This Carbonara Mac And Cheese Soufflé is the end all of mac and cheese. It’s fluffy, puffy, yummy, gooey, cheesy and creamy pasta with crispy pancetta. Need I say more?
Carbonara Mac And Cheese Soufflé Recipe
One can say this Carbonara Mac And Cheese Soufflé is more than a treat, it’s an experience. Might even make you cry, it’s so good. Not that I’d want you to cry, but it would be tears of joy.
But you might wonder why I call it a soufflé. It’s perfectly simple, my dears. It has eggs, the eggs are separated and the whites are whisked to stiff peaks, and added to the cheese sauce, making this a fluffy, puffy, yummy, gooey, cheesy pasta. Yep, that about describes it. It’s like mac and cheese on steroids.
Why You’ll Love This Carbonara Mac And Cheese Soufflé
- Step-by-Step Recipe! This recipe is much easier than it sounds. If you follow my easy steps you’ll have a carbonara mac and cheese soufflé ready in just an hour.
- Refined Comfort Food! A yummy take on mac and cheese with a bit of pancetta and a fluffy soufflé twist. With this dish, you get the best of fancy food and a homestyle favorite.
- Family Favorite! Pasta, cheese, and porky bits! Your family is going to love this recipe. It will soon become one of their most requested meals.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pasta – Any small shaped pasta will work in this casserole like elbow macaroni, mini shells or penne.
- Pancetta – Our key pork treat, feel free to substitute bacon if that’s what is on hand.
- Milk – I used a higher fat milk today to create a rich creamy sauce, I used 3.25%.
- Eggs – Keep in mind we’re separating our eggs today, so don’t incorporate them whole!
- Cheese – We’re using some super melty and creamy gruyere and white cheddar cheese.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper to taste.
- Nutmeg – The perfect spice addition for this delicious creamy sauce, it helps round it out nicely.
- Butter – Unsalted so as to control the sodium content of our dish.
- Herbs – Fresh parsley all chopped for a little garnish.
How To make Carbonara Mac And Cheese Soufflé
Don’t let the sound of this dish intimidate you! It’s actually pretty easy and a real treat that comes together in just about an hour.
Preheat The Oven And Prep The Dish
To begin, you need to preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C) so that it is ready once the dish is assembled. Then grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish with butter or oil.
Cook The Pasta
Now you need to make the mac part of the mac and cheese! Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Then cook your pasta according to the package directions. Then when done, drain the pasta and set it aside for a later step.
Cook The Pancetta
While the pasta is cooking you can start browning the pancetta. To do this, simply add it to a saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it browns. Then transfer it to a paper towel lined plate to soak up some of the fat.
Prep The Eggs
The eggs are super important to the sauce and souffle part of the dish, so you need to whisk them up! First, separate the whites from the yolks. Then whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using an electric hand mixer will help you do this faster and with much less effort. Now, in another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Then set the eggs aside for now.
Make The Sauce
The sauce is what brings the dish together. You want to use the same pan to make it that you just cooked your pancetta. To begin, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the minced garlic to the pan and cook it for about a minute until it starts foaming and smells aromatic.
Next, sprinkle the flour over the garlic and stir. Then whisk in the milk and cook the mixture for a few minutes until the sauce thickens to the point that coats the back of a wooden spoon. Now, add the nutmeg. Then taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Add The Cheese
Once you’ve formed the sauce, whisk in half of the gruyere and half of the cheddar until it’s fully melted. It’s important that the cheese be fully incorporated into the sauce before you move on to the next step.
Temper The Egg Yolks
Tempering basically means that you are going to bring the sauce and the eggs to a similar temperature before fully combining them. To do this, you’ll whisk three ladles of the sauce one at a time into the egg yolks. This step is done to avoid the eggs from scrambling when you add them to the cheese sauce.
Finish The Sauce
With the egg yolks tempered, now stir them back into the sauce. Then remove the sauce from the heat and gently fold in the egg whites. It’s crucial that you do this carefully so that the egg whites don’t deflate. At this point, you can add the pasta to the sauce and toss it together gently.
Assemble The Dish
Now that all the components are made you can assemble the casserole. First, add half of the pasta coated in sauce to the prepared baking dish. Then sprinkle half of the pancetta over the pasta followed by half of the remaining gruyere and half of the remaining cheddar. Now, add the rest of the pasta and then add the remaining pancetta and cheese.
