Emeril's Best Mac 'n' Cheese Ever Challenge Recipes

Emeril announced the winner of America's favorite mac'n'cheese recipe.

ByABC News via GMA logo
February 14, 2008, 12:56 PM

Feb. 29, 2008 — -- This morning on "Good Morning America," Emeril Lagasse announced the winner of his Best Mac 'n' Cheese Ever Challenge: Laura Macek!

Some say it has been the most heated contest in America, presidential politics included.

Even Gov. Mike Huckabee weighed in with his endorsement when Robin Roberts won the anchors' round.

Thousands of "Good Morning America" viewers submitted their recipes, and we narrowed it down to five worthy challengers. You voted and helped to pick the winner.

Finally today, after weeks of suspense, Emeril revealed that Macek had won the competition!

Macek joined Emeril live on the show, along with semifinalists Princess Thompson and Gwen Richardson.

After winning the official cheese trophy, Macek showed Emeril how to recreate her decadent cavatappi, gruyere and cheddar creation.

You can find all five semifinalists' recipes below:



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1 stick butter

3 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot cayenne pepper sauce

1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped very fine

Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

3 extra-large eggs

4 cans evaporated milk

2 10 oz. blocks of extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 8 oz. block of Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, grated

6 disposable tinfoil muffin pans

Cooking spray



This recipe started with me growing up watching my Grandma Helen make a version of this recipe on Sundays. I remember being so excited helping crack the eggs, watching it go in the oven and when it hit the plate. I've tweaked it over the years and now my kids beg me to make it. I've had people taste it once and two years later still talking about it. This is the right mixture of love and cheese and once you taste you'll want to Smack Yo Mamma and say, "Why didn't you ever make macaroni and cheese like this?"

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8 T. butter, divided

1 lb. medium shrimp cut in thirds

1 tsp. cajun seasoning, divided

1 T. grated onion

3 T. flour

3 cups milk

1/2 lb. Swiss cheese (grated)

1/2 lb. cheddar cheese (grated)

1 lb. pepper Jack cheese (grated and divided)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tsp. parsley

1/4 cup breadcrumbs


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3 heaping tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon spicy mustard

1/4 teaspoon pepper

5 shakes Louisiana hot sauce (I'm sure any hot sauce would do)

5 cups half and half *

¼ cup butter

2 ½ cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I use Kraft Cracker Barrel)

2 ½ cups Kraft Deli Deluxe American, sliced crosswise **

1 cup crushed barbecue potato chips

Dried parsley

Hungarian Paprika


Makes approximately 6-12 servings, depending on your family and how hungry they are. Comes out great reheated the next day too, just add milk or if you have extra cheese sauce, just hold it over for reheating if you have any leftovers!

* You might need to add an extra ¼ cup milk to thin out the white sauce, sometimes it's too thick.
** Kraft Deli Deluxe is the best cheese for it you can change to any American cheese and I'm sure it's fine, but it's always perfect with the Deli Deluxe.