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Jan 27, 2008 04:07 AM

Whole foods macaroni and cheese recipe?

I am a fan of the macaroni and cheese that is available at Whole Foods, but not a fan of the price tag. I am sure I could replicate it at home but am wondering if anyone has suggestions? Whole Foods prints the ingredient list (not the recipe!) with all the prepared food they sell, and for the Mac and cheese it mentions ricotta cheese, cream, cheddar, parmigiano, but does not mention milk and flour. No flour-butter-milk roux?
Wondering if any chowhounds know their Mac and Cheese and can guess their method. Thanks!

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  1. Have you checked their cookbook? They have a lot of the recipes from the store in the book. They sell the cookbook at the store, so you can check it out next time you are there. They also have a few macaroni and cheese recipes on their website. Not sure if any are the same you are describing though.

      1. re: Antilope

        Tee hee, just my hunch but both of those recipes look WAY more healthy than the stuff they actually serve in their hot food bar, which is totally decadent and greasy!

        1. re: saucydiva

          I agree with you. Why is it all the things that taste so good are so bad for you? ;-)

        2. re: Antilope

          Here's a different Whole Foods Macaroni and Cheese than what is on their recipe web pages today:

          Whole Foods Macaroni and Cheese recipe - April 2001 to Mar 16 2006 in Wayback Machine

          1. re: Antilope

            this is not the recipe for the mac and cheese they serve at the hot bar. it just can't be. so the other day i checked out the ingredient list and there's no way that it's just cheese added to a pan of pasta. i think the person who told me this was out of touch with reality. what i do think is the WF gets a prepackaged 'white sauce' which contains the spices and the other gazillion ingredients in the mac and cheese. all they do is boil the shells and then add in cheese and sauce.

        3. Okay, I called Whole Foods and kind of sweet talked the young cook to spill the beans on the mac & cheese. I can't say it's perfect, but you might be able to play around with the ingredients and get close.

          Start with a packaged (jar?) of alfredo sauce. Add parmesan cheese and asiago cheese. Usually done over heat to melt the cheese. They add something called Franks hot sauce he said. It's like a chicken wing sauce and they don't add much, like a capful for that big pan.

          Pour heated sauce over prepared noodles and blend well. Place in oven safe cookware, layer with a cheddar/mozzeralla blend and top with breadcrumbs. Bake (he didn't say temp) for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

          I hope that helps! I'm going to try too because I absolutely LOVE their mac and cheese!

          1 Reply
          1. re: HeatherC0320

            Thanks for sluething this.

            Man smart. Woman smarter!

          2. i'm reviving this old post bc i too am interested in getting this recipe. the two below listed by antilope is definitely not the recipe for the mac and cheese at the hot bar. so i asked one of the chefs putting out the food and she said they don't make a roux and it's just cheese and water in a pan. after the cheese melts you dump some macaroni into it.

            really? well i tried that and it was a mess. i tried the method below with the alfredo sauce and it was ok but had a weird taste.

            so i guess my question is does anyone know how to make a cheese sauce just with cheese and water? or milk?

            1 Reply
            1. re: trolley

              The quest continues.

              I too am a huuuuge fan of Whole Foods' steam table mac and cheese. In our store they serve it alongside the slow roasted pork, beef brisket, chicken and cole slaw and it is all I can do to walk past it whenever I shop there. It's evilicious.

              It clearly has something it with flour because it has a custardy quality when it cools so it's not just cheese and water. It would make sense that they just add some packaged/jarred alfredo sauce to it as that would be easy and efficient, and it's probably some brand that they already sell on the shelf so I have to go look and see what they have. It would not be too much of it at all...less than a cup per pound of cooked pasta I will bet.

              I made a simple mac and cheese using parm/asiago, a roux of half and half and flour, Frank's Hot Sauce (a VERY key has a wonderfully warm flavor and we use it my house by the pint) and chedder/mozz on top. It's close to WF...very close. The alfredo sauce in place of the cream/flour roux is my next experiment. I'll report back!

            2. I googled it and it appears there may be some truth to the jarred alfredo sauce + cheese thing. On their catering menu page they describe the mac & cheese they offer as:

              "Tender macaroni tossed with Alfredo sauce, cheddar, jack and Parmesan cheeses and then baked with breadcrumbs. $39.99 serves 8-10"


              I'm going to try this myself and add the franks hot sauce as suggested.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrs.corgi

                Has anyone cracked this recipe yet? I grabbed a label and have a list of ingredients which includes Bechamel so it seems they do use a roux.