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5 from 11 votes
Hand with a spoon serving up French onion mac and cheese out of a casserole dish.
French Onion Mac and Cheese
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Ever wish you could make a mac and cheese recipe that you’d become famous for? You know, the one your friends and family would consider your signature dish? Look no further. My famous French Onion Mac and Cheese recipe has got your name written ALL over it, and I’m happily handing it to you so you can become the BBQ side dish star at your local block party! You’re welcome! 🙂

Course: Appetizer or Side Dish, Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked macaroni and cheese casserole, French onion mac and cheese
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 458 kcal
Renee - Kudos Kitchen: Renée
For the caramelized onions;
  • 3 large sweet onions sliced
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other light colored oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the cheese sauce;
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other light colored oil
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese cubed or shredded
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese cubed or shredded
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • pinch coarse salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 pound pasta cooked and drained according to the package directions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

To make the pasta;
  1. Cook the pasta just shy of the package directions. Drain. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, set aside, and keep warm.

To make the caramelized onions;
  1. In a large heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and the sliced onions. Stir well to coat the onions in the oil. Allow the onions to cook without stirring for approximately 5 minutes.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme to the onions and stir well. Continue to cook the onions, stirring only occasionally, until the onions are deeply caramelized and golden brown (approximately 20-25 minutes). 

  3. Remove the onions to a bowl and discard the thyme sprigs. Set the onions aside.

To make the cheese sauce;
  1. Melt the oil and butter in the same large skillet, over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Add half of the milk to the butter-flour mixture (roux) and stir well to combine. Add the remaining milk to the skillet and stir well until the mixture thickens.

  3. Season the thickened sauce with a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper. Add the cubed and shredded cheddar, jack, and mozzarella cheese to the skillet, and stir continually until the cheese is completely melted and creamy.

  4. Add the apple cider vinegar to the cheese sauce along with the caramelized onions, and the cooked and drained pasta. Stir well to combine.

  1. Spoon the French onion macaroni and cheese evenly into a 4-quart casserole dish that has been prepared with cooking spray.

  2. Bake the casserole in a preheated oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the cheese lightly golden and bubbly.

Recipe Notes

This French onion mac and cheese can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. Allow the casserole to come to room temperature before baking as instructed.

The casserole may also be frozen before baking. Cover well and store in a freezer safe casserole dish. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat from frozen, cover and cook for 90 minutes at 350-degrees. Stir well, and then return to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes (if needed).

Nutrition Facts
French Onion Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 458 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 57mg19%
Sodium 629mg27%
Potassium 282mg8%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 565IU11%
Vitamin C 4.5mg5%
Calcium 399mg40%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.