French Onion Mac n' Cheese Recipe | PBS Food

French Onion Mac n’ Cheese

Two classic comfort foods unite in a bowl of cheesy, carb-driven comfort. (Recipe Credit: Adrianna Adarme of Fresh Tastes)


Yield: 4 to 6 servings



  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 whole milk
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. When warm, add the onion slices and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and caramelized. Remove and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Pour in the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 5 to 6 minutes, or as directed per the instructions on the package of pasta.
  3. To a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, add the butter and flour. Cook the roux, until the butter melts and a paste forms. Whisk in the 2 1/2 cups of milk and bring the sauce to a very slight boil, whisking the entire time, and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the milk mixture to cool for about 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese. If it’s a bit too thick, you can add a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk. Give it a taste and add salt to taste; I added about 2 teaspoons of salt.
  4. To the pot, add the macaroni and toss with the cheesy sauce. Give it another taste and adjust the salt to taste (I added a bit more). Lastly, add the caramelized onion and stir. Serve immediately and garnish with black pepper.
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