Citrus Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese – Updated!

Citrus zest and rosemary were made to be included in the cheesy goodness of macaroni and cheese.Citrus Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese | A Nerd Cooks

I was somewhat skeptical of this recipe when I first saw it, but was intrigued nonetheless.  I mean, I think that rosemary makes enough sense, but citrus flavors in mac and cheese?

It totally works.  Trust.  You can also mix it up based on the citrus that you have on hand.  I just happened to have lemons and oranges in the house, but grapefruit zest would probably be pretty great too.Citrus Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese | A Nerd Cooks

I blogged about this this mac and cheese before, and my original post can be found here.

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb short cut pasta (I used whole wheat mini shells here)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz shredded cheese*
  • 2.5 oz shredded parmesan cheese

*I’ve used a mix of cheddar and gruyere, and also all cheddar. It’s all good.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package, but undercook it by just a couple of minutes.  Drain and set aside.

In the same pot that was used to cook the pasta, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk together.  Cook the roux for about 30 seconds.

While whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk in.  Whisk occasionally until the white sauce starts to thicken up.  Add the citrus zest, rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Whisk to combine.  Add the cheese (not the parmesan) and whisk until it is melted into the sauce.  Taste and adjust your seasonings as needed.

Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat everything.  Pour it into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the shredded parmesan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until everything is bubbly and lightly browned.  Let it cool for a few minutes before digging in.

Citrus Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese | A Nerd CooksCitrus Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese | A Nerd Cooks

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