4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made 4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made (2024)

by Emily Tyra | Feb 24, 2023 | Counties, , Towns

4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made 4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made (1)

These hands-down favorite recipes—prepared with bountiful amounts of creamy, melty Michigan-made cheese—check all the comfort boxes.

This is a web original article from the team at MyNorth Media and Traverse Northern Michigan. Want to read recent print stories? View our print subscriptionanddigital subscriptionoptions and have Traverse delivered to your door or inbox each month.

There comes a time to indulge in the cheesiest. Ever. We have you covered with a warm goat cheese appetizer, cheesy potatoes bubbling in a cast iron skillet, raclette-cloaked Brussels sprouts, or a crumb-topped mac with a special ingredient.

Goat Cheese Marinara

The creator of this recipe, wine aficionado and cross-country skier Rob Crandell of Elk Rapids, knows food tastes even better after you are out in the snow all day—so he likes to re-warm the jammy tomato sauce and creamy goat cheese outside on a portable grill or small bonfire for an après ski snack. A hot oven works, too, of course.

For a local and award-winning goat cheese option, we love tangy, smooth Idyll Pastures garlic and herb from Northport’s hillside creamery, Idyll Farms.


• 1 onion chopped
• 2 cloves garlic minced
• 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
• 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (such as San Marzano)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon thyme
• 4-ounce log or round of goat cheese (try Idyll Farms plain or garlic and herb)
• Herbes de Provence
• Baguette or boule of quality bread

4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made 4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made (2)

Photo by Todd Zawistowski


Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and cook on low for 3 hours to reduce and concentrate flavors. Place tomato mixture in small baking dish and set goat cheese on top; sprinkle with a dash of herbes de Provence and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until it becomes the consistency of a spread.

Slice the baguette or cut/tear the boule into bite-size pieces. Serve bread with the warm marinara and goat cheese.

Brussels Sprouts and Raclette Gratin

Beautiful bright Brussels in a warm blanket of local raclette cheese you say? Then I guess we’re not getting out from under the covers today.

Thank you to John and Anne Hoyt, founders and former owners of Leelanau Cheese in Suttons Bay for this crave-worthy recipe. The Hoyts—and now their successors, master cheesemakers Joshua Hall and Gary Smith—specialize in cave-aged raclette.


• 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed of outer leaves and halved
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 3 shallots, peeled, halved, and sliced
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 ¾ cup whole milk
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
• 6 ounces Leelanau Cheese raclette, grated, divided (or enough to yield 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a large ovenproof gratin dish. Prepare an ice water bath. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add salt. Blanch Brussels sprouts 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, shock briefly in ice water bath to stop cooking, drain again, and set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat in medium saucepan and add shallots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour to butter-shallot mixture and stir with a wooden spoon about 1 minute to make a roux. Add milk and stir until roux is incorporated into milk. Cook over medium-low heat for several minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in half the cheese and stir to incorporate into sauce. Spoon Brussels sprouts into prepared gratin dish, cover with cheese sauce, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 25–30 minutes until top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6–8 as a side dish.

Boss Mouse Mac & Cheese

This creamy, custardy, crunchy recipe was born at Boss Mouse Cheese, cheesemaker Sue Kurta’s storybook farm in Kingsley. This dish uses one glorious pound of freshly grated Boss Mouse sharp cheddar and gets added richness from a dab of her handmade, cold-smoked butter.

4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made 4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made (4)

• 1 pound elbow macaroni
• 1 pound Boss Mouse sharp cheddar
• 8 ounces cream cheese
• 2 heaping tablespoons Boss Mouse smoked butter
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 1/8–1/4 cup half & half or milk
• 1/4–1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
• Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain macaroni. Cut cheddar into cubes or shred. Over low heat, add butter, cheeses, eggs, milk, salt and pepper to the macaroni. Pour into greased dish (recipe fits a 9×13-inch rectangular casserole pan or a 3-quart casserole dish). Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes. Recipe serves 8.

The Ultimate Up North Cheesy Potatoes Recipe

To take these creamy potatoes with their gilded crust over the top, we like the sharp and edgy, but still supremely melty Michigan-made Pinconning cheeses found the specialty dairy case at most Northern Michigan grocers. After their turn in the oven, these gooey-good potatoes need a bit of crunch and a kiss of additional saltiness. Add a few crushed Great Lakes Kettle Cooked Originals made with Michigan potatoes cooked in small batches.

4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made 4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made (5)

Photo by Dave Weidner

Ingredient List:

• 4 tablespoons butter (plus additional for greasing skillet)
• 1 teaspoon ground mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups grated sharp Pinconning OR cheddar cheese
• 1 1/2 cups grated mild Pinconning OR mild cheddar cheese (divided)
• 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
• 3/4 cup crushed potato chips
• Minced chives
• Additional fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat, add spices and garlic and cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Whisk in flour, cook while whisking 3 minutes.

