Four Cheese Sriracha Mac & Cheese

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A creamy, baked four cheese mac & cheese that’s full of sriracha for a kick of spice! Super cheesy, with a crispy top, this one’s a real winner.

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a portion of four cheese sriracha mac & cheese

The creamiest mac & cheese, made with four different cheeses, sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs & baked until super crispy! There’s a generous amount of sriracha hot sauce in the mix as well, for a gentle kick of spice.

Mac & cheese is arguably one of the best & easiest, midweek meals. But that doesn’t means it has to be boring! If you’re a fan of super cheesy pasta & a little bit of spice, this is the recipe for you…

If you’re looking for more main course recipes, take a look at our collection of mains recipes. There’s something for everyone here, from fried chicken tenders, homemade toad in the hole, roasted tomato risotto & pan fried salmon with couscous. We’re constantly adding new recipes to the blog, so if there’s something you’d like to see, drop us a comment at the bottom of this post!

What You’ll Need

  • Macaroni – You’ll need dried macaroni for this dish, which is available in most supermarkets. This is sometimes called elbow pasta.
  • Cheese – For our cheese sauce, we’re using the following four cheeses; mature cheddar (or gruyere), parmesan, mozzarella & red Leicester. Feel free to experiment with other cheeses if you like though!
  • Sriracha – A Thai hot sauce made from chilli & peppers, which is available in most supermarkets. You can add as much sriracha to the sauce as you like. I added 40 grams to mine, which adds a subtle kick of spice.
  • Butter – Used to make the roux for our cheese sauce. I used unsalted butter but salted will work as well, just add a touch less seasoning to the finished sauce.
  • Stock – Stock adds a depth of flavour to our cheese sauce. I like to use chicken stock but veg stock will work as well. Don’t worry about using homemade stock, a stock cube dissolved in boiling water does the job nicely.
  • Breadcrumbs – For the crispiest topping, I like to use panko breadcrumbs. These Japanese breadcrumbs are available to buy in most supermarkets but regular breadcrumbs will work as well.
crispy cheese topping
crispy macaroni topping

How To Make Four Cheese Sriracha Mac & Cheese

The full, printable recipe card for this mac & cheese can be found at the bottom of this post!

  1. Cheese Prep – We’re prepping the cheese first. The cheddar (or gruyere), red Leicester & parmesan are all grated & the mozzarella is chopped into small pieces.
  2. Cheese Sauce – Onto the cheese sauce. To do this, we make a roux by melting butter then whisking in plain flour, smoked paprika, garlic powder & cayenne pepper. Next, we whisk in half the milk, cook out until thick then add the rest of the milk & repeat. We then add in chicken (or veg) stock & cook out until thickened again.
    To finish the sauce, we add in two thirds of our cheese, sriracha hot sauce, salt & pepper then stir to melt. At this point, I like to give my sauce a quick blitz with a stick blender, to make it even smoother & velvety!
  3. Macaroni – As we’re baking our mac & cheese, we need to cook the pasta so that it is slightly less than al dente, as it will continue cooking as it bakes. To do this, bring a pan of water to the boil, add in a good pinch of salt then the dried macaroni. Give the pasta a stir, to stop it sticking together then cook for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions. Once cooked, transfer the pasta to the cheese sauce, along with a good splash of pasta water then stir to combine.
  4. Assembly – To assemble, tip the mac & cheese into a 10″ ovenproof dish. Stir panko breadcrumbs into the remaining grated cheese then sprinkle this on top of the pasta.
  5. Baking – Cook the mac & cheese in a 200°c/392°f oven, until the top is nice & crispy and the sauce is bubbling. This will take around 20 minutes.
macaroni pasta
cheese pull

Mac & Cheese Tips & Tricks

  • Use the right cheese – For the best mac & cheese, we need to use cheeses that add flavour & melt properly (for the best cheese pull!). I like to mix fairly strong cheeses, like mature cheddar, gruyere or parmesan with melty cheeses like mozzarella & red Leicester. Make sure to use a low moisture mozzarella, so that your sauce doesn’t get watered down.
  • Grate the cheese yourself – The pre shredded cheese that you can buy from the shop won’t melt properly, so make sure to buy blocks of cheese & grate it yourself!
  • Blitz the sauce – For the smoothest cheese sauce, give it a quick blitz with a stick blender after adding in the cheese.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta – For baked mac & cheese, it’s important that the macaroni is slightly undercooked when you boil it. This way, the pasta will be a perfect al dente once the mac & cheese is baked.
  • Use panko breadcrumbs – For the crispiest topping, I like to use panko breadcrumbs! These are available in supermarkets but regular breadcrumbs can also be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can baked mac & cheese be made in advance?

