THE BEST HOMEMADE BAKED MAC AND CHEESE

by Sheryl

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Servings: 12

The best homemade Baked Mac and Cheese are born! Crazily cheesy, super creamy, topped with crunchy Panko-Parmesan topping – this one is to die for!

Ingredients

16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked (or other tubular pasta)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
2 cups Gruyere cheese shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
4 tbsp butter melted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)

How to make The BEST Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

Step 1: Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: Grease a large 3-quart or 4-quart baking dish lightly. Set aside.

Step 3: In a large bowl, mix the shredded cheddar cheese, Gruyere, and parmesan. Set aside.

Step 4: Cook the pasta following the package direction but a minute shy (al dente). Drain and transfer into a large bowl.

Step 5: With olive oil, drizzle the pasta. Toss to coat and set aside to cool.

Step 6: Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce. In a deep saucepan, dutch oven, or stockpot, melt the butter. Once melted, add in the flour and whisk for about a minute over medium heat or until bubbly and golden. Then, slowly mix in the milk and heavy cream until smooth. Go on whisking for about 2 minutes or until you see bubbles on the surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.

Step 7: In the sauce, whisk in 2 cups shredded cheese until smooth. Add another 2 cups, whisking continuously until creamy and smooth. The sauce at this point should be nice and thick.

Step 8: Pour the cheese sauce over the cooled pasta and combine until the pasta is completely coated.

Step 9: In the prepare baking dish, pour half of the mac and cheese. Evenly sprinkle over 2 cups of shredded cheese and top it up with the other half of the mac and cheese.

Step 10: Combine the panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter, and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle this on top of the mac and cheese.

Step 11: Place inside the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Step 12: Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 642kcal | 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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