Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain then add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into the hot noodles.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, then stir in the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook for one minute.
Whisk in the milk and heavy cream and cook until the sauce has thickened.
Stir in the shredded Gruyere and mozzarella cheese until melted and smooth.
Pour the sauce over the noodles, then spread them into the prepared pan.
Blend the French fried onions until they are very small crumbs. Evenly spread over the top of noodles.
Bake for 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes then serve!
Storage: To store any leftover baked mac and cheese, scoop it into an airtight container and refrigerate. It can be safely stored for up to 3 days.Reheat: Reheat individual portions in the microwave, or heat the entire dish in the oven at 350°F until heated through.Freeze: For the best results, cool the dish completely, and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container (or tightly wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap, foil etc). It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the mac and cheese in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.Prep Baked Mac and Cheese Ahead:
Once you transfer the mac and cheese to the casserole dish, let it cool to room temperature.
Wrap it tightly with saran wrap or foil, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
30 minutes (or up to an hour) before you are ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
Top with fried onion topping and bake according to recipe directions.
Freshly Shredded Cheese: While it be easier to grab already shredded cheese, pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents on them that act as a thickener in sauces. So if you use pre-shredded cheese, it will overly thicken your cheese sauce. I highly recommend shredding your own cheese!Al Dente: Cook the pasta al dente to prevent it from becoming too soft and mushy during baking.Buttered Noodles: Melting butter into the hot noodles (before adding the cheese sauce) will help them keep from bloating up while they bake.Crispy Topping: If you don’t want to use French fried onions, you can also use seasoned Panko bread crumbs in their place.Change It Up: Feel free to add tasty mix-ins like crispy bacon bits or sautéed onions. You can also try out any of the cheeses mentioned above in the post for different flavors. White cheddar or smoked gouda are other personal favorites around our house.Ground Mustard: Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground mustard to your cheese sauce to give it a little more depth of flavor. It won’t taste mustard-y, but it can help make the cheese flavors pop.Melted Topping: If you like a melty, cheesy topping, add more shredded cheese on top of the macaroni underneath the fried onions.