Is your dinner feeling routine and boring? Mix up dinner with this recipe for Havarti Dill Mac & Cheese! This recipe takes the traditional Mac & Cheese and makes it creamy, flavorful and delicious.
Published June 23, 2023
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What cheese to use?
In the past, cheese has been basic and traditional. Cheddar, Mozzarella and Havarti were made like you have always known them to be. Recently, there has been an insurgence of batch made specialty cheeses that are fun and deliciously made.
While shopping at ALDI recently, there is always a wide selection of cheese, including a new variety of Havarti cheeses. Bring on Havarti Dill and Jalapeno Havarti. These cheeses are great to slice or shred and made into sauces.
A thought came to use this Havarti Dill cheese to make Mac & Cheese with our dinner. This side was perfect with Meatball Subs. Click the link below for the recipe for Meatball Subs.
History of Havarti Cheese
Just like Champaign can only be made in France, Havarti is only produced in Denmark. Hanne Nielsen was a Danish farmer living in the 1800s and traveled Europe to learn about cheesemaking. She returned to her farm and is said to have invented Havarti, and her family’s farm was then named Havarthingaard to honor her contribution with a new type of cheese (1).
Havarti is made like most cheeses, by introducing rennet to milk to cause curdling. The curds are pressed into cheese molds which are then drained, and then the cheese is aged for 3 months. As it is an interior ripening cheese, therefore it is rindless.
The texture of Havarti is smooth and contains small openings through the cheese called eyes, similar to Swiss Cheese, but much smaller.
In 2019, after four years of lobbying to the EU, the Danish Industry was given exclusive rights to produce Havarti Cheese exclusively. Havarti is only produced with milk from Danish cows.
As a certified PGI product, Havarti is amongst a list of agricultural products that are protected based on region and misleading copies. PGI – Protected Geographical Indication – started in 1992 in the EU and have helped maintain the production of products from countries and regions that produce specialized products for sale.
Some of the products that are protected by the PGI are cheese, wine (Produced in a specific region), spirits (e.g.: Ouzo, Grappa), aromatized drinks (e.g.: Sangria, Vermouth).
For more information on the EU and their goals to protect agriculture and products, visit the European Commission or click the link below.
Recipe for Havarti Dill Mac & Cheese
Ingredients for Havarti Dill Mac & Cheese
6 qt Water
4 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Dill
16-oz Havarti Dill Cheese
1-2 cups Reserved Pasta Water
2 cups Milk
2 tsp Chicken Soup Base or vegetable base
Directions for Havarti Dill Mac & Cheese
1. Place a 6-Quart pot on the stove, filled with water, and then bring to a boil.
2. Cook the elbow pasta according to the package directions. Make sure to stir the pasta while it cooks to avoid clumping pasta.
Feel free to make half a box if you desire, however, we love leftovers so the whole box was made! Leftovers, and making a big batch of food, helps us to cut the cost of meals down. Pasta is generally inexpensive and helps to keep our food budget on track.
3. When the pasta is cooked, collect 1-2 cups of the starchy pasta water and then strain the pasta into a sink colander. When collecting the starchy pasta water, make sure to use a heat-safe measuring cup, like this PYREX one. Not only are they microwave safe, but they have three sizes for a variety of uses.
4. Shred the Havarti Dill cheese in a Cuisinart food processor or use a box grater. Harder cheeses are easier to process with a food processor while soft cheeses are easier with a box grater.
The Havarti Cheese was very soft, so using a box grater was easy to do.
Not sure if you are using a Hard or a Soft Cheese? Check out this amazing diagram below.
5. Melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter in the 6-Quart pot and then add 4 Tbsp flour and whisk the flour into the butter well, making sure to cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.
Cooking the flour is important so the flour is not eaten raw. Since 2009, there have been many outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with raw flour, according to the FDA.
6. Measure and then add 1 Tablespoon Dill to the pan and mix well into the flour mixture.
If you are using plain Havarti Cheese, then use Dill added to the cheese mixture.
If using Havarti Dill Cheese, then this step is optional.
7. Add 1 tsp chicken broth base per 1 cup of starchy pasta water, whisk to blend and then slowly add the water to the flour mixture and then whisk well to combine.
Starchy pasta water helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
Additionally, you can choose to use vegetable stock or vegetable soup base.
8. Measure and then add 1-2 cup milk to the sauce in the pot and whisk together well.
9. Add the Havarti Dill shredded cheese, one handful at a time, and whisk to blend until all of the cheese is blended well into the sauce.
Add the drained pasta back to the 6-Quart pot and then use a large spoon to mix well.
Finally, serve the Homemade Mac and Cheese and enjoy!
Havarti Dill Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 6-Quart Pot
- Sink Colander
- Measuring Cup
- 6 qt Water
- Elbow Pasta
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 4 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Tbsp Dill
- Havarti Cheese
- 1-2 cups Reserved Pasta Water
- 2 cups Milk
- 2 tsp Chicken Soup Base or vegetable base
- Place a 6-Quart pot on the stove, filled with water, and then bring to a boil.
- Cook the elbow pasta according to the package directions.
- When the pasta is cooked, collect 1-2 cups of the starchy pasta water and then strain the pasta into a sink colander.
- Shred the Havarti cheese in a Cuisinart food processor.
- Melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter in the 6-Quart pot and then add 4 Tbsp flour and whisk the flour into the butter well, making sure to cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.
- Measure and then add 1 Tablespoon Dill to the pan and mix well into the flour mixture.
- Add 1 tsp chicken broth base per 1 cup of starchy pasta water, whisk to blend and then slowly add the water to the flour mixture and then whisk well to combine.
- Then add 1-2 cup milk to the sauce in the pot and whisk together well.
- Add the Havarti shredded cheese, one handful at a time, and whisk to blend until all of the cheese is blended well into the sauce.
- Add the drained pasta back to the 6-Quart pot and then use a large spoon to mix well.
- Finally, serve the Homemade Mac and Cheese and enjoy!
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