lunch and dinner / recipes / savory / sides / vegan + vegetarian

Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese

Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese

I made this Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese the other day and asked if y’all wanted the recipe. You did, and here we are! It’s the first mac recipe I’ve brought to you since the Vegan Buffalo Mac and Cheese. I didn’t realize it had been so long! The next macaroni and cheese recipe you’ll see here is Stovetop Broccoli Mac and Cheese, my personal favorite.

Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese Ingredients

Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese recipe:

  • Elbow macaroni: It’s macaroni and cheese, after all.
  • Butter, flour: For our roux! We’re gonna make a bechamel. Or a mornay. Whatever. A nice thick creamy cheese sauce!
  • Whole milk, heavy cream: You can sub half-and-half for the heavy cream if you need to reduce the lactose. I wouldn’t use anything with less fat, or it’ll affect the texture.
  • Three Chili Pepper Gouda: I really like this cheese! I first used it in the mac I made last Thanksgiving, and come back to it often. Y’all know I don’t really go up for cheese, so it’s saying a lot! It’s really good! If you can’t find it or anything similar no worries, just use pepper jack instead of one of the two cheddars listed in the recipe and/or increase the cayenne. It’ll still be Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese.
  • Sharp white cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, aged parmesan: I use white and yellow for color. The taste is pretty identical. Use all yellow or white, if you want. Aged parmesan is grated over the top. I love the nutty, crispy flavor it adds when baked
  • ground mustard, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder: For flavor, of course. Ground mustard brings the best out of cheddar sauces, cayenne adds to the spice from the gouda, and onion and garlic powder just round things out.
  • Seasoned salt, kosher salt, black pepper: The standards. You can use all seasoned or kosher salt if you like. I use seasoned salt for the recipe, then adjust with kosher if needed.
  • Equipment: I baked this Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese up in my Staub Everything Pan. Here are the details on everything I used:
Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese ingredients

How to Make Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese 

Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese recipe:

  • First, prepare yourself. Preheat your oven to 375°F. As you can see in the TikTok, when I made this I made it all in one pot, except I boiled the noodles in another. If you have an oven-safe dish large enough, I highly recommend this method. If you don’t, you’ll need to grease a 9×13″ baking dish to bake your Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese in.
  • It’s roux time. Melt your butter, and let it get nice and foamy. Don’t brown it tho. Sprinkle the flour over the butter in a single layer: this makes it easier to combine the two and work out lumps. After they are combined allow them to cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t brown too much.
  • Now, the sauce. Slowly whisk in the liquid, about a cup at a time. Whisk while you’re pouring and after each cup. Make sure to completely whisk everything together before adding the next cup. Lumps are OK, but you don’t want any huge ones. Once you’ve made your bechamel – fancy! – bring it to a slight simmer and stir in the measured seasonings except for the kosher salt and half of the black pepper. Now, turn off the heat. Leave it on the burner, but turn off the heat.
  • Cheese, please. We’re turning the bechamel into a mornay now – extra fancy! – for this Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese. Stir in the cheese, reserving a big portion of yellow cheddar for topping. I like to fold it because it’s not as messy. Just make sure you do it thoroughly, you shouldn’t see any chunks or streaks of cheese. The residual heat should be enough to melt the cheese. We don’t want to overcook it: cheese separates and gets grainy and oily when you hold it at a high temp for too long. Taste it and adjust with salt if needed. After it’s nice and creamy, spread it into an even layer and top with the cheddar, parmesan. Sprinkle the remaining pepper over the top.
  • Bake it. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until bubbling around the edges and starting to brown nicely. Don’t leave it in there too long or you’ll have a layer of grease on top and who wants that?? Serve hot. No need to rest this one, honestly. Dassit.
Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese

What To Serve With This Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese

You can make endless variations with this Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese recipe, so please feel free to customize yours to taste!  For example, you could…

Obligatory Pins – 

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Spicy Gouda Mac and Cheese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


Don’t want spice? Just sub regular gouda and omit the cayenne. Easy peasy.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 3 C whole milk
  • 2 C Three Chili Pepper Gouda*, grated
  • 2 C sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated, divided
  • 2 C sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 C salted butter
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C aged parmesan, grated
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F and place a rack in the dead center. Place a large, deep, oven-safe skillet or braiser over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over the surface. Use a wooden spoon or silicone ball whisk to mix them together into a paste. Let cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s deepened just slightly in color.
  2. While you’re cooking the roux go ahead and start on the pasta. Boil it in salted water according to package directions, but pull it just before it hits al dente so it can continue cooking in the oven.
  3. Slowly whisk in the whole milk one cup at a time, making sure you completely whisk it in before adding the next one. After the whole milk is incorporated whisk in the heavy cream.
  4. Whisk all of the measured seasonings except for the black pepper into the bechamel sauce (that’s what you’ve made) and allow it to come to a simmer. Stir, then turn off the heat completely.
  5. Fold the cheese into the sauce, reserving about a cup of the yellow cheddar and all of the parmesan for topping. Stir well until it’s thick and velvety, with no streaks of cheese.
  6. The macaroni should be done by now. Drain it and add it directly to the cheese sauce. Fold it in gently until well combined, then smooth it out into an even layer and top liberally with the reserved cheddar. Make sure you get all the way to edges. Finish with the parmesan and remaining black pepper.
  7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until bubbling around the edges and browned. Don’t overcook it, or you’ll have that layer of oil on top because your cheese started to separate.
  8. Serve hot. Dassit!


  • Can’t find it? Sub plain gouda and instead of a block of sharp white cheddar, use pepper jack. See the ingredients section above the recipe card for more details.
  • Shred your own cheese. I mean it!!
  • If you don’t have a pot big enough to make the sauce and bake the mac in just use your regular cookware and combine the sauce and cooked noodles in a greased 9×13″ baking dish.
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 45
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes


Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star