a more flavorful and creamier sauce.
What To Serve with Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese
While this homemade mac and cheese is typically served as a side dish, it’s honestly robust enough on its own to be an entree as it is, You can also grill and slice some chicken to fold in before baking, or mix in some lobster meat or crab meat to make it more filling. Sautéed veggies are a great (and colorful) addition, too! Chopped bell peppers, onions, broccoli florets, and garlic would be delicious.
If serving as a side dish, consider completing your meal with any of these recipes:
- Maple Glazed Ribs
- Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Crusted Dijon Pork Roast
- Lemony Garlic Roasted Asparagus
- Maple-Glazed Roasted Butternut Squash
- Crunchy Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Moravian Yeast Roll
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
This Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food and the perfect main dish that comes together easily and pleases everybody in the family. I hope you love it too.
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating
- Store leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freeze cooled, cooked mac and cheese in a freezer-safe, airtight container or plastic bag for up to months. Consider freezing this mac and cheese in an oven- and freezer-safe baking pan to simplify making it next time.
- Reheat refrigerated mac and cheese in the microwave until warmed through. If reheating from frozen, bake covered at 350 for 60 minutes or more from frozen, or until bubbling at the edges. Remove cover and bake for another 25 minutes or so, or until the bread crumb topping is golden brown and crisp.
- Add some veggies for even more flavor! Colorful bell peppers, onions, garlic, broccoli florets, or spinach would be delicious here.
- Or make it an entree with some meat! Grilled chicken, crispy bacon, lump crab meat, chopped ham, or chopped lobster tails and claw meat would be divine.
- Make it vegan by using plant-based cheeses and dairy-free milk.
More Easy Weeknight Recipes To Try
- Homemade Italian Meatballs And Sauce
- Maple Glazed Ribs
- Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Caprese Pesto Flatbread
- Chicken Scampi Recipe
- Sausage Pepper Pasta
Ultimate Three Cheese Gruyere Mac & Cheese
- 8 ounces dried macaroni cellentani, elbow, spiral, etc. I used Cellentani by Barilla
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup coarsely grated Swiss-style Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup finely grated dry Jack cheese can use Monterey Jack if you can't find the dry Jack
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Grease a 1 1/2 quart souffle baking dish. Set aside.
- Boil large pot of water to cook macaroni according to package directions. But stop cooking about two minutes early. (Pasta should be slightly underdone.)
- Drain and rinse pasta with cold water and set aside.
- In large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.
- Add fresh breadcrumbs and stir until thoroughly coated. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan or microwave, heat milk until very hot but not scalded.
- Meanwhile, in the pan you used for the bread crumbs, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add flour and stir until cooked, about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in hot milk, whisking continuously until all milk is incorporated and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, black pepper, cayenne, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar, 3/4 cup of Gruyere and all the dry Jack cheese.
- Mix well until all the cheese has melted.
- Add cooled macaroni to the cheese sauce and pour mixture into the buttered casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, then top with buttered bread crumbs.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and casserole is bubbling.
- Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.
Where’s my fork!! Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods and your photos are making me want to run to the store to buy the ingredients. Soooo delicious!
We are big fans of home-made mac and cheese sauce around here. It’s such a great treat every now and again. So comforting and delicious. I love gruyere, but we had not tried it in this dish, so thanks for the suggestion. We often serve our mac and cheese with steamed broccoli on the side because the three of us really enjoy broccoli, and it mixes so well with the cheese sauce. Really looking forward to trying this. Take care, Allie. 🙂
Renee ♥ The Good Hearted Woman says
You had me at sauteed bread crumbs. Mac & Cheese is just the best thing ever, and this looks amazing! Thank you.
Dear Allie, oh how I could for a scoop of this! Mac and Cheese never goes out of style…the gruyere and buttered bread crumbs complete this classic. I wish I had it for breakfast this morning…so comforting! xo, Catherine
Kristen Chidsey says
Allie, I can see why your boys were so anxious for dinner–this looks incredible. Pinned 🙂
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
There’s nothing better than homemade mac n cheese! Using three cheeses just makes it even more amazing! I love the toasted bread crumbs too….Mmmmmmm!
Christina | Christina's Cucina says
I love Gruyere and I love crispy, buttery breadcrumbs! No wonder your boys kept asking if it was time for dinner! Perfect for winter dinners, I agree. Here in Los Angeles need summer salads, even though it’s only February, as it was so hot yesterday and going to be hotter today: 88 degrees, to be exact! So much for our El Nino rainstorms!
Karla @SmallTownRambler says
Mac and cheese…one of my favorites! Thank you for sharing, Allie!
[email protected] says
We love Mac n Cheese.
I think it is about time to make some.
Looks delicious Allie!
Aunt Pinkie says
Have never made Mac & cheese – this looks soooo good!
heather @ french press says
it really doesn’t get any more comforting than a big dish of creamy mac and cheese!
This looks so good! I know this will sound crazy, but can you give me a calorie count per serving? I am trying very hard to watch what I eat as I am a diabetic. But I may have to jump off e Sagan for this one!!
You’re funny Sherry. Most people reading this recipe DON’T want to know how many calories. 🙂 I input all the ingredients into an online calorie calculator at http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator and it spit out 855 calories per serving if you split the entire recipe by 4. (The entire dish is 3,419 calories.) Quite the indulgence, don’t think anyone could eat this every week. But I’m sure there are some ways to cut calories…like having a smaller serving or using light(er) ingredients. Six of us ate this for dinner last night, everyone had plenty but there were no leftovers. If you split it six ways it’s 570 calories a serving. Hope you can try it and it’s definitely worth a splurge if you can pull it off! Thanks for dropping by today.
