Mushroom Herb Mac and Cheese

Please, everyone – stop what you are doing and go make this.  I try not to say that about every recipe I post, even though I do feel that way about most of them – if I don’t love them, I don’t share them.  But if you like mushrooms and fresh herbs, you must try this.  This is the brilliant creation of my pal Chelle for the 30 Days, 30 Ways of Mac and Cheese we participated in earlier this year.  You may remember my contribution, the spicy mac and cheese.  This event has given me many fantastic reasons to keep eating mac and cheese weekly for quite a while (not that I even needed a reason.)  There are so many great variations and I’m planning to try several but this was a great one to start with.

With all the mac and cheese recipes I’ve been trying lately, I’ve found that I prefer to use less liquid in the cheese sauce that the recipe usually calls for.  This makes for a thicker, more gooey cheese sauce and I’m all for that!  Don’t be put off by the pound of mushrooms called for in the recipe.  It may seem like a lot and I was tempted to use less, but remember that mushrooms lose a ton of liquid when they cook.  It ended up being the perfect amount.  As for herbs, I used a combination of basil, thyme and rosemary because that was what my store had available that sounded good together.  I’m sure there are tons of other equally wonderful combos so feel free to experiment.

Mushroom Herb Mac and Cheese
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1 lb. pasta shapes
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 lb. cremini (baby bella mushrooms), roughly chopped
1 shallot, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. fresh basil, minced
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
2 cups whole milk
6 oz. (1½ cups) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
6 oz. (1½ cups) shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions, just until al dente.  Drain the pasta, return to the pot, and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped mushrooms and shallots to the pan and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and almost all of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and sauté about 1 minute more, just until fragrant.  Remove the pan from the heat, season the mixture with salt and pepper, and mix in the white wine vinegar.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.  Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden.  Stir in the fresh herbs and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant.  Whisk in the milk and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the mixture simmers and begins to thicken.  Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat.  Whisk in the shredded Gruyere and cheddar cheeses until completely melted and smooth.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta.  Add the mushroom and shallot mixture to the pot as well.  Toss well to thoroughly combine.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.  In a small bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, melted.  Toss with fork to coat the crumbs evenly.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker for 30 Days, 30 Ways Mac and Cheese

26 Responses

  1. I think you might be right. I might just have to run out to the store, pick up the ingredients and make this for supper tonight.

  2. Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed this, I thought it was fantastic! I loved the mushrooms and herbs, and I love the combo of Gruyere and white cheddar. I could eat mac ‘n cheese every day of the week (well, alternating with pizza and burgers and fries, ha!)

  3. I love mushrooms, I love mac and cheese. What could be better than combining the two?

  4. Awesome dish!

  5. My wife hads been bugging me to make some Mac and Cheese. I think she would like this.

  6. This sounds heavenly. Why did I have to marry a man who doesn’t like mushrooms? Oh well, I’ll make it and serve it to my girlfriends! Yum, yum!

  7. I love mac & cheese more than anything and I love mushrooms. Perfect for me! Looks amazing.

  8. OMG! This looks awesome! Did your baby boy like it? Even if my kiddos don’t, my husband and I would love it!

    • Nicole,
      We’ve been going through an independence of eating phase with him where he only wants to feed himself. I think the night we had this for dinner he tried really hard but didn’t get a single bite into his mouth (he is bad with utensils still). We ended up just shoving in a PB&J later, I think 🙂

  9. that sounds amazing! love it 🙂

  10. OMG, this looks amazing! I want some now!

  11. That looks amazing! One of my favorite sandwiches is from Central in DC and it’s a Mushroom and Gruyere grilled cheese- to die for! This is definitely going in my “to make” file 🙂

  12. I made this recipe from the 30 days 30 ways. It is SOOOO delicious!

  13. Yum! May I just say, I think mac and cheese is very difficult to photograph, but you’ve done it beautifully. Looks delicious! The combo of mushrooms and the herbs sounds fantastic. I can already imagine how good it will taste. Hehe.

  14. I really admire the fact that you work as a physician full-time and still has time and will to make your family dinner. I go to graduate school full-time and can’t even cook sometimes. Also, you take lovely pictures of all the food!

  15. Bookmarked! This looks awesome, Annie! Do you still have leftovers??? 😉

  16. that looks amazing!! We love mac and cheese and mushrooms around here!!

  17. This looks delish!


  18. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms, but this looks so yummy I totally think I would try it! I’m a big fan of your blog but haven’t really commented a lot, however I nominated you for an award over at my blog. I hope you’ll accept it! 🙂

  19. My husband loves mushrooms. I might need to try this one out on him.

  20. This sounds seriously amazing! It’s mac and cheese, all grown up. I love anything with mushrooms and fresh thyme!

  21. Looks amazing! I love the addition of the breadcrumbs into mac & cheese!

  22. Eating mac and cheese daily? Sounds sublime! This recipe also sounds sublime. I feel the same passion about my recipes as you do about yours and so I def believe you when you say I should make this right now! Perhaps tomorrow night though. 🙂


  23. This recipe has made me decide to break my “I refuse to make two different dinners” rule. Mushrooms and mac & cheese, both of which I’m fond of and hubby hates and dislikes, respectively.

    Time to make some room in the freezer, or maybe not. Yum!

  24. YUM! I love mac ‘n cheese, especially gourmet ones. 😮 I’m going to have to make this. Wow!


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