Macaroni Pie with Graham Cracker Pepper Streusel

Chef Michael Garrett's Macaroni Pie Recipe

Turn mac and cheese pro with this Epicurious video.

In Epicurious' four levels series, amateur and advanced home cooks prepare a comfort food alongside a pro chef from ICE and a food scientist.

In this episode, Chef-Instructor Michael Garrett prepares a mac and cheese dish inspired by his grandma. He developed the recipe at Red Rooster Harlem when he was executive chef, and he still makes it at home for his kids.

Chef Michael's pro version incorporates brown sugar for caramelization, bacon for smokiness and specific techniques for creaminess and stability. Watch the video to see why he adds in hard cheeses first and the benefit of a bouillie.


Macaroni Pie with Graham Cracker Pepper Streusel


For macaroni pie filling:

  • 1 quart milk, cold
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 30 grams grated nutmeg
  • 30 grams white pepper
  • 54 grams dry mustard powder
  • 54 grams roasted garlic paste
  • 1 pound Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
  • 200 grams Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 gram xanthum gum (optional stabilizer)
  • 45 grams mozzarella, diced
  • 10 ounces elbow macaroni

For graham cracker black pepper streusel:

  • 2 cups graham crackers, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional grains of paradise)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 dashes salt


  1. Prepare the bouillie by placing the flour in a saucepan and gradually whisking in the cold milk to create a smooth paste.
  2. Add nutmeg, white pepper, dry mustard
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add cheese and stir until incorporated.
  5. Add water and optional xanthum gum.
  6. Blend with hand blender or VitaPrep until smooth.
  7. Add to portioned pasta. Place into gratin dish.
  8. For streusel topping, toss all ingredients together with a fork until evenly dispersed. (I like when there’s an even mix of big, boulder-like hunks and smaller, finer crumbs.)
  9. Bake in the oven at 325 F until streusel top browns and cheese inside gratin bubbles.

Study Culinary Arts with Chef Michael at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.

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