Bake And Serve
To bake, transfer the casserole to the oven and bake it for 20 minutes until it’s golden and puffed up. If after 20 minutes you’d like it to be more golden you can put it under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
What Is Carbonara?
At its core, this Italian dish is from Rome and is super super simple. It’s made from egg, hard sharp cheese, pepper, and guanciale which is cured pork. If guanciale is a little too hard to find, pancetta or bacon works in a snap. Try my creamy carbonara recipe, you won’t regret it.
What Is A Soufflé?
Soufflés are a French dish that is egg based and notoriously difficult to make. But that reputation couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to this recipe! We’re just separating some eggs today to get a dish that feels both fluffy and light while also being creamy and decadent.
The Best Way To Separate Your Eggs
Just in case you’re a bit of a cooking newbie, here’s some great tips for ensuring that yolk and those whites stay as far away from each other as possible.
- Crack your egg on a flat surface like a counter top. This will ensure that no little bits of egg shell sneak their way in.
- Let the yolk settle in one of the egg shell halves and use the other halve to pass the yolk back and forth.
- Allow the egg white to fall into a bowl before placing the yolk in a separate bowl.
It’s Easier Than You Think!
While you may look at this recipe and think there’s a bit of work involved, it’s still a dish you can have ready in about an hour, and it will be so worth all your effort. It’s so delectable, you can serve this as a side dish, or with a salad, but I simply served this on its own and just savored it. Perfect for lunch or dinner.
- Temper slowly. When adding the sauce to the egg yolks, do it slowly to avoid them becoming scrambled eggs. You’re trying to get them to come to an even temperature.
- Fold in the egg whites. Use a rubber spatula to incorporate the egg whites into the sauce without deflating it.
- Salt your pasta water. You want to salt your pasta water salty like the sea to infuse the pasta with flavor. So you’ll need to add at least a big tablespoon to the cooking water.
- Don’t over-bake. Use a broiler to brown the top more. Do not bake it longer in the oven. Doing so can alter the texture of the dish.
Store carbonara mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but make sure it’s cooled completely before storing it in the fridge.
Yes, you can freeze this pasta dish. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can also store it in a baking dish covered tightly with aluminum foil. Bake, frozen and covered with foil at 350°F for 1 hour.
Other Delicious Pasta Recipes To Try
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Avocado and Spinach Pasta
- Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Easy Pasta Alfredo
Looking for more recipes? Follow on…
Carbonara Mac And Cheese Soufflé
- 12 ounce pasta such as mini pasta shells or elbow macaroni
- 4 ounces pancetta chopped
- 3 eggs divided
- 1 tablespoon butter unsalted
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk I used 3.25%
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ground
- 1½ cups Gruyere cheese shredded
- 1½ cups white cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Butter or grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Add the pancetta to a saucepan and cook until it browns. Remove the pancetta from pan and place over paper towels to soak up some of the fat.
- Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks and set aside.
- Add the butter to the saucepan and melt. Add the minced garlic and cook until it starts foaming and gets aromatic, about a minute. Sprinkle the flour over the garlic and stir. Whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add half the gruyere and half the cheddar cheese to the sauce and continue whisking until the cheese melts.
- Temper the egg yolks by adding a ladle of the sauce at a time to the egg yolks and whisking them, add about 3 ladles of sauce altogether. You want to do this to avoid the eggs from scrambling up when you add them to the cheese sauce.
- Stir in the egg yolk mixture back into the cheese sauce. Remove from heat. Fold the egg whites into the cheese sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss gently.
- Start layering the casserole. First, add half of the pasta coated in sauce to the prepared baking dish. Then sprinkle half of the pancetta over the pasta followed by half of the remaining gruyere and half of the remaining cheddar. Now, add the rest of the pasta and then add the remaining pancetta and cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffed. If you want it more golden you can turn the broiler on and broil the souffle for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Leftovers: Store carbonara mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but make sure it’s cooled completely before storing it in the fridge.
- Freezing: Store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can also store it in a baking dish covered tightly with aluminum foil. Bake, frozen and covered with foil at 350°F for 1 hour.