What could be better than regular mac and cheese, you ask? How about truffled mac and cheese pizza speckled with fresh chives?
Mac and cheese pizza is a polarizing topic. To some, it's a starch-loaded food crime; to others, it's the blissful marriage of two classic favorites. And if the only mac and cheese pizza you've ever had or seen came from a late-night by-the-slice joint, then I totally understand why you might be rolling your eyes at me right now.
When it's done wrong, it shines with pools of grease and tastes like spongy, water-logged cardboard. But . . . oh, man . . . when it's done right, it's a luscious treat that makes you feel giddy and a little devilish—the perfect demonstration of so-wrong-it's-right.
For my first attempt at mac and cheese pizza, I wanted to make sure that the cheese sauce had enough flavor to stand up against the crust in every bite. I had no interest in making something that was decadent just for the sake of being decadent. Truffle oil instantly came to mind, and after some research I patched together a stovetop mac and cheese recipe that, if I do say so myself, is sublime. (Seriously. If you don't attempt the whole pizza, at least try making the mac and cheese. You owe yourself that much.)
This is what every mac and cheese pizza strives to be: Rich and creamy but not too heavy, crispy and caramelized on top, with a hint of elegance from the subtle truffle-y flavor.
Truffled Mac and Cheese Pizza
- Large pot
- Small saucepan
- Medium saucepan
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni pasta
- 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup), divided
- 4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup), divided
- 1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. If you're using a baking stone/steel, place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating. Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes.
To make the mac and cheese
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and toss with the truffle oil.
- Pour the milk into a small saucepan and warm it over medium-low heat just until it gets hot and steamy, being careful not to let it boil.
- In a separate, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until it forms a smooth, bubbly paste. (Be careful not to let it brown.) Pour in the hot milk and whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the paprika, mustard, ¾ cup of the Cheddar, and ¾ cup of the fontina. Stir until the cheeses are completely melted, then add the chives, heavy cream, and pasta, scraping any extra oil from the bottom of the pot. Mix gently until well combined, then taste and season with additional salt, pepper, and truffle oil as desired.
To make the pizza
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Brush the dough lightly with olive oil and parbake it for 3 to 5 minutes or just until the edges of the crust begin to brown. Remove the crust from the oven.
- Spoon the mac and cheese onto the par-baked crust and spread it out, leaving a ½-inch border of dough all around. To avoid overloading the crust, use just enough mac and cheese to make a ¼- to ½-inch-thick later. (Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.) Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of Cheddar and ¼ cup of fontina over top.
- Return the pizza to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the crust is blistered and the cheese begins to brown in spots. Transfer the cooked pizza to a cutting board.
- Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
Looking for more decadent pizza recipes? Here's a few that will definitely satisfy: