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Bistro Mac & Cheese Recipe

Bistro Mac & Cheese Recipe

I like to serve this mac & cheese with a salad and crusty bread. It's a satisfying meal that feels upscale, but will fit just about any budget. And because the Gorgonzola is so mild in this dish, even the kiddos will go for it. —Charlotte Giltner, Mesa, Arizona
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs


  • 1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk and seasonings. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • 2. Reduce heat; stir in cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream. Add macaroni; toss to coat. In a small skillet, heat remaining butter over medium heat. Add bread crumbs; cook and stir until golden brown. Sprinkle over top. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe Note

Test Kitchen Tips

  • The combination of cheeses takes this recipe over the top, but feel free to substitute any cheeses you like. Just keep the total cup amount the same.
  • Mix it up with your toppings. Fresh bread crumbs are delicious (and a great way to use up extra bread). Make sure to brown them in butter as directed. We also love the texture of panko bread crumbs or crushed crackers.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 cup: 468 calories, 22g fat (14g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 649mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein.

    Reviews for Bistro Mac & Cheese

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    AMcCracken User ID: 5638753 256928
    Reviewed Nov. 18, 2016

    "I substituted Swiss cheese for Gorgonzola. My kids love it!"

    masonsmith User ID: 8849089 247736
    Reviewed May. 1, 2016

    "Your ratios are all wrong. It is soup. I had to simmer it down for 3-4 times what your instructions outline. I know there is always variable like equipment and actual temperatures. Not that you had detail instructions. I had to add more cheese, flour and butter to make it close to edible. Letting is sit for 20 minuets finally got the consistency right. soup. Only thing I would ever take from this is the ingredients to use but not the amounts."

    raysue User ID: 3126582 230127
    Reviewed Jul. 24, 2015

    "Everyone loved it!!"

    alwaysdreamin User ID: 344765 218996
    Reviewed Jan. 27, 2015

    "I wanted so bad to like this and I did, however, the taste was so subtle I could hardly tell there was cheese in it. It was very creamy not dry..but next time I was thinking of doubling the cheddar cheese and halving the recipe. By the way, shredded cheese in the bag is usually 8 ounces and contains 2 cups...8 ounces of LIQUID is 1 cup. Correct lonemomma!"

    trdenton User ID: 5521938 107384
    Reviewed Oct. 19, 2014

    "Very delicious! We loved all the different cheeses and we even added BACON! Yum! I will say when it cooled it became a little dry so it would be nice to find a way to keep it creamy longer, but overall SUPER yummy!"

    abashu User ID: 6784654 121062
    Reviewed Aug. 11, 2014

    "A cheese lovers delight"

    gucci65 User ID: 7131119 186916
    Reviewed Aug. 3, 2014

    "Very good. I loved all the combo"s of cheeses. Can't wait to have the leftovers today !!!!!!!"

    kdamerson User ID: 1783932 176437
    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2014

    "Oh My!!! That's all I can say! This was an amazingly cheesy dish without being so upsthick you can't eat it! Nothing says comfort food like Mac and Cheese and this was great! for alittle more smoky flavor I topped with some bacon crumbles and put under the broiler for about 7 minutes to crisp up the bacon and bread topping."

    lonemomma User ID: 44877 104068
    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2014

    "The TOH Feb./Mar 2010 listed the recipe for the butter this way. The butter is NOT divided. You use all of the 3 Tbsp. The 2nd part of the directions that use the remaining butter was for a Crumb Topping. The 2010 TOH listed this topping as: Combine 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs & 2 Tbsp. melted butter. You placed the macaroni mixture in a greased 3-qt. baking dish and sprinkled the crumb mixture over the macaroni. Baked uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. YOU can cook this recipe as show. NOW for the 4 oz. & 8 oz. cheese. Look at a package of cheese and you will see that 8 oz. of cheese will have 2 cups listed. You are thinking about the liquid form for ounces. So 4 oz. will be 1 cup."

    econjack User ID: 5868943 190020
    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2014

    "Very good. Added pre-cooked real bacon (Gordon Food Service) chunks on top before serving which made it even better!"

    wonki11player User ID: 6058789 190017
    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2014

    "just to comment- on the bistro macaroni and cheese, it calls for 1 cup of each mozzarella cheese and chedder cheese, but it says 1 cup is 4 ozs, 1 cup is 8 ozs.,..also 3 TBSP of butter divided, when u cook the flour it says cook it in 3 TBSP butter then at the end it says use remaining butter to cook bread crumbs, there is no remaining butter"

    barbhelm User ID: 1064431 211598
    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2014

    "Excellent recipe for a special occasion. For easy cooking on a weekday evening, try A snap!"

    cbenne12 User ID: 7424916 187949
    Reviewed Jul. 29, 2014

    "We liked this recipe, but I think instead of Gorgonzola, I may try Brie next time."

    Miraoli User ID: 7368454 171596
    Reviewed Aug. 29, 2013

    "This is a very sophisticated mac and cheese. It is really good so I will give it five stars, but it was a lot of work to put into just mac and cheese. My husband loved it and asked me to save the recipe. Haha has tons of great coupons that could be used on ingredients for this recipe."

    Dianaore User ID: 1737743 187948
    Reviewed Mar. 9, 2013

    "We thought this was good. It was my first attempt at homemade mac and cheese. We will try a few others that were on the same page of my Taste of Home Mag though as will decided on a favorite."

