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Poole’s Macaroni Au Gratin

Poole's Macaroni Au Gratin

Cheddar is the predominant cheese flavor in Chef Ashley Christensen’s mac ‘n‘ cheese, but a handful of Grana Padano adds a pleasant sharpness and Jarlsberg lends its classic mellow nuttiness.
Servings 6


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ½ pound macaroni cooked al dente and drained
  • 3 cups shredded white cheddar divided
  • 1 cup shredded Jarlsberg divided
  • 1 cup shredded Grana Padano divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Simmer the cream in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, until it has reduced by a quarter. Lower the heat to medium. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cooked macaroni and ¾ cup each of the white cheddar, Jarlsberg, and Grana Padano.
  • Set an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler, and preheat the broiler. Transfer the macaroni mixture to a large baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Jarlsberg, Grana Padano, and white cheddar evenly on top.
  • Place the dish under the broiler and broil for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the heat of your oven. Watch it carefully; you will need to rotate the dish to create an evenly browned crust. Remove the gratin from the oven and season with the black pepper. Serve promptly.

Chef Ashley Christensen

Since making Raleigh her home, Ashley Christensen has sought to foster community through food, philanthropy and the stimulation of the city’s downtown neighborhood. She is chef and owner of Poole's Diner. Ashley’s work has gained national attention from such publications as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, The New York Times, Southern Living and Garden & Gun. She has appeared on Food Network’s popular series Iron Chef America and MSNBC’s Your Business. In 2014, Ashley was awarded the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southeast.”

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