I know I’ve been on kind of a mac and cheese kick lately but really, can you blame me?  It’s total comfort food and the chilly weather and fading daylight make me yearn for it.  Not to mention the fact that I brought home a bunch of amazing varieties of cheddar from our Vermont trip.  I have different things in mind to do with each of them but this recipe needed to be made immediately.  It was taking shape in my head throughout the trip and within 48 hours of arriving home, we had this for dinner.

This recipe was inspired by the garlic cheddar that I bought in Grafton, and it was a great way to make use of it.  I actually had grand plans for a dish similar to this last fall, but unfortunately my attempts never really turned out quite as I was hoping.  This time I was just playing around and ended up with exactly what I had hoped for last year.  Better late then never!  Of course I realize that garlic cheddar may not be available to everyone depending on where you live and the grocery selection near you.  Never fear though, even with regular ol’ white cheddar, this will turn out just fine.  If you’re unfamiliar with roasted garlic, a whole head of roasted garlic may seem like a lot but it’s actually not.  Roasting really mellows out the flavor of the garlic and it takes on a smooth quality.  I happen to consider roasted garlic to be a sort of magical ingredient.  Most dishes are only made better by the addition of some roasted garlic.  In this case another favorite cheese of mine, boursin, is included to pull the whole thing together and well, I really think you should just go make this now so I’ll shush :)


  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 12 oz. dry pasta
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ tsp. dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 8 oz. garlic cheddar or white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. crumbled garlic and herb boursin cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • Snipped chives, for garnish (optional)


  • 01

    To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Remove most of the outer paper skins from the head of garlic, leaving it intact. Slice off the top portion of the head so that all of the cloves are exposed at the top, but the head is still intact. Rub with a bit of olive oil. Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil and loosely fold the foil up around the head of garlic to create a foil packet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the cloves are easily squeezed from the skins (be sure to let cool before handling!) Squeeze all of the garlic out of the skins and smash with a fork to make a paste.

  • 02

    Increase the oven temperature to 400˚ F. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta until about 2 minutes shy of al dente according to the package directions. Drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and the roasted garlic paste and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, dried parsley, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes to a low boil and thickens noticeably. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar and about 3 ounces of the boursin. Whisk until the cheese is completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 03

    Pour the sauce over the drained pasta and toss to coat well. Transfer to a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish and top with the remaining boursin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbling. Let cool at least 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with snipped chives for garnish, if desired.

  • You can never have too many mac and cheese recipes up your sleeve and I love the addition of roasted garlic. Garlic makes everything better!

  • Irene L.

    This sounds fantastic! You have yet to let me down with mac and cheese so… This is so going on the menu next week! There is nothing like a baked pasta dish when the weather gets chilly! Thanks Annie!

  • jen

    i’ve never heard of boursin cheese before (apparently my cheese education is lacking, surprising since i spend hours at whole foods ogling it!), but a quick google search tells me it’s available in several stores in my area. game on! however, there seems to be several flavor varieties, which did you use?

  • Annie

    Garlic and herb.

  • 1. I’m addicted to Boursin cheese. If I could marry it, I would.
    2. Garlic = awesome.
    3. Boursin cheese AND garlic IN my mac and cheese? GENIUS.

  • Well thank goodness you’re on a mac and cheese kick because I am always looking for new recipes. Yum!

  • Oooooh, comfort to the max! Looks amazing!

  • I have never roasted garlic but that’s really a shame since I love it so much. And it seems so easy! Garlic and cheese make the perfect combo. Can’t wait to make this dish! We look at your blog during breakfast and my daughter saw your picture and uttered “I want mac and cheese.”

  • Brenna J

    I LOOOVE garlic! I LOOOVE mac and cheese! I can’t WAIT to make this!

  • That may be the most ‘enticing’ photo I’ve seen! Those cheese drips over the edge are calling to me. Looks delicious!

  • I’m so trying this one! I have been jonesin’ for some good homemade mac and cheese and this one speaks to me! Mmmm….

  • I’m in favor of more and more mac & cheese recipes! I made your classic mac & cheese for dinner last night – I think it’s a new favorite! Of course I say that with every variety I make. Can’t wait to try this one!

  • Lakeisha

    Annie, this may sound like a stupid question to you, but in the African American culture, Mac & Cheese is a side dish for us, I’d like to break this in our home. Just wondering if you had any other dishes with this meal? It’s already on my menu for next week! :)

  • I have been DREAMING about homemade mac and cheese lately. And this is not helping the obsession. I may have to just buckle down and make it!

  • I have made SO many mac and cheese recipes that were an epic fail and am scared to try another. (Maybe because most were skillet?) Not sure, but as usual, you inspired me to try it again!

  • Roasted garlic is definitely a magical sort of ingredient. I’m normally a bit of a purist when it comes to mac and cheese, but I would definitely have NO issues eating (a lot of) this version.

  • That looks awesome!! Seems like a perfect dinner on a chilly evening. And the picture is beautiful.

  • Annie

    We like to make it as a main dish in our house. You could of course serve it with whatever you would like! Enjoy :)

  • Annie

    Aw, that is so sweet :)

  • You have combined two of my favorite things: Roasted garlic breath and mac and cheese… This looks and sounds absolutely fantastic! I heart comfort food in the fall.

  • that looks divine! love me some mac and cheese! The boursin sounds like a great addition!

  • I am loving all the mac and cheese recipes on the internets lately!! Since there are so many varieties, it justifies me making it more than once in a week, right?

