The Secret Ingredient In Disney's Mac And Cheese Is A Total Game-Changer

We'd like to think that Mickey Mouse came up with it — it's just that good. Like us, you've probably tried all the tricks to making the creamiest mac and cheese ever. We've added yogurt, mascarpone, cottage cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, and burrata. We would never, ever, add anything less than whole milk. And we certainly don't skimp out on the seasonings. Nutmeg, cayenne, and mustard powder are absolute musts. 

But Disney's recipe, which it shared with the world at its 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, is a game-changer for many reasons — one of those being its secret ingredient (via Disney Parks Blog). Just ask Instagram reviewers. "The mac n cheese was AMAZINGGG," writes one fan. "10/10 chefs kisses, it was so good," raves another. "That Mac and cheese booth is bomb," concludes a third. 

How does Disney work its mac and cheese magic?

It's not that Disney's recipe is different from most other mac and cheese recipes out there — in terms of cooking technique, that is. What makes Disney different from your run-of-the-mill recipe is a single, secret ingredient — one that you probably didn't expect.

When Karen McClintock, Food & Beverage Content Relations Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, writes that this is a "special recipe the whole family can enjoy," she isn't exaggerating. It all hinges on the combination of cheeses the recipe recommends. You'll want your traditional white and yellow cheddar cheeses of course, but you'll also want to add a third to your arsenal: a healthy dosing of Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheels. Disney recommends three Boursin cheese wheels per 1/2 pound each of white and yellow cheddar.

Why Boursin cheese makes the dish that much better

Not only should you add Boursin to your creamy bechamel sauce, the base of the mac and cheese, but you should also save some Boursin to crumble on top afterward. What's so great about Boursin? It's a bit like adding cream cheese to the mix, except it's infused with garlic, parsley, and mild chives, all of which meld perfectly with the flavor profile you long for in mac and cheese (via Boursin). Boursin, interestingly, was the very first ever advertised cheese on French television in 1968, and has been a favorite of many since then — and will likely be a staple you keep on hand once you try it in your homemade mac and cheese. 

Don't take our word for it. As Bon Appetit's food writer, Tia Keenan, rhapsodizes, Boursin is "the soft-serve ice cream of cheese," with herbs acting "as the level-headed friend who tells everyone to chill out when the party gets too wild."