To make mac & cheese in advance, cook the sauce & pasta then store them both separately in the fridge (coat the pasta in a small amount of flavourless oil, to stop it sticking together) for up to 3 days. To assemble, warm the sauce back up on the stove (add a splash of water if necessarily) then mix in the pasta. Bake in the oven as specified in the recipe.

What cheeses are best for mac & cheese?

For mac & cheese, I’d recommend using a mix of cheeses. The best cheeses to use are ones that melt nicely (for a good cheese pull) and have a fairly strong flavour. If you’d like to only use two cheeses, I’d go for a strong cheddar & mozzarella.

Can I make this mac & cheese without sriracha?

Definitely! To make this mac & cheese less spicy, leave the sriracha out, as well as the cayenne pepper (in the roux).

Cooking Mac & Cheese In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas. Here’s how to cook this recipe in an Aga…

Cook the sauce using the simmering plate, cook the pasta on the boiling plate then cook the mac & cheese in the centre of the roasting oven.

Equipment Used

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More Main Course Recipes To Try!

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Four Cheese Sriracha Mac & Cheese

A creamy, baked four cheese mac & cheese that's full of sriracha for a kick of spice! Super cheesy, with a crispy top, this one's a real winner.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 Portions
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Large Saucepans
  • Cheese Grater
  • Stick Blender
  • 10" Ovenproof Dish
  • Baking Tray

Ingredients

  • 350 g Dried Macaroni

Cheeses

  • 200 g Red Leicester
  • 100 g Mature Cheddar/Gruyere
  • 75 g Parmesan
  • 150 g Low Moisture Mozzarella

Sauce

  • 75 g Unsalted Butter
  • 60 g Plain Flour
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 800 ml Whole Milk
  • 500 ml Chicken Stock Or Veg Stock
  • 40 g Sriracha

To Top

  • 35 g Panko Breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat an oven to 200°c/180°c fan (392°f/356°f).
  • Next, grate the red Leicester, cheddar & parmesan and place into a mixing bowl. Chop the mozzarella into small pieces then add into the bowl & mix the cheeses together. Set aside for now.

Sauce

  • Place the butter into a large saucepan then cook over a medium heat until melted.
  • Next, stir in the plain flour, smoked paprika, garlic powder & cayenne pepper then cook out for a minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add in half the milk then whisk until smooth. Cook out until thick, whisking/stirring regularly. This will take 2-3 minutes over a medium heat.
  • Pour in the remaining milk & keep cooking until thickened again.
  • Now add in half the chicken stock & reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking, stirring/whisking regularly until the sauce has thickened back up.
  • Pour in the rest of the stock then keep cooking until the flour has been cooked out & the sauce has thickened for a final time. It should be slightly thicker than double cream.
  • Once the sauce has cooked out, add in the sriracha & ⅔ of the mixed cheese. Stir until melted then take the pan off the heat.
  • Season the sauce with salt & pepper, give it a quick blitz with a stick blender then set aside whilst you cook the macaroni.
    Blitzing the sauce is optional but gives it a smoother finish!

Macaroni

  • Fill a large saucepan up with water, cover with a lid then set over a high heat.
  • Bring the water to the boil then add in a large pinch of salt. Add in the macaroni, stir to stop it sticking together then cook until the pasta is cooked slightly less than al dente.
    The best way to do this, is to cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than specified on it's packaging.

Assembly & Baking

  • Once the pasta is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the cheese sauce, along with a good splash of pasta water. Stir to combine then transfer to a 10" ovenproof dish.
  • Mix the panko breadcrumbs into the remaining ⅓ of cheese then sprinkle over the mac & cheese.
  • Place the dish onto a baking tray then bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is crisp & golden and the sauce is bubbling.
  • Let the mac & cheese stand for a couple of minutes then spoon into bowls & serve.

Notes

1. Cooking On An Aga – Cook the sauce using the simmering plate, cook the pasta on the boiling plate then cook the mac & cheese in the centre of the roasting oven.
2. Cheese – Make sure to grate your own cheese as the pre shredded stuff won’t melt as well. I’d also recommend using a low moisture block of mozzarella instead of mozzarella balls. If you’d prefer to use different cheeses, feel free. Goat’s cheese or brie would make some good alternatives.
3. Sauce – Once cooked, the sauce can either be used straight away or cooled down & stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. If refrigerating, the sauce will need a good 5 minutes on the stove to heat back up. 
4. Making In Advance – To make mac & cheese in advance, cook the sauce & pasta then store them both separately in the fridge (coat the pasta in a small amount of flavourless oil, to stop it sticking together) for up to 3 days.
To assemble, warm the sauce back up on the stove (add a splash of water if necessarily) then mix in the pasta. Bake in the oven as specified in the recipe.
5. Stock – I like to use chicken stock for it’s deep, meaty flavour but feel free to use veg stock instead, if you’d prefer. A stock cube dissolved in 500ml of boiling water is best!

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