French Onion Soup Mac and Cheese

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When I heard about this dish it made me wonder how French Onion soup would mesh with macaroni and cheese. It turns out to be a tasty dish that my family really enjoys. So, this month, let’s talk about cheese. Here are some interesting cheesy facts:

  • Cheese production predates recorded history beginning over 7,000 years ago.
  • Cheese is one of the most stolen foods in the world. It is estimated that 4% of the world’s cheese ends up stolen.
  • Cheese-rolling is a traditional sport in the English region of Gloucester. The sport consists of rolling a nine-pound round of double Gloucester cheese from the top of a hill with the competitors chasing it to the bottom. The first person across the finish line wins the cheese as a prize.
  • There are more than 2,000 different varieties of cheese around the world.
  • Edam cheese never goes bad. It just gets harder.
  • It takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.
  • Hard cheese has a longer shelf life than soft cheeses even if the package has been opened. Some of the popular hard cheeses are Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago, Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano.
  • The Serbian cheese, Pule, is the most expensive cheese in the world selling for $600-$1000 per pound.

French Onion Soup Mac and Cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Bechamel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 ounces Gruyere, grated
3 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz cream cheese

French Onion “Soup”:
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon (or nonstick spray)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large white onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 cups beef stock
1/4 tsp. Dried thyme
1 pound pasta, cooked al dente (elbow macaroni, ziti, or fusilli work well)
2 cups shredded chicken (you can use rotisserie chicken or boiled chicken breasts)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Topping: Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and set aside.

Bechamel Sauce: Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and stir to combine. Stir constantly, for about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium and whisk in the milk or half-and-half, adding a little at a time, and cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Lower heat, season with the salt and pepper and add Gruyere, Cheddar and cream cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Set aside.

French Onion “Soup:” Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add onions, cover, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove cover, add garlic and honey, and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pot from heat and add sherry. Return to heat and stir to remove browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce sherry by half, then add stock and thyme and cook until almost all liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat.

  • Grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole with the last tablespoon of butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine cooked pasta with onion “soup” mixture and bechamel sauce, and stir well to combine. Transfer pasta to baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumb/Parmesan topping.
  • Bake until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

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