Herbed Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Wednesday 30 October 2013

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 We have been trying to eat less meat in this house lately, and much more in the way of vegetables.   Partly for economics and partly for other reasons.  You may have noticed . . .

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I had some chestnut mushrooms that needed using up the other day and so I thought to corporate them into a macaroni and cheese casserole.    It ended up being really, really delicious!

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I did an herbed cheese sauce, using two types of cheese along with some tarragon.  I love the flavour of tarragon.  It goes really well with cheeses and mushrooms actually . . .

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I also added some chives and thyme.  Both for flavour and colour.  You could use fresh herbs, but I think when they are being incorporated into a sauce like this, it doesn't really matter.  I always use the Bart Freeze Dried Herbs though . . . they hydrate really well, so it's almost like fresh herbs.  Change your herbs often.   I change mine at least twice a year.

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The Toddster always says he doesn't like pasta, but then he has two helpings of whatever it is I make.  Methinks he doth protest too much!  In any case, I hope you'll make this.  It's really, really, really good!

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*Herbed Mushroom Mac & Cheese*
Serves 6
A deliciously different kind of macaroni and cheese, using a combination of herbs, shallots, fried mushrooms and two kind of cheese!  Not exactly diet food however, but very tasty.

For the sauce:
4 TBS butter
4 TBS plain flour
675ml of whole milk (3 cups), warmed
1 tsp freeze dried chives
1 tsp freeze dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pound of grated gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 pound grated strong white cheddar cheese, divided

For the mushrooms:
3 TBS butter
1 shallot peeled and minced
1 pound chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 TBS good white wine vinegar
You will also need:
1 pound of macaroni, uncooked
2 sliced of bread made into crumbs
(Or the equivalent in cracker crumbs)
1 TBS butter, melted

First cook the mushrooms.   Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the mushrooms and shallots.  Cook, stirring occasionally over medium high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Add the vinegar all at once and cook, stirring until it has evaporated.   Remove from the burner and set aside.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan.   Whisk in the flour and cook for one minute.  Slowly whisk in the warm milk whisking constantly, Continue to whisk until the mixture bubbles and begins to thicken.  Turn out the heat and stir in the herbs and 3/4 of each amount of cheese.  Stir to melt the cheese.   Season to taste with some salt and black pepper.  Stir in the mushroom mixture.   Set aside and keep warm.

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Cook the macaroni according to the package directions until al dente.  Drain well and then stir this into the mushroom cheese sauce.  Spread into a shallow buttered casserole dish.

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Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. 
Combine the bread or cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Sprinkle the remainder of the cheeses over top of the macaroni mixture then top with the buttered crumbs.  Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.   Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Delicious!


  1. Even though it's only 7am I could eat this right now Marie! This is our sort of food again and Peter prefers pasta and rice to potatoes so he'd really like this! xx

  2. It's exceptionally tasty too Pat! I am sure Pete will love it!

  3. I can't understand why Todd doesn't like pasta - did he have a bad experience with it before you came into his life? I like using it because it's so versatile and my Swede loves it (but I'm pretty sure that there isn't a carb on this planet that he doesn't like).

    This sounds delicious. I found some chanterelles out near the forests by our summer cottage yesterday, so perfect timing once again.

  4. Marie! I think you will love this! I am sure your Swede will as well. Chanterelles! Lucky you! Let me know what you think! xxoo

  5. I love the sound of this.

    I wish the hubby was not such a ticky eater.

  6. Ramona make a portion for him without the mushrooms!

  7. sounds perfect for today, its blustery and cold here!

  8. This looks so good! I keep trying to preach to the Italians about Mac and Cheese but they always seem a bit skeptical! Think I might be able to change their minds with this recipe though!

  9. This looks so good - I love macaroni cheese and I love mushrooms, put them together and you have a fantastic dish. Cannot wait to try it!

  10. It's a great version Laurie!

    Beth, I hope you can convert them with this! Let me know how you get on!

    Twilight, I just know you will love this.

  11. Oh wow, that's about as comforting as food gets. I think I need some now! It looks so creamy and smooth. Xx

  12. I love the look of this and I don't eat any meat at all but I sometimes feed it to my hubby who is a carnivore but I find that a good cheese is as, if not more, expensive than meat!
    I'm going to make this anyway.

  13. Hi Amelia. We have a very good cheese stall at our local market that often has nice cheeses on offer. I pick them up then and depending on the type of cheese, I freeze it. It works fine for something which you are going to use for cooking purposes.


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