Looking for an easy copycat Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese recipe? This dish is perfect for a weekend night with friends or family. It’s simple to make and can be enjoyed by all. In just about 30 minutes, you can enjoy creamy and cheesy mac and cheese perfection!
This recipe is easy to follow and only takes a few minutes to prepare. The sauce is creamy and cheesy, and the pasta is perfectly cooked.
There are many reasons to love baked macaroni and cheese. It is a classic comfort food that is simple to make and always delicious.
The sauce can be made with a variety of different cheeses, making it a versatile dish that can be tailored to your taste. It is also a great dish to serve for a crowd!
This copycat Longhorn steakhouse mac and cheese recipe is just what you need to impress your family and friends. This dish is easy to make, yet it tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. The recipe calls for simple ingredients that are likely already in your pantry.
- Cavatappi pasta has a ribbed corkscrew shape that makes this dish look more decadent.
- Cheese is the key ingredient for the sauce! A blend of gruyere cheese, fontina cheese, cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese is used.
- Half and half makes a richer cream sauce by providing more fat than the standard milk based sauce.
- Flour is used to make a roux sauce base.
- Panko breadcrumbs add a crispy coating to the top of the dish.
- Butter is needed to grease the baking dish, make the roux, and blend into the breadcrumbs.
- Bacon adds more flavor and crunch to the top of the casserole.
- Seasoning is provided with a little bit of smoked paprika and ground black pepper.
Note: The full list of ingredients with amounts used is in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This CopyCat Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Recipe is easy to follow and will have you feeling like a culinary genius! The recipe yields a rich and creamy sauce that coats every noodle. The best part is, this mac and cheese can be made in about a half hour!
Prepare oven, pasta, and baking dish
If your pasta isn’t pre-cooked, you’ll need to boil salted water and allow the noodles to cook until al dente. While the pasta cooks, preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan with butter.
Make cheese sauce
Butter and flour are combined first for the roux based sauce.
Half and half is then added to the sauce slowly stirring until the mixture bubbles and thickens over medium heat.
Once removed from the heat, the cheese and spices are stirred in.
When the cheese is completely melted, the cooked and drained pasta is then mixed in.
The cheese coated pasta is then spread into the greased baking pan.
The panko bread crumbs are combined with butter in a small bowl and then sprinkled over the pasta mixture.
Finely chopped cooked bacon is sprinkled over the bread crumbs.
The dish is then baked until the topping is golden brown, about twenty minuts.
- Cook the pasta al dente in salted boiling water according to the package directions.
- Gently heat the half and half to make sure it doesn’t boil. The milk can burn easily so whisk it continuously as it heats up.
- Add the grated cheese in stages. Let each batch of cheese melt before adding in the next one.
- Top the casserole with additional cheese. There’s no need to be light on the cheese. Make the top extra gooey by sprinkling on your favorite grated cheese on top.
For a change of taste, you can add in some meat. Our favorite is to make a smoked pulled pork mac and cheese when we have leftover meat from dinner.
The key difference between steakhouse mac and cheese and regular mac and cheese is the quality of the ingredients. Steakhouse mac and cheese uses higher quality, more expensive ingredients, such as gruyere cheese, whereas regular mac and cheese typically uses cheaper ingredients, such as cheddar cheese.
There are about 610 calories in a typical serving of Longhorn mac and cheese. The dish is high in saturated fat and sodium, so it’s best to enjoy it only occasionally.
The cheese sauce for steakhouse mac and cheese is made with a blend of gruyere, cheddar, fontina, and parmesan cheeses.
Want a few more easy comfort foods to enjoy at home? These are some of our family favorites.
- Shrimp fried cauliflower rice is a tasty veggie dish that doesn’t taste like a vegetable side.
- Green bean casserole is a classic holiday side dish that can be enjoyed year round.
- Pan fried chicken thighs in tomato sauce is an easy weeknight skillet dish.
- Smoked salmon frittata can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Eggplant lasagna is made without pasta making it low-carb and keto-friendly.
Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound Cavatappi pasta cooked and drained
- 6 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 2/3 cup Gruyere cheese shredded
- 2/3 cup Fontina cheese shredded
- 2/3 cup Cheddar cheese grated
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices bacon cooked until crisp and crumpled into bits
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot (large enough to hold sauce and pasta) over medium heat. Whisk in flour to combine. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly to make a roux. Slowly whisk in half and half. Keep whisking and cooking until mixture bubbles and thickens. It should be the consistency of pancake batter, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Stir in cheeses and spices. Mix until cheeses are completely melted.
- Fold pasta into cheese sauce. Toss to coat.
- Pour mac and cheese mixture into buttered baking dish. Spread smooth.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix melted butter into breadcrumbs.
- Top mac n cheese with buttered breadcrumbs and crumpled bacon bits.
- Bake 20 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown.