Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey
Prep Time
30 Mins
Cook Time
28 Mins
Bake Time
22 Mins
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Decadent is the only word to describe this top-rated mac 'n' cheese of John's City Diner in Birmingham. The smoked gouda adds marvelous flavor, but you can substitute regular gouda.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake breadcrumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes or until golden, stirring once after 2 1/2 minutes.

Step 2

Cook prosciutto, in batches, in a lightly greased large skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until crisp. Drain on paper towels; crumble.

Step 3

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Step 4

Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add shallot, and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add wine, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of Dutch oven, and cook 1 minute.

Step 5

Gradually whisk in flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and next 4 ingredients; cook, whisking constantly, 12 to 14 minutes or until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Remove and discard bay leaf.

Step 6

Place 4 cups (16 oz.) Cheddar cheese in a large heatproof bowl. Reserve remaining Cheddar cheese for another use. Add Gouda and Parmesan cheeses to bowl.

Step 7

Gradually pour white sauce over cheeses, whisking until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth.

Step 8

Stir in pasta and prosciutto until blended. Pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Step 9

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately.

Step 10

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Fiorucci Riserva Prosciutto and Cracker Barrel Vermont White Sharp Cheddar.

Step 11

No-Bake Not Yo' Mama's Mac 'n' Cheese: Omit breadcrumbs. Prepare recipe as directed in Steps 2 through Stir pasta, prosciutto, and cheeses into white sauce. Serve immediately.

Step 12


Step 13

Note: Don't use preshredded cheese; it doesn't melt as smoothly. You can shred the cheese and crisp the prosciutto up to one day ahead and chill. You can also toast the breadcrumbs ahead and store them in a zip-top plastic bag.

John's City Diner, Birmingham, Alabama

Ratings & Reviews

portland's Review

March 04, 2014
although this recipe is good, it didn't seem especially decadent, given the ingredients. the smoked gouda is excellent and i will try substituting it in my favorite mac 'n' cheese recipe.

kellyconn77's Review

October 21, 2013

ClaudiaCrisan86's Review

May 14, 2013

1emeraldcook's Review

February 23, 2013
Since it is the end of the mon and we have more than expended our food budget, I substituted Monteray Jack for the Gouda. If the Gouda makes it better than this version, we are in for a real treat next time.

JoAnn75's Review

May 08, 2012
I have made this recipe three times for different get togethers and its been a hit every single time!! Everyone keeps asking for the recipe. Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I've tried other mac n cheese recipes and none come close to this one in flavor and pure yumminess. If you're a cheese lover you will love, love this recipe!

goldenj2003's Review

February 23, 2012

KimandRae's Review

January 04, 2011
FAB-U-LOUS!!!! Didn't have prosciutto so I used plain ole' bacon! This recipe is to die for!!! It has been requested for next week already! (We just finished eating!!)

Florida1mom's Review

February 10, 2010
This is the best mac'n'cheese ever! I have made this at least 10 times. I bring this to parties and it is the first dish gone. Everyone loves it. The smoked gouda is great. I wouldn't change a thing. The only suggestion I have is once the milk has thickened, remove from heat, add cheeses and proscuitto and then pasta and follow rest of directions as written. No need for another dish to wash.

edbj24's Review

March 01, 2009
Excellent! Easy to make and received rave reviews from family. 8 serving sizes is deceiving as this makes a lot of food as it is very rich.

sweety1786's Review

December 18, 2008
This is a great recipe. I found the gouda flavor to be a bit strong, so I used slightly less than it called for and added extra white cheddar. Otherwise, it is perfect!