    EyeSk8boardCANcook User ID: 6989348 188564
    Reviewed Nov. 22, 2012

    "Perfection! I did only 1/4 cup of gorgonzola & added the extra 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Also only 1/4 cup of sour cream . Wobderful:)"

    FayeJohnson1 User ID: 4947758 190003
    Reviewed Jul. 21, 2012

    "I was so excited to try this but when I finally was done preparing it, it wasnt too great. The texture was grainy, there wasnt too much flavor and it almost too creamy. I wont be making this again."

    chefmikey01 User ID: 6262602 189996
    Reviewed Nov. 19, 2011

    "good recipe but i subbed heavy cream for the flour butter milk and sour cream. just reduce it down and its perfect"

    tpholland User ID: 1855887 189995
    Reviewed Nov. 1, 2011

    "My teenage son does not like any "fancy" mac & cheese, but he couldn't get enough of this dish! This will definately be a regular on our menu."

    mrs.mark User ID: 5436322 110079
    Reviewed Oct. 20, 2011

    "We liked this except it was a little too rich."

    kayvie User ID: 3210972 171349
    Reviewed Apr. 14, 2011

    "I left out the blue cheese and substituted white cheddar."

    adaleio3 User ID: 5803237 189969
    Reviewed Mar. 14, 2011

    "My mac and cheese ended up very creamy! i did however sub gorgonzola cheese for fresh shredded parmesan cheese, added a little extra cream cheese and did a 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 onion. It ended up more like an alfredo but still delicious!!"

    Mommados User ID: 5622305 128713
    Reviewed Feb. 24, 2011

    "I like my mac and cheese with a more creamy finish. For me, this recipe ended up too dry."

    micheleclow User ID: 6777152 107383
    Reviewed Feb. 13, 2011

    "Maybe it was because I used whole wheat pasta, but we didn't like it and I am a huge cheese lover."

    aug2295 User ID: 4631582 146558
    Reviewed Oct. 24, 2010

    "My 2 year old and I liked this mac and cheese very much. My husband and my 4 year old disagreed. I think the main problem they had was the gorgonzola has a strong flavor, but I really enjoyed it."

    Kayla0110 User ID: 3854112 121061
    Reviewed Oct. 2, 2010

    "This has great flavor, but the sauce had a grainy texture. Next time I make it I will try thickening it with corn starch instead of the flour and butter, and save a few calories while I'm at it!"

    m1ssm3 User ID: 4815243 189968
    Reviewed Sep. 16, 2010

    "I added sauteed onions, mushrooms, peppers and diced ham. Baked for about 20 minutes.YUM YUM - a complete meal. This will be my new side dish for parties!"

    amybecca User ID: 4337390 189951
    Reviewed Aug. 14, 2010

    "I made this tonight with a marinated flank steak and my dining companion had 3 helpings! It is absolutely delicious, creamy and yummy. I did use fresh grated cheese rather than the pre-shredded from the bag, it took a little more work with the food processor, but I think it was well worth it. I also used half elbow and half penne because that is what I had on hand, and I think I will use all penne the next time. I used the Gorgonzola that was left over to melt over the flank steak - delicious meal and I will make this mac and cheese again for sure."

    iloveafrok User ID: 3420338 188546
    Reviewed Jun. 13, 2010

    "So Stinkin Good! Thank you!!!! =)"

    flattop45 User ID: 1380602 107381
    Reviewed May. 29, 2010

    "What a treat! Will definitely 'do over'!"

    cindymc2323 User ID: 2620767 146544
    Reviewed May. 23, 2010

    "This recipe was wonderful! I did not add the gorgonzola cheese because I do not like the taste of this kind of cheese and I used penne noodles instead, but the rest of the ingredients I kept the same. This mac and cheese is sooooo creamy and has excellent flavor!"

    Susan51 User ID: 4644529 171594
    Reviewed May. 16, 2010

    "This the best mac and cheese recipe ever.It's creamy and delicious with that hint of the Gorgonzola cheese.My family loved it so much i made it every weekend for six weeks before we were tired of it.I also added lemon pepper to the recipe about 3/4 of a teaspoon Try it you will love it!"

    ringostarr User ID: 5121971 121059
    Reviewed May. 12, 2010

    "I made it the first time when my daughter brought home 6 friends from college in January. It's May now and they have raved about the dish to their friends at school in the cafeteria whenever M&C is served...of course - no comparison with Bistro Mac&Cheese"

    leilee83 User ID: 4192633 176369
    Reviewed Mar. 9, 2010

    "This was great! I used penne instead of elbow mac as that was what I had on hand and it turned out just fine. Topped it with panko bread crumbs and baked for 20 minutes. Will add ham next time. Yummm."

    kristymiss User ID: 3415662 189949
    Reviewed Feb. 9, 2010

    "Very good! I recommend not using preshredded cheese-freshly grated makes it really creamy. Reheats well too. My husband said it's the best mac and cheese he has had! Thanks for the recipe."

    krystaljoy User ID: 4390151 107379
    Reviewed Feb. 2, 2010

    "we had this last night for supper and everyone loved it. It is a keeper"

    JessCostello User ID: 4038887 128712
    Reviewed Jan. 19, 2010

    "SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good! I made this and fell in love immediately!! Total Keeper! I served it with asparagus and it was perfect!!!"

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