Guy Fieri's Next-Level Mac & Cheese Is a One-Way Ticket to Flavortown

Guy Fieri and his Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese

Guy Fieri is known worldwide for his infectious freewheeling spirit, laugh-out-loud catchphrases and the success of his Flavortown empire, which is made up of restaurants, Emmy Award-winning TV shows, New York Times best-selling cookbooks and of course, Donkey Sauce.

On a personal note, my cousin and I have been strangely obsessed with the Guy for years. We often send each other his hilarious memes and his many intriguing recipes. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I ran across Guy's Mac Daddy Mac 'n' Cheese recipe. As soon as I saw it I knew I needed to give the recipe a try (and text my cousin all about it!). Here's what happened when I made Guy Fieri's macaroni and cheese in my kitchen.

Get the recipe: Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese Recipe

Ingredients for Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese

For this mac and cheese, you need shallots, garlic, olive oil, bacon, flour, heavy cream, fresh thyme, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, black pepper, penne (or another pasta shape; I used shells), panko, melted butter and fresh parsley.

Related: 5 Celebrity Mac and Cheese Recipes You've Gotta Try Now

Ingredients for Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Ingredients for Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

How to Make Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Wrap the shallots and garlic in a tiny foil pouch, drizzling them with olive oil before you wrap them up. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes then carefully remove from the foil and chop them up.

Next, dice and cook your bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Sauté the cooked shallots and garlic in the reserved bacon fat, then add the flour and cook for one more minute. Whisk in the heavy cream and thyme and cook until the mixture is reduced by a third. Add the cheeses and stir until they melt and the sauce is nice and creamy. Season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper, gently stir in the cooked pasta, and transfer the mac and cheese to a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish.

In a small bowl, combine the bacon, panko, parsley and melted butter. Sprinkle that over the mac and cheese and bake uncovered at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Related: Blake Lively's Famous Mac and Cheese Recipe Starts with a Box

Making cheese sauce<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Making cheese sauce

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

What I Thought of Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese

This truly was the platonic ideal of mac and cheese. It had so much to love: a smooth cheese sauce, smokiness from the bacon, and an herbal richness from the fresh thyme steeped in cream. The combination of the pepper jack and cheddar cheese wasn't too rich and the herby panko topping added a great crunch that really took the dish over the top.

What I'm trying to say is that Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese was the ultimate trip to Flavortown. Was it a messy recipe? Yes! Did I have to do a ton of dishes afterward? Also yes! But it was well worth it and I would make this dish again. If there was a way I could virtually send a pan of it to my cousin, I would.

Related: I Tried the Viral Mac & Cheese That Broke the Internet, and It Was the Best I've Ever Tasted

Finished <em>Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese</em><p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Finished Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Tips for Making Guy Fieri's Mac Daddy Mac n' Cheese

  1. Shred your own cheeses. Pre-shredded cheese, while convenient, contain added ingredients that can prevent the cheese from melting properly. By buying blocks of cheese and shredding it yourself your mac and cheese will be the creamiest it can be. Pro tip: If you have a food processor, this is the time to bust out those shredding disks.

  2. Choose your own cheese adventure. Guy says to use pepper jack and cheddar but doesn't specify which type of cheddar, so I grabbed a block of yellow medium cheddar as well as a sharp white to vary the flavor a bit. Feel free to play around with different types of cheese.

  3. Take it easy. Making a smooth cheese sauce that's not gritty requires adding your cream or milk (as well as your cheese later on) on low heat, very slowly while whisking frequently. Having patience here will pay off in the end.

Up next: The Surprising Trick for Making Better Tasting, Never-Ever-Mushy Pasta