This is a Mac and Cheese recipe that is everything you want in a knock-your-socks-off Macaroni Cheese – cheesy and creamy, with perfectly cooked macaroni (no bloated pasta!), plenty of sauce and a crunchy buttery top (essential in my world!)
▢250g / 8 oz macaroni (elbow pasta)
▢1 tbsp (15g) unsalted butter (or 2 tsp oil)
▢2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
▢2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, melted
▢1/4 tsp salt
▢4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter
▢1/3 cup flour, plain/all-purpose
▢3 cups milk, warmed (low or full fat)
▢2 cups freshly shredded cheese, gruyere best (followed by cheddar and Colby)
▢1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, or more other cheese of choice
▢3/4 tsp salt
▢1 tsp garlic powder
▢1/2 tsp onion powder
▢1/2 tsp mustard powder
Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook per packet directions MINUS 1 minute.
Toss in butter: Drain, return pasta to pot, add butter and toss until melted. Set aside to cool while making the Sauce.
Mix together Topping. Set aside.
* Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (all oven types).
* Make the roux: In a large saucepan or in an ovenproof skillet (I use my 26cm/9″ Lodge cast iron skillet), melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
* Add milk: Add about 1 cup of the milk and mix to dissolve the paste into the milk. Then add remaining milk and mix until lump free (use a whisk if required).
* Add Seasonings: Mix in salt and Seasonings if using.
* Thicken sauce: Cook, stirring/whisking regularly, for 5 – 8 minutes until thickened to a cream consistency. When the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, you should be able to draw a path with your finger.
* Add cheese: Remove from stove, add cheese and stir – cheese doesn’t need to melt.
* Check salt: Adjust salt to taste (if you use recommended cheeses, you won’t need more).
1. Assemble: Pour Sauce into the pot with Macaroni. Stir quickly, then pour back into the skillet (I did this) or a baking dish (Note 4). Sprinkle with breadcrumb topping.
2. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. Don’t bake too long otherwise you’ll bake away the Sauce!
3. Serve: Serve immediately! I sprinkled mine with a bit of fresh parsley. See notes for the best make-ahead method.
source – cooking365coza