I have made this recipe 3 times now - trying different cheese with the sharp cheddar. So far a smoky gouda is the fave. I also use slightly less pasta so it is cheesy and gooey. Using the panko on top and baking it makes it GREAT! I have made several homemade mac n cheese recipes that I got online and this is the best! As far as the salt goes, I did use kosher and just a little. Doesnt need much salt.