We’ve made to day four of our Countdown to Thanksgiving Food and Frills series. Just three more days before Thanksgiving! Are you excited? All ready to start cooking and baking?

Let’s recap shall we?

Day 1 was How to Set a Thanksgiving Table.

Day 2 was How to Prepare a Thanksgiving Turkey.

Day 3 was How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey.

Today we will add a side dish favorite for many people, Macaroni and Cheese! Kids love it and adults use it as a comfort food.

This receipe may be just what you need to make the meal special. Watch the video to learn how to make it gourmet style. Be prepared to run out and grab some of the ingredients he lists at the beginning.

How to Make Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving Day Side Dish


How to make gourmet macaroni and cheese


  1. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and add the elbow macaroni. Cook until it’s al dente, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Cheese Sauce – Part 1

  1. While the macaroni is boiling, slowly melt 5 1/2 Tbs of butter over medium high heat in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add the flour, stirring, cook together for a minute or so. Do not brown the mixture; you want a blonde roux.
  3. Add the milk, whisking to avoid lumps. Bring mixture to a boil and continue whisking.
  4. Lower heat and simmer for about five minutes until it thickens.

Bread Crumb Topping

  1. While the milk is simmering, combine 2 Tbs butter and the bread crumbs, and melt together in a a separate pan.
  2. Add the Parmesan Reggiano cheese. This adds another layer of flavor so it’s not one-dimensional. Just cook until the butter is melted.
  3. Remove from heat.

Cheese Sauce- Part 2

  1. When the milk is ready, add the mascarpone cheese. Marscarpone is an Italian fresh creamy cheese, but it isn’t cream cheese. It is a dense, rich and slightly sweet fresh cheese. It adds another layer of flavor, and richness. It makes the saucer creamy, rich and yummy.
  2. Then add gruyere cheese and whisk it in, and as soon as until it’s melted, remove from the heat. This will happen quickly because the gruyere cheese should be grated and at room temperature.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper and whisk to combine. Normally you don’t use black pepper with a white sauce, but Terrance Brennan loves the robust flavor and does not mind the black specks in the white sauce.

Assemble The Gourmet Macaroni And Cheese

  1. When the macaroni is cooked, strain it, making sure to shake out all the water. Excess water will dilute the cheese sauce and make the macaroni too runny.
  2. Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce, mix it well, and when it’s nicely incorporated, spoon it out into a cooking dish. This recipe makes two main courses or four side dishes.
  3. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on the top, using your hands to pat it down to make sure it’s nice and evenly dispersed all over the surface. The topping becomes very crunchy when it bakes.

Cook for about 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and bubbly.
You want a golden crust with bubbly sauce on the sides.

Shopping List

How to make gourmet macaroni and cheese

¾ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated
7 ½ Tbs Butter
¼ cup plus two tbs Flour
3 cups milk
2 and ¼ cups gruyere grated or comte, grated
½ cup mascarpone cheese
1 and 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
salt and fresh ground pepper

Enameled cast iron pans (optional)

What do you make for your Thanksgiving side dish? What are your kids’ favorites?