Truffle Mac & Cheese

There aren’t any magic tricks for truffle mac and cheese, just a basic macaroni and cheese recipe with a little adding truffle, which automatically elevates any meal.

truffle mac and cheese with pea shoots and cracked black pepper in a blue bowl


What is Truffle Mac and Cheese?

What are truffles? I happened to have a whole article dedicated to giving you a rudimentary education on the secret world of truffles, but I have one tidbit you probably do need to know.

This (and most truffle recipes if they are decently priced) use black summer truffles, which are sometimes farmed and otherwise much more widely available and therefore less expensive.

shaved black truffles

This is the variety used to make pate and truffle oil, which aren’t cheap, but also don’t cost hundreds of dollars. Watch out for “truffle flavoring” this isn’t real truffle oil. It will still taste good, it just isn’t authentic. There are a lot of fakes out there!

All of the products are used in extreme moderation, so make sure to check out our other truffles recipes to use the rest.

Truffle Mac and Cheese Recipe Ingredients

  • Elbow pasta – I like this particular shape because it grips the cheese sauce and has lots of nooks and crannies for it to hide. If you use a different shape, I highly recommend using something else that will accomplish the same goal.
  • Unsalted butter – I like to use unsalted so I can control the saltiness, if you do use salted butter, you’ll likely omit the additional salt.
  • Flour – used to thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Milk – Whole milk is certianly the best for flavor and richness, but lower percentages can be used.
  • Truffle oil/pate – I prefer pate, but oil can be used.
  • White cheddar – This creates the perfect white blanket for the cheese sauce but with loads of flavor.
  • Aged gouda – Same goes with gouda. You can use all cheddar or all gouda if you prefer.
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper – For seasoning, use to personal preference.

Truffle Mac and Cheese Substitutions

Pate vs Oil in Black Truffle Mac and Cheese

For this recipe, you have the choice to use either truffle oil or truffle pate and also to determine how truffle-y you want the dish. This might depend on the exact product you choose and forward the flavors and aroma are.

Truffle oil is the most commonly used and is sometimes tossed on dry pasta before adding to the sauce, added directly to the cheese sauce or drizzled on top after it is assembled. You can even do all three if you are a real truffle lover. Black or white truffle oil can be used.

truffle mac and cheese in a saucepan

If you choose to use pate, add it directly to the cheese sauce. Try to drain as much oil out as possible This creates little black flecks that are so desired in truffle recipes.

For serving a larger crowd, some that might not enjoy the very robust smell and taste, you can use the method of drizzling oil on before serving or even topping the individual portions with a dollop of truffle pate.

close up of truffle mac and cheese with gouda and cheddar

I made this for my kids and while the 2-year-old loves truffles, the 1 year old does not, so I opted for the “oil on top” method”.

Which pasta is best in Truffle Mac N Cheese?

Aw, the age old debate of what type of pasta to use for mac and cheese. I like using anything with ridges, shape and structure. For a heavy cheese sauce, it needs something to cling to.

truffled mac and cheese in a serving spoon

My favorite shapes are:

  • Elbow
  • Rotini
  • Fusilli
  • Shells

How to make cheese sauce for Truffle Mac N Cheese

Nearly all homemade cheese sauces start with a roux, a French term for butter and flour. Here, we will whisk equal parts butter and flour until it is little browned and nutty.

Then, we’ll add milk, whisking until the roux dissolves and thickens. And then you can add your cheese of choice. In this case, I used half smoked gouda and half white cheddar.

smoked gouda cheese sauce in a saucepan

You can add other seasonings like dry or wet mustard, salt, pepper, paprika or Italian seasoning. Don’t add too much though, you want the flavors of truffle to nor be surpassed.

Elevate It

Want to get even fancier? Add lobster to the mix!

Buy a steamed lobster at the store, pick it for meat and simply toss it in when you toss the pasta with cheese sauce.

You can also add shrimp, crab or chicken at this stage to make this a hearty side dish or full entree. Some people also like to include chopped mushrooms, already sweated out to half their size, too.

Adding toasted bread crumbs to the top- either Italian style or panko or even more aged Parmesan cheese also take this comfort food up another notch.

Best Cheese for Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

Gouda and white cheddar cheese are perhaps my favorite cheeses for a base sauce. They are melty and mild in flavor, making the ideal canvas for other complementing tastes.

truffled mac and cheese with chicken thighs on a white plate

You can take this mac and cheese up another notch by substituting one of them for a truffle laced cheese. This will also give you those lovely black flecks.

I prefer to use semi-hard cheeses and not soft cheese, like goat cheese, which has the tendency to get mealy if heated too hot.

What to serve with Truffle Mac & Cheese

This dish is robust enough to be a main entree, but if you are trying to pair with something, it does well with chicken, fish and beef.

I like it with my pan fried steak and crab imperial filet mignon as well as French baked chicken and pastrami style salmon.

Orange Marmalade with orange, tarragon and olives make this delicious, sticky crust for French Baked Chicken. Use on chicken halves or chicken breasts for a delicious French dinner recipe. #frenchchicken #bakedchickenrecipe
Olive and Orange French Baked Chicken

Storing Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can make this ahead of time.

If you are making ahead, PLEASE make sure the pasta is al dente so when you reheat it, it doesn’t just fall apart and get mushy.

To reheat on the stove, place in a heavy bottom saucepan with an additional 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk. Heat over low heat and toss with a pasta spoon until hot.

A bowl of truffle mac and cheese

To reheat in the oven, place in a large baking dish, top with additional cheese (if you have it) and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. You can even top it with breadcrumbs, panko or crushed crackers, potato chips or croutons, if you want.

Of course you can microwave it, but this is the down and dirty “I’m just eating it for lunch” option.

I don’t recommend freezing this one. The sauce thaws out grainy and often separates.

truffle mac and cheese for pinterest

More Mac and Cheese Recipes:

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

4.86 from 14 votes
The healthier twist on mac and cheese! This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is made with lots of good-for-you stuff and ready in just 30 minutes!
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Slow Cooker Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Recipe

4.72 from 35 votes
Slow Cooker Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese is the BEST mac and cheese recipe made in the slow cooker with gouda, cheddar bacon and jalapenos!
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A bowl of truffle mac and cheese

Truffle Mac n Cheese

4.62 from 50 votes
Delicious mac and cheese using smoked gouda, white cheddar and truffle oil. The perfect side dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 pound elbow pasta , cooked according to box al dente
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons truffle oil/pate
  • 1 cup white cheddar , shredded
  • 1/2 cup aged gouda , shredded
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper


  • In a large, heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter. over low heat. Whisk in the flour until a paste forms (roux).
  • Continue to cook on medium heat until the paste turns a light brown.
  • Whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the truffle oil/pate.
  • Whisk in the shredded cheeses until smooth.
  • Using a pasta spoon, toss the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce.
  • Test for seasoning and then add Kosher salt or cracked pepper sparingly. This will vary based on how salty your cheese was.
  • For serving, drizzle with another dab of truffle oil or top with pea shoots (pictured).
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.



If you using truffle pate, add 2 teaspoons, drained of as much oil as possible, directly to the cheese sauce.


Calories: 414 kcal, Carbohydrates: 48 g, Protein: 17 g, Fat: 17 g, Saturated Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 49 mg, Sodium: 239 mg, Potassium: 239 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Vitamin A: 455 IU, Calcium: 287 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 414
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: truffle mac and cheese
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
close up of truffled mac and cheese for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This is so good! that Truffle is just the right amount because it so strong. In this dish its perfectly balanced with the cheeses.

  2. 5 stars
    That looks incredible. Gouda is one of my favorites as well and I’m always looking for a new way to use it. I’ve never tried truffle oil so I’m excited to use it too!

  3. 5 stars
    So much cheaper than getting it at a restaurant and so good. I didn’t realize making mac and cheese (any type) was so easy! And I learned a new word… roux.

  4. 5 stars
    that truffle oil really made a huge difference in flavor this recipe is delicious and I will make it again and again!

  5. 5 stars
    Mac & cheese is my ALL time favorite comfort food. And the truffle takes things to the next level. YUM!! Thank you for sharing!