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Nothing can beat mac n cheese and homemade are the best. This looks and sounds fabulous, Allie. Can’t wait to try this Gruyere. Hope you are having a good time!
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says
I was getting my boots and scarf when I saw that first picture of your creamy mac and 3 cheese, then I saw “8 inches of snow” and figured I cannot walk through 1 inch of it let alone 8! I better oil up my drone and send it over to get me a plate right?! 🙂
My daughter would love this version of mac and cheese Allie – thanks so much for sharing this recipe! xoxo
This sounds incredible! It looks even better. You are getting so good at photographing food. I will be thinking about this dish for days now! Thanks a lot…. Lol! Cam will love this. I have got to do the right thing and make it for him, right? Can’t wait!
Marilyn Sylvester says
Your pictures are awesome! I wish I had a casserole ready for breakfast. After salivating over you photos, I was ready to eat! i literally just bought the ingredients and will be making it tomorrow. I will quadruple the recipe to make 2 good sized casseroles. And no I do not expect leftovers. I will serve one at a work pot luck and the other at an impromptu dinner party where the mac&cheese was requested as usual.
Hey thanks friend, and I know many more will now will be enjoying this amazing recipe!!!! Sounds like a delicious day ahead.
Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life says
There is nothing better than homemade mac and cheese! And I do love gruyere! The cheesier the better!
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says
I love that you made your own breadcrumbs for this! I usually take the easy route. Totally have to try your way next time 🙂
Allison - Celebrating Sweets says
Allie, this looks amazing! I love mac and cheese and this version is calling my name!
David Crowley says
I love gruyere in mac & cheese, and your topping looks awesome!
I seriously wish I could Face Plant this right now. I love Mac & Cheese. Gruyere is my favorite type to use too. Mouth-watering good!
Laura @MotherWouldKnow says
I could eat this entire casserole of mac ‘n cheese. Love the combination of flavors – and crunchy top, wow! Snow is again on the horizon and this recipe may just be the way to stay sane if I have to stay inside.
Megan Keno says
The best comfort food you can get! I love the breadcrumb topping!
[email protected] says
Gruyere is one of my favorite cheeses to cook with. I love the rich flavor. I have not though added it to a mac and cheese recipe. Love this!
Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) says
That looks so rich and creamy — perfect snow day food!
Les recettes comme celle-ci sont idéal pour combattre le froid et la pluie de l’hiver. Tellement réconfortant !
I’m happy to share that I’m making this for our family potluck thanksgiving as I am a vegetarian and cheese lover! I’m going to double it in size. Question: with the cheese quantity, 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese measures quite differently than 20 ounces of cheddar cheese, density of course. Should I use 20 ounces by weight or 2 1/2 cups by a measuring cup? By weight the amount of cheese is almost twice as much. Thanks!
Hi Yazmin – I measure it by cups! So for a double recipe, you would use 5 cups grated, sharp white cheddar cheese. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, I hope everyone loves this dish and that you make wonderful memories together with your family!!! Enjoy.
Thanks Allie!! I really appreciate it! Happy thanksgiving ! I’ll post the results 🙂 best, Yazmin
Could this be made ahead and frozen?
I haven’t done it, but I don’t see why not. I’d probably put it all together just not bake it in the oven. Then thaw and bake according to the recipe. Merry Christmas Stacey, hope you enjoy this!
This recipe freezes very well. I do it all the time. It takes at least a day to thaw in the fridge.. it should be thoroughly thawed before baking.
Louise Achor says
Macaroni and cheese are so great, any version of them. You make me want to cook them for dinner!
Jon Taylor says
Dang that no carb diet.
Susie Mandel says
A must for Julia, our Mac and Cheese Queen. 😉
Could I premake this tonight (before baking) amd then just cover and refrigerate it for tomorrow?
Sorry I just saw this Julie, it is Thanksgiving morning now. Yes, I made this last night too, then refrigerated it overnight, unbaked. I will take it unbaked to my brother’s house today and bake it while the turkey is resting and we are making the gravy. Happy Thanksgiving – wishing you a beautiful day with your family and friends!
Fantastic recipe. I have made this about 6 times in the past 3 years and every time it just seems better than before.
Can’t wait to try this recipe! I hope to see more updates from you!
Wow, that’s an amazing idea. I will try that too. Do want some reviews on best kitchen appliances? Visit us on: https://kitchencritics.com
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Have you tried making it with smoked Gruyère?
My Gawd! I made half the recipe quantity and used truffle cheddar gruyere and baked it in two medium ramekins. I gave one to my neighbor and instantly regretted it when I came gone and tasted the finished product. I’d make this again every single night if I could, but for now, this is the recipe I’ll be using for get together. Btw, my neighbor finished hers before I even got home!
Hi Liz! Thrilled you loved it. Lucky neighbor of yours, to receive a piping hot ramekin of this deliciousness at the door!!! Truffle cheddar gruyere???? Sounds amazing. We usually double this at my house and make in a 9 X 13 pyrex. (I have four boys.) Plus, we like leftovers! Thanks for dropping by, always a pleasure to hear when a recipe is enjoyed. Happy baking!