Whisk in milk, smoothing out any lumps. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Gradually stir in 2 cups sharp Pinconning (or sharp cheddar) and 1 cup mild Pinconning (or mild cheddar). Add potatoes and toss to coat. Simmer in sauce for 5 minutes.

Pour potatoes into a well-buttered 12-inch cast iron skillet. Top with remaining 1/2 cup mild cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan, and bake, loosely covered with foil for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and potatoes are tender. Carefully remove from oven (handle and pan are hot!). Sprinkle with crushed potato chips, chives and thyme. Serves 8–10.

More Northern Michigan Recipes

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4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made 4 of the Cheesiest Recipes We’ve Ever Made (2024)


What are the 4 ingredients of a basic cheese? ›

Natural cheese is made from four basic ingredients including milk, salt, a “good bacteria” and rennet, an enzyme. From there, cheesemakers can adjust the basic recipe by adding other ingredients to make all of the cheeses we know and love.

What is the most popular cheese dish? ›

Most Popular Cheese Dishes in USA

Macaroni and Cheese: The ultimate cheesy comfort food, macaroni and cheese is a staple in American households. Whether baked or stovetop-style, this dish combines creamy melted cheese with tender pasta for a satisfyingly gooey experience.

What ingredients do you need to make cheese? ›

Most types of cheese only need two or three ingredients, milk, cultures and rennet. These simple ingredients will ripen the milk, form curds and whey and add flavor to the finished cheese. Finding good milk will help you create fantastic cheese.

What is the number 1 hated food? ›

The most hated food title goes to the anchovy, with 50% of those polled saying they hated the fish. Of that number, 58% of anchovy haters were women and 43% were men. With Halloween coming up, it might be prudent to stock up on any candy other than black licorice.

What are the 5 cheeses? ›

Nearly any cheese fits into these 5 simple categories: fresh, soft-ripened, washed-rind, pressed, and blue.

Can you make cheese out of 2 milk? ›

Any type of a2 Milk® will work well for a simple cheese recipe. Using non-fat milk may result in less creamy cheese, so most recipes call for 2% or whole milk. We recommend using a2 Milk® 2% reduced fat or Whole to make high-quality, delicious cheese that the entire family can enjoy.

What is the most delicious cheese ever? ›

10 Best Cheeses of the World
  • Epoisses AOC French Cheese. ...
  • Valencay With Ash French Goat Cheese. ...
  • Camembert du Bocage French Cheese. ...
  • Brillat Savarin Fresh French Cheese. ...
  • French White Winter Truffle Butter Roll. ...
  • Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Italian Cheese, Aged 24 Months. ...
  • Perlagrigia Italian Truffle Cheese.

What is the 2nd most popular cheese? ›

Cheddar. Cheddar cheese is a type of semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk. Originating from the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England, this cheese is the second most popular cheese in America (right after Mozzarella) and the most popular cheese in the United Kingdom.

Who is most famous for cheese? ›

France. France is the destination of choice for cheese lovers. With over 400 varieties of cheese, the country is famous worldwide for its cheese-making expertise and cheese diversity.

Is cheese a fat or protein? ›

Bottom line: Although cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium, it is also rich in calcium and protein, and some fermented types contain probiotics. One can enjoy a modest amount of cheese as part of a healthful diet, but how it is eaten is key.

How is cheese mad3? ›

Curdling the milk: Add rennet to cause a reaction that curdles the milk, creating curds. Cutting the curd: Next, the cheesemaker slices the curd with knives and heats it to separate the curds and whey. Processing the curd: Cheesemakers stir, cook and wash the curd to acidify and dry them.

What makes cheese cheesy? ›

Cheese is a fermented food—just like beer, kombucha, kimchi and yogurt, to name a few. To produce it, cheese-makers add bacteria to milk. The bacteria chow down on the sugars present in the milk, transforming them into lactic acid—which helps give cheese (and other foods, like sourdough bread) its tangy taste.

What is the most disliked cheese in the world? ›

Casu martzu (Sardinian: [ˈkazu ˈmaɾtsu]; lit. 'rotten/putrid cheese'), sometimes spelled casu marzu, and also called casu modde, casu cundídu and casu fràzigu in Sardinian, is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese that contains live insect larvae (maggots).

What is the most famous dish ever? ›

​Pizza​ Italian pizza is probably the most famous food in the world.

What is the oldest dish we still eat? ›

The World's 10 Oldest Dishes And Where They Are Today
  • Indian curry, circa 2200-2500 B.C. ...
  • Pancakes, circa 11650 B.C. ...
  • Linzer Torte, circa 1653. ...
  • Tamales, circa 5000 B.C. ...
  • Burgers, circa 100 century A.D. ...
  • Mesopotamian Stew, circa 2140 B.C., and bone broth, circa 400 B.C. ...
  • Rice dishes, circa 4530 B.C. ...
  • Beer, circa 3500 B.C.
Sep 2, 2023

What is the most unliked food? ›

“While the list of divisive foods is long, let's focus on the top three hated foods—anchovies, black licorice, and oysters—and what makes each seemingly controversial for American palates.

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