Smoky Macaroni and Cheese

Perfectly creamy, cheesy, and smoky, this variation of everyone’s favorite comfort food is a foolproof recipe that will make your family beg for more. The smoked Gouda and smoked paprika add bold and assertive flavors that will be a hit with both kids and adults alike. This makes a big batch so it can feed the masses.


  • Nonstick spray
  • 1 pound medium shell pasta
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups shredded smoked Gouda
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprays a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil for 1 minute less than package instructions. Drain in a colander and reserve.

Add butter to melt in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Once melted, sprinkle in flour and smoked paprika, and stir and toast for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking, making sure to whisk out any lumps, and simmer on medium heat until the mixture is thick about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese until it melts and then adds the shredded Gouda and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella by handfuls, stirring until smooth and melted. Season the mixture with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to thoroughly combine. Add the pasta mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Scatter the panko on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

Tip: Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than indicated on the package so it does not lose its form once baked in the cheese sauce.

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