Chef John's Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Dec. 11, 2011
I made this for the boys before I went to work last night. I did not try this myself but based on the message I got at my break--they absolutely loved it. To be honest, there were no leftovers for me! They thought the crust was the best part. Note to self: double the crust ingredients next time.
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Photo by Sarah Jo

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Seattle, Washington, USA
Living In: Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, USA

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Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2011
Oh boy! I finally found the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used only 12 oz. of macaroni, to make it more cheesy. It was a perfect ratio. I used 2% milk, and it worked great - creamy and satisfying. I don't know which I liked better, the crust or the filling, they were both delicious. You have to try this recipe! Thanks, Chef John!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2011
Lordy, all anyone wanted was the crust. New rule, take what's UNDER the crust, too. This was the closest to my mom's, and all kidding aside, a terrific success.
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Reviewed: Apr. 30, 2012
Very good. I am thinking that the people who commented that they were overpowered by the taste of thyme must have used ground thyme instead of dried thyme leaves. 1/4 tsp. of dried thyme leaves is not enough to overpower anything.
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Cooking Level: Professional

Home Town: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Living In: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2011
The best mac and cheese I have made in a long time. My family all stated the same. I followed the recipe with the exception of a couple of changes. After reading the reviews, I cut the pasta by a couple of oz and that worked out perfectly. I used fresh thyme, backed the ceyenne down to 1/8 teaspoon (my dad can't have spicey), and was out of dijon so I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard. We loved that it was baked but still creamy! Definitely reminds everyone of grandma's mac and cheese. I will use this recipe from this point. Thanks for sharing!
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Photo by abapplez

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Annandale, Virginia, USA
Living In: Spotsylvania, Virginia, USA
Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2012
My family really loved this dish. The only changes I made was 1/8 cayenne (because of kid), made only 12 oz. of macaroni and used black pepper. I didn't have panko crumbs so I made my own crumbs with leftover bread. To be honest, I can live without the topping so I'll leave it out next time. This will be my go-to mac and cheese recipe for now! UPDATE: This time I left out the thyme and worcestershire. I added 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder to the roux. I used 10 oz. of macaroni. I didn't add the breadcrumb topping. I covered the dish with foil and baked it at 375° for 30 minutes, then uncovered and baked for 15 minutes more. Nice and creamy and so delicious. But I'll have to leave out the cayenne next time due to picky kid (although I love the kick of the cayenne). How anyone can say this macaroni and cheese is bland is beyond me. Perhaps you used cheap cheese which tends to be oily and doesn't have the best flavor and texture. And BTW, if your dish turns out grainy, you probably didn't take the roux off the burner and SLOWLY (1/4 cup at a time) add cheese to it while mixing gently. Dumping all the cheese at once to simmering roux that is still on the burner will result in a grainy texture.
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Photo by Taco Cat

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2011
Delicious! Very easy and kid-friendly. Use a little less pasta if you like your mac and cheese very saucy -- this wasn't overly saucy, but had great flavor. It's easy to make changes according to your likes.
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Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2011
Tried this recipe because I was starting to think my tried and true mac&cheese was a little bland. I was skeptical of the thyme so only filled the 1/4 tsp about 2/3 full. Followed everything else to a T. The thyme flavor was so overpowering, the dish was inedible.
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Reviewed: Mar. 26, 2012
Tweaker alert. I used the basic recipe but changed the seasonings due to my "NON-Gourmet" children who will never eat Thyme flavored anything. The sauce recipe works fantastic & I was quite proud of myself for pulling this off. You should not leave the stove during the sauce whisking portion. The reviews talked a lot about sauce vs. pasta amounts. My men like sauce. I used a 16 oz large elbow macaroni package. I "sort of" doubled the sauce. It was perfect. I am writing this up because I use other people's suggestions all the time. Hope this helps someone! I used: 1/2 c. butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1 T. Chili Powder (think chili), 1/4 + Red Chili Flakes, 5 cups of 2% milk, 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, 3 tsp. Kosher Salt, 5 good handfuls of already grated Cheddar/Jack Mix (Costco), 1 good squirt of Dijon. Followed the sequence of directions, but changed the seasoning & amounts. For the crust - I discovered I DID NOT have the Panko Break Crumbs I thought I had. I used 2 T. Butter with 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs + 1/4 c. Crunchy Onions (think green bean casserole), mixed well, sprinkled on top & baked in a 10 X 15 - greased. Wonderful - my men ate 1/2 of the tray last night & I am sure the rest will be gone today! Thanks Chef John for the basic recipe!
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Photo by Jewels

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Northridge, California, USA
Living In: Valencia, California, USA
Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2011
I've tried a few mac and cheese recipes on this site and this is by far my favorite. It was easy to make. I read the reviews first, and learned that if I want a creamier mac and cheese to reduce the noodles, so I used 12oz instead of 16oz, which I think worked out perfectly. That's the only change I made. It had a nice combo of flavors, none being overpowering. I was slightly nervous that the cayenne pepper would be a little too spicy for my mom who hates anything spicy, but I didn't tell her that any pepper was in there and she didn't complain. :)
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Montgomery, Alabama, USA

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