Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 1 hr | Servings: 12
This is the best homemade baked Mac and cheese I have ever made! Super creamy, outrageously cheesy, and topped with impressive crunchy Panko-Parmesan topping. This Mac and cheese is a must!
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 c. whole milk
4 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 c. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 c. panko crumbs
16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked (or other tubular pasta)
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
salt and pepper to taste
How to make The BEST Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese
Step 1: Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F. Ready a 3 or 4-quart baking dish. Lightly grease and set aside. In a large bowl, mix all the shredded cheeses and set aside.
Step 2: Following the package directions, cook the pasta a minute shy from al dente. Drain when done and transfer the cooked pasta to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
Step 3: In a deep saucepan, dutch oven, or stock pot, melt the butter. Into the melted butter, add in the flour, stirring constantly for about a minute over medium heat until bubbly and golden.
Step 4: Then, slowly stir in the milk and heavy cream until smooth. Keep stirring until there are bubbles on the surface. This takes another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 5: Into the pan, add 2 c of the shredded cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Then, add another 2 c. of the shredded cheese mixture while stirring constantly until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Step 6: Toss in the cooled pasta until completely coated with the cheese sauce.
Step 7: Into the prepared baking dish, transfer half of the mac and cheese and sprinkle the rest of the 2 c. of the shredded cheese mixture on top. Then, top it with the rest of the mac and cheese.
Step 8: Place the panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter, and paprika in a small bowl. Mix well until combined, then sprinkle this on top of the mac and cheese. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Step 9: Take the mac and cheese out of the oven when done and serve right away. Enjoy!
Calories: 642 kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 550mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1325IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 650mg | Iron: 1.4mg
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