Crowd pleasin’ Baked Mac’n’Cheese

This mac’n’cheese isn’t much more labor intensive than a simple stovetop version but it’s so much more yummy! And it’s geared to match your specific tastes or use up all your random bits of cheeses, which ever comes first. I personally like the “no cheese left behind” benefit!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 c. pasta noodles (macaroni, or whatever you have on hand)
  • 2  1/2 c. cheese (cheddar is a great option but don’t be scared to throw in some parmesan, mozzarella, etc. This is where the use it up part comes into play. Go ahead mix and match!)
  • 1/4 c. +2 tbs. butter
  • 2+ tbs. flour
  • 1  1/2 c. milk (or 2 1/2 if you don’t have cream)
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. panko crumbs
  • paprika

Directions:

  1. Grease 9 x 12″ baking pan with butter.
  2. Cook pasta al dente (that’s fancy Italian for “firm when bitten”) and strain, set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Divide 2 tbs. into separate bowl. Add flour to pan and stir to create a roux (that’s fancy French for “sauce”).
  4. Add milk & cream stirring constantly to incorporate.
  5. Stir in cheese(s) and continue to stir over low hear until melted and sauce thickens and comes smooth.
  6. Add pasta to sauce and stir to cover all noodles.
  7. Pour in greased baking dish.
  8. Add panko crumbs to melted butter you divided out and stir to incorporate then distribute evenly over baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle top with paprika.
  10. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbling.

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