Updated November 17, 2020
This is, hands down, the best truffle mac and cheese recipe on the planet! This is perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, but is also a fabulous and gourmet side dish any day of the year.
I have never claimed to be a gourmet chef, or an expert on food. But one thing I do claim? Greg and I have the best truffle mac and cheese recipe. I don’t mean to brag (okay, maybe I do), but nothing I’ve tried out there comes close. We have made this every year since we got married and it is always a hit with our family and friends.
Greg and I went to Smith and Wollensky (which no longer exists… boo) for Houston Restaurant Week years back and ordered some truffle mac and cheese. We obsessed over how good it was and set out to make our own. So we developed our own recipe. It’s a combination of three different ones we found, taking the best. We have best truffle mac and cheese recipe for sure. I think what sets ours apart from other recipes is using cavatappi noodles, the panko breadcrumbs, and the hand-grated aged white cheddar. Obviously, the truffle oil takes this over the top.
Aww! It’s newlywed Meg & Greg with one of our first trial runs of this recipe! Aren’t we precious? To this day, we haven’t changed a thing with this recipe because it’s that good. We have requests for it for every major holiday. It is truly is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners. It doesn’t disappoint.
And you know it’s about to get good when you start out with butter, onions, rosemary, thyme, basil, half and half, heavy whipping cream, cheddar, truffle oil and wine. Just sayin’. Now let’s just get to the good stuff – the recipe. Just as an FYI, we have made this recipe with both black and white truffle oil and it comes out tasting the same. Only difference is you need to use more white truffle oil to get it to the desired flavor.
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta (If you cannot find it, you can use any small noodle)
- 1 and 1/4 sticks of butter
- 3/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup flour
- 16 oz. block white aged cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, thyme and rosemary (1/4 cup total, not of each herb)
- cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup (or more) Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- Splash white wine (about 1/4 cup)
- If you have black truffle oil: 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp black truffle oil (this is to your preference – start with 1 Tbsp and if that’s enough for you, stop there. Black truffle oil is more expensive and also more intense. I always add more to taste if the mood strikes me.)
- If you have white truffle oil: 3 Tbsp
- Boil cavatappi per package instructions, set aside.
- Add butter to pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic until they turn slightly brown. Add the flour and whisk together for 3 minutes to make a blonde roux.
- Whisk in the milk, half and half, heavy whipping cream, and a splash of white wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent the roux from burning. You may have to keep adding in additional skim milk if you think it’s looking a little too “flour-y”. Just eyeball it.
- Cook until the roux has dissolved completely and you can no longer taste the flour.
- Add the fresh herbs, the truffle oil, the cheddar, and half of the parmesan until dissolved.
- Season with cracked black pepper (to taste). Incorporate the cooked cavatappi into the sauce.
- Put ingredients into a baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and remaining parmesan cheese on top evenly.
- Place under a broiler for a few minutes until top becomes golden brown.
I hope y’all give the best truffle mac and cheese recipe a try for your next family get-together! Or just because. Let’s face it, you don’t need a reason to make truffle mac and cheese.