Sriracha Gouda Mac and Cheese is one creamy mac and cheese recipe that uses gooey cheese with spicy Sriracha for the ultimate cheesy mac and cheese.
This Sriracha Gouda Mac and Cheese Recipe takes your mac and cheese to new levels with creamy smoked gouda and spicy and sweet Sriracha!
People tend to think an excellent macaroni and cheese reaches legendary status due to gobs of, well, cheese. I beg to differ. Macaroni and cheese connoisseurs will agree that it starts with a bechamel sauce. And then comes pairing with the perfect cheese.
One of the classic “mother” sauces, bechamel sauce is the beginning to many tasty meals. Rich and creamy, it is the base for any fabulous cheese sauce.
The basics of a bechamel start with equal parts butter and flour. I like to use clarified butter, but I realize that isn’t always in the game plan. Whisk in flour until a paste forms. Wait until it browns just a little, this adds flavor.
Then you whisk in whole milk (don’t skimp and use anything less than whole, it needs the fat) and finally, the cheese. Then come add-ins, like bacon!
Mastering the bechamel is the hardest part of making macaroni and cheese.
Choose your cheese wisely, I liked smoked aged gouda because it has a smokey flavor and the consistency is just right- not too dry or soft- for a sticky cheese sauce.
After mastering the sauce, make sure you select the correct pasta. One with nooks and crannies, like rotini, elbows or wagon wheels is sure to stick to your masterful mac sauce.
Sriracha has also hit the market hard in the last few years. I, too, have fallen in love with its spicy sweet flavor! Sriracha is added at the end, so if one of your diners isn’t fond of spicy, just leave it off for a still satisfying, cheese-a-rific meal.
If you loved this bacon mac and cheese recipe, check out these other easy homemade mac and cheese recipes:
- 14.5 ounces dry rotini pasta
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt , divided
- 2 1/2 cups gouda , grated
- 1/2 cup bacon , cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley , chopped
- 3 scallions , chopped
- Cooking Spray
- Fill a large pot with water, season with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, and bring to a rolling boil. Add rotini pasta and cook to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake colander well to get excess water out of all cracks. Remember, those same cracks will fill with cheese and water will prevent that from happening.
- Next, place a small frying pan over low heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, heat for 2-3 minutes, add panko bread crumbs and ground black pepper. Brown bread crumbs, stirring once a minute for 5 minutes. Remove from burner and set aside.
- And finally, the "mother" sauce, bechamel. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Quickly whisk in flour to form a roux. At this point, microwave milk for 3 minutes, or until hot and almost boiling. It is important to heat the heat so it is close to the same temperture as the roux when it hits the pan. Continue whisking roux while heating milk. Roux should be a light brown and have a nutty smell. While whisking, pour in milk. Initially it will be clumpy and thick, but keep on whisking- FAST! Sauce will be a creamy white and thick after all milk is added. Continue whisking over heat until bechamel is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
- Whisk in grated smoked gouda cheese until smooth. Still whisking (does your arm hurt yet?) add parsley, bacon and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat.
- Return rotini to large pot over low heat. Put down your whisk and gently toss rotini with cheese sauce using a spoon until just covered. Do not over mix. Remove from heat.
- Coat individual oven-safe bowls or a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Transfer rotini and cheese to casserole dish(es). Sprinkle with panko bread crumbs.
- Place under high broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
- Remove and top with desired amount of Sriracha and scallions. Eat immediately and enjoy you Aged Gouda and Sriracha Mac and Cheese!