The Best Cheese for Mac and Cheese

The Best Cheese for Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is a no brainer dish that is a great crowd pleaser and super easy to make. To make the ultimate mac and cheese, you need an ultimate cheese to pair it with. Or, multiple kinds of cheese to boost the flavour and ignite your tastebuds. In this article, we look at which is the best cheese for mac and cheese.

The Best Cheese for Mac and Cheese:

The best cheese for mac and cheese is one with great flavour, as well as one that melts well. The first-choice cheese is sharp cheddar. This is because it has a buttery, rich flavour, mildly salty and will melt perfectly.

Top 6 Cheeses to use for Mac and Cheese are:

  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Swiss Gruyere
  • Fontina
  • Goats Chevre
  • Gouda
  • Truffle infused Parmesan

Aged Cheddar:

Aged cheddar is the best type of cheese to put in mac and cheese. Traditionally from the UK, cheddars are made with cows milk, providing a grassy, buttery and salty flavour. The salt will help to cut through the fat and rich flavours from the pasta and sauce.
Aged cheddar is also often dense and can be a little crumbly in texture. This is a classic pairing and a go-to cheese for this dish.

Swiss Gruyere:

Another great cheese for mac and cheese is Swiss Gruyere. This Swiss cheese with a sweet, fruity and nutty flavour. Also made with cows milk, this buttery cheese is very yellow in colour. Traditionally used in fondue, Gruyere is an ideal melting cheese and the perfect addition to mac and cheese. It is also available at deli, fromageries and most supermarkets, making it a great alternative for trying something new.


Fontina is an Italian cheese made with unpasteurised cows milk at the base of The Alps in the Aosta Valley. Similar in flavour to Gruyere, it is nutty and buttery in flavour. The cheese naturally absorbs the natural moisture from the caves in which it matures, giving it a mild earthy flavour on the finish. Fontina has eyes (small holes in the cheese) throughout its body. It is a perfect melting cheese, however, it may only be available in fromageries and delis, and therefore perhaps not as accessible as aged cheddars or Gruyere.

best cheese for mac and cheese
Fontina cheese has eyes (holes) throughout its body.

Goats Chevre

Goats Chevre is an alternative cheese and best combined with cheddar or Gruyere. This is because goats chevre is mixed with acid during production rather than rennet, and therefore it will be difficult to melt. Read more on how cheese melts here.
Goats Chevre is a fresh goat milk cheese. It is light, acidic and citrus flavour, but very smooth and creamy in texture. It is a great addition to mac and cheese to add a little fresh flavour and cut through the heavy fats. Crumble the cheese into small pieces and add to the sauce, it may melt slightly but not completely, therefore it is best to ensure that it is mixed in well with another cheese that provides the base to your sauce.

To Finish…

The last two suggestions for your mac and cheese recipe are ideal for grating over the top to finish it off and provide that extra special touch.

Gouda or truffle-infused parmesan. Both are very rich in flavour, and therefore may be too intense to be used as the main base to the cheese sauce.
Gouda originates from The Netherlands and has a sweet, caramel-like flavour. It is also a hard cheese and produced with cows milk. It has a strong orange colour and very rich.

Truffle infused parmesan is pretty much what the name suggests. Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) is a hard cheese from Italy. Use in pasta dishes to enhance its salty, rich and dry flavour. Truffle infused parmesan adds that next level and does have an intense flavour. Use in moderation but a beautiful finish to your mac and cheese recipe.


Many of these cheese examples are best paired with another cheese suggested in this post. Also, grate the cheese before adding it to the dish, to enhance melting and save time. Crumble goats chevre into small pieces to prevent clumping.