Caramelized Shallot and Crispy Sage Macaroni and Cheese

Happy Halloween! We’re currently putting the final touches on Apolinaras’ costume and I’m hoping I can convince him to let me post a few pictures, but I don’t want to push my luck too much. I’m very excited that I even convinced him to dress up – this is only his second time doing so in our 8 years together! It rained several days this week and I couldn’t help but think back to the year my brother was a green stegosaurus. Our grandma, who was very passionate about sewing, always made our Halloween costumes, so we were in the fortunate position to be anything that we could dream up. Richard went through a period of wanting to work at a museum and decided to be a dinosaur one year. His costume was adorable, but he had a long tail that was filled with stuffing like a pillow and it rained that Halloween. His entire tail got completely soaked and became so heavy that the poor little guy had a lot of trouble lugging it around behind him, so we didn’t haul in very much candy that year. I’m happy the weather is supposed to be clear tomorrow so all the little trick or treaters can enjoy themselves!

Whenever it’s gloomy and rainy out, I always start craving mac & cheese. I’m a tiny bit embarrassed to admit that I usually just make the stuff from the blue box (in my defense, it’s actually pretty tasty with a few modifications – I use half the amount of butter, add buttermilk, and tons of cheddar cheese). But, I recently made the real deal for the first time and it was definitely worth the extra effort. The caramelized shallots, crispy sage, and buttermilk make this version extra delicious and indulgent, and I love the cute orecchiette pasta.

p.s. I’m submitting this to Natasha’s 5 Star Mac & Cheese Makeover! Be sure to check out her blog soon for the round up!

Caramelized Shallot and Crispy Sage Macaroni and Cheese
Printable Recipe

1 pound orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Briefly, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender and drain.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add shallots and cook 15 to 17 minutes, stirring frequently, or until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute.

Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook one minute or until mixture starts to brown. Whisk in buttermilk and cream, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and mix in cheddar cheese, gruyere cheese, and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add sage and turn off heat.

Mix orecchiette pasta, caramelized shallots, cheese sauce, and crispy sage in a large bowl until well combined. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 685 calories, 41.2g fat, 2.2g fiber, 24.8g protein per serving
Cost: $1.85 per serving

60 Responses to Caramelized Shallot and Crispy Sage Macaroni and Cheese

  1. So it’s been raining there non-stop too? It’s getting crazy. I think the world is going to run out of cheese if this keeps up :) While I do like your own version, I’ll admit to having the blue box while growing up a bit too. You can’t knock the 5 mins it takes to put together, as long as you modify it :)

  2. you should’ve withheld this awesome take on mac & cheese until he promised to allow pictures of the costume! i hope we can see it, but if we can’t, the recipe for this batch of cheesy goodness will suffice. :)

  3. Very cute story about your little brother! We had torrential downpours in Chicago yesterday and I had to walk home in it – 1.5 miles of shoes that were filled with water. I can only imagine how heavy a tail would be, hehe :)

    Your mac and cheese looks great!!! I like the blue box stuff too (I use Brummel & Brown and reduce the amount substantially). Yours looks so creamy and delicious!!!

  4. Mmmm, I love how your mac and cheese is perfectly posh and comforting all at the same time! Glorious!

    I’m crossing my fingers in hopes for costume photos… :-) Happy Halloween!

  5. There are definitely times that mac and cheese just speaks to me, and I’ve always felt that once you go homemade, it is really hard to go back. All of your additions to this sound so good! Perfect for a rainy day craving.

    It sounds like you guys are going to have a fun Halloween. I hope we get to see some pictures!

  6. this sounds amazing!! i think i’m going to try it out this week, but i might sub some of the cream for whole milk. What a fabulous idea to add sage and shallots to this classic dish- you are so creative!!

  7. Love the addition to sage in this dish! And its perfect timing – one of my co-workers was taking down his garden over the weekend and gave me a whole bag of fresh sage! 😀

  8. Sounds delicious. My boyfriend isn’t much for dressing up like your husband. I convinced him to buy a costume once from Target, but he never actually wore it. That looks delicious. I Love, LOVE, Love caramelized onions. I’m curious about the buttermilk though. I’ve never used it in mac and cheese before.

  9. Holy cow! I love all mac and cheese recipes but this one is one of the best I’ve seen by far! I love how you added caramelized shallots and sage – awesome! You are so creative and know how to make your readers drool….

  10. Made this recipe with a couple variations. I added a some garlic alouette and parm to the cheese sauce, and then I baked it off with a panko/butter/parm topping. Easily was the best m&c I’d ever had.

  11. I made your recipe last night – picked up thyme instead of sage by accident, but added a little bit of dried sage and about 1t of finely chopped thyme and everything came out great! Coupled with warmed, toasted loaf of rustic bread – this has to be my favorite mac and cheese, ever. Wonder if adding some crispy pancetta would be a good addition? Thank you so much for the recipe!

  12. Brian – Yay, I’m glad it turned out well for you! And yes, I think adding crispy pancetta is a great idea because it’s one of those ingredients that makes everything better :)

  13. I finally made this … and just licked my plate clean! So my very next step was to come here and THANK YOU for it!!! This dish is genius. I adore it, and just wanted to tell you that it made my day :)

  14. Was a perfect compliment to Pork Wellington I made for Mother’s Day. Was very well received. It was awesome. Thanks so much!

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