  • my husband is obsessed with that boursin cheese. he would love this! which means i would have to share.

  • I’ve never added garlic to mac n cheese – everything else but not this so now I have an urge to try it!

  • We eats loads of mac & cheese from November-February :) Can’t wait to try this variation, I love love love roasted garlic.

  • I love roasted garlic, never thought to put it in mac and cheese, yum!

  • Amy

    I love your web site, but I sadly discovered it shortly before I joined Weight Watchers. I made a few things before Weight Watchers (your pizza dough, Enchiladas), and have tried to lighten the recipes up. The Enchiladas are actually very Weight Watchers friendly (especially with low-fat cheese)! This recipe, however, is killing me! I love Macaroni and Cheese and have been jonesing it. There is no way to lighten this up – low-fat cheese will not get this creamy. I may just have to sacrifice a whole bunch of my weekly points for a serving of this. Thanks for sharing all of the delicious recipes!!!

  • Christiana

    Now this is my kind of dish! Garlic makes EVERYTHING better!!

  • Christiana

    At my house this is a main course, with maybe some bacon bits sprinkled on top with vegetables on the side! :)

  • How DO you keep that cute little figure of yours? Oh yeah, portion control, probably. I’d eat that entire casserole dish. *hangs head in shame*

  • Nicole G

    Oh, I am definitely making this next week while on vacation. I love garlic and herb boursin cheese on crackers! Cannot wait to make this~

  • Annie

    Are you kidding me? You’ve got about the cutest little figure I’ve ever seen. If you had told me at Food & Light that you had two kids I would never have believed you!

  • Looks delicious! I love roasted garlic on pretty much anything. The weather’s turning chilly so I’ve been on a comfort food roll too! Hot chocolate is my go-to pick-me-up, and mac and cheese as well (I hand-make my own pasta, but haven’t gotten around to trying the macaroni shape yet!):

  • Annie, this made my mouth water! I love mac and cheese and this looks absolutely amazing!! Can’t wait to give it a try :) I’m sure my boyfriend will love this too. Mac ‘n cheese is his fav! :)

  • This looks delicious! I am always impressed that you continue to keep finding & creating new mac and cheese recipes. I have been in the mood for comfort food lately too. I just posted a chicken pot pie recipe on my blog!

  • Yum! Annie, that looks fantastic!

  • Heaven in a casserole dish! Seriously, the garlic cheddar, the roasted garlic, the Boursin–that’s a combo for heavenly ambrosia! I bet it’s what they eat up there.

  • So I’m sitting in bed winding down from a long day with some magazines, my iPad and some hot tea, and not having had dinner tonight…and you go and make that gorgeous Mac and cheese!!!!! Not too mention that I of course have easy access to the fabulous cheese that Vermont has to offer (even at the General Store just down the street!), guess I know what I’ll be dreaming about…

  • This sounds divine! I want to fly right now to Vermont to get me some special cheeses. Only thing is that I’ve never ventured farther east than Kansas. Someday…

  • I’m quite alright with the mac and cheese kick. I like it!

  • Ha!I’d eat that entire casserole dish and have the dish washed and put away before anyone else got home. Muwahahaha. No shame in my game and no evidence either. Wait. Maybe this is why I weigh the same as the two of you put together….lol.

  • WOW!! I must try this one!! Yummy!! :)

  • Wow, the Boursin in this must make it heavenly. Don’t think I’ve ever added Boursin to mac and cheese, it usually disappears into scrambled eggs first, ha ha.

    Great looking recipe, perfect for the holidays. Your Vermont pics were really nice too!

  • Christy W

    I really want to visit The Cupcake Collection in Nashville…. It’s very close, but I just haven’t managed to get there yet (I will soon!) & then, of course, My husband & I want to go to Italy…. just eat our way all over the country! That one may take a bit longer…

  • EnajCosta

    This recipe looks amazing (I wish I could get my hands on some of that garlic cheddar, it sounds incredible). I’m planning on doing a mac & cheese for thanksgiving this year and I’m a little indecisive about which one to go with. I’ve tried a few of your recipes (most notably, the fontina mac & cheese, which is now one of my go-to recipes). I was wondering which recipe for mac & cheese you’d pick as the, let’s say, “definitive” recipe :)

  • Andrea

    This was yummy!!!!! Hubby loved it as well!!!!!

  • mmm white cheddar cheese yum!

  • I want to eat the whole baking dish of that! It looks (and sounds) amazing. Perfect for this rainy day, that’s for sure!

  • Amy

    I made this as a Thanksgiving side dish yesterday. This was so easy to make and turned out amazing-it actually looked just like the picture! Thank you for making me look like a culinary rock star in the eyes of my in-laws; I am now forever hooked to your blog :)

  • Kerry

    Made this last night — AMAZING! Have already shared the recipe with two friends, and will be sharing with many more! Thanks Annie!

  • Carla

    This looks delicious! I am planning to make this one night this week but since only cooking for two, will try it in ramekins!

  • Megs 09

    This was so AMAZING loved this!!!! My fiancé love garlic to this was perfect for us wouldn’t change anything :-)

  • Kim

    Just made this and it was amazing! Great recipe!

  • Amy Nicole Davis

    I made this last Thanksgiving and it was AMAZING. Thank you for making me feel like a real cook :-)

  • Andrea Pellicer

    This is my go-to for company! I’ve switched out for quinoa pasta for my guests with gluten intolerances and it is just as good.