Modernist Macaroni and Cheese

Modernist Macaroni and Cheese

One of the other reasons (besides trying to buy a house and move) that you haven’t seen me posting much is that I’ve been doing a lot of research into Modernist cooking. I’ve been cooking sous vide, using sodium citrate for cheese sauces, and even tried my hand (in a spectacular disaster) at spherification. The macaroni and cheese, though, has been an absolute success. It requires an ingredient you can’t typically get at your local grocery store (sodium citrate) but it’s easy enough to order some from Amazon, and a little goes a long way. It also makes for the creamiest cheese sauce you’ve ever had, made with whatever cheeses you like best! So feel free to change the cheeses I use… I’ve found Dubliner and Emmenthaler to make a fantastic mix, personally.

Start by cooking your pasta. Follow the package directions, this part is pretty normal.


Next, combine sodium citrate and milk, stir with a whisk, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (I whisked together first and then heated, which is why you don’t see it in a pot. Skip that step, and just do it in a pot. Save yourself a dish here.)


Once the milk is simmering, add the cheese in batches, blending with an immersion blender until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can whisk the hell out of it, or pour it into a blender, making sure to leave a hole for the steam to escape, and blend it that way, transferring back to the stove to regain a simmer between batches.


Fold cheese sauce into macaroni, and add bacon. Because… bacon.


That’s it! You’re done. The best macaroni and cheese, in 30 minutes.


5 from 1 vote

Modernist Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe adapted from Modernist Cuisine At Home
Course Entree
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Cooking Madly


  • 240 g /2 cups dry macaroni
  • 265 g /1 1/8 cup milk
  • 11 g /2 tesapoons sodium citrate
  • 140 g /2 cups smoked cheddar cheese grated
  • 140 g /2 cups Dubliner cheese grated
  • 225 g /1/2 lb bacon cooked and chopped


  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions.
  2. While the macaroni cooks, combine milk and sodium citrate in a medium pot, whisk to dissolve, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Add cheese to the simmering milk in batches, blending with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  4. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse it. Fold in the cheese sauce and bacon.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • BakoGeek March 18, 2014, 8:10 pm

    I made this according to your measurements using Kraft’s Italian 5-cheese blend. It seems a bit thick as it doesn’t take much cooling to be able to wad some cheese up into a ball. Is this how yours turned out? I’m wondering if I should use more milk.

    • Cooking Madly March 18, 2014, 8:14 pm

      If the blend is primarily hard cheeses like Parmesan and Asiago, that could definitely be it. More milk would definitely help. I’ll look into this issue some and try to get back to you with a definite answer.

    • Sandi April 20, 2014, 2:40 am

      Most commercially grated cheeses have something added to keep the shredded product from clumping, often corn starch. This will mess with the consistency of the sauce. Go large and grate some block cheese by hand and the problem will solve itself.

  • PJ December 26, 2014, 3:58 pm

    Don’t use pre-shredded cheese. It contains anti-caking/sticking ingredients that I suspect fouled up your attempt, BakoGeek.