This warm, comforting baked mac and cheese is rich and creamy with a buttery and crunchy Parmesan-panko breadcrumb topping.
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups (16 oz.) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups (8 oz.) Gruyere cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Cook the pasta until just before al dente, about 1 minute shy of the package directions.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven over low heat and add in flour. Whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes, until flour smell is gone and it smells a little nutty.
- Increase heat to medium-low and pour in milk and heavy cream in small increments, whisking continuously the whole time until all the lumps are gone.
- Simmer until sauce is bubbly and thick, about 5 minutes.
- Mix the grated cheeses together. Add in 4 cups of the mixed cheese to the sauce in batches, whisking continuously until the cheese melts smoothly into the sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add in optional seasonings.
- Add in the cooked pasta and coat the pasta fully with the sauce.
- In a 9×13 casserole dish, pour half of the pasta in a single layer.
- Top with remaining 2 cups of mixed cheese and finish with the other half of pasta.
- Make the topping layer by combining panko breadcrumbs, butter and Parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle over the casserole and bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and the top is golden brown.
- Dish and serve hot.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins