Your children might think that Macaroni & Cheese only comes out of a box, but the homestyle version is a completely different experience. You might want to name it something else when you serve it to the family, so that your kiddos aren’t expecting a meal that tastes like the boxed version!
(This uses a 9 x 13 glass baking dish)
- 16 oz elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 350˚.
1. Cook pasta to package directions for al dente. Drain, and set aside.
2. Roux and cheese sauce:
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour, whisking continuously until thickened (careful not to burn). Slowly add milk; again, whisk constantly until roux is thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Lower temperature to medium. Reserving 1/2 cup of the cheddar, add all the rest of the cheese to the roux. Stir until all cheeses are melted together. Season with nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
3. Add the cooked macaroni, and stir gently to combine. Place in a 9×13 glass baking dish, and put in the oven for 20 minutes or until starting to bubble.
4. While baking, combine the remaining cheddar and Panko in a small dish. After baking 20 minutes, top the macaroni & cheese with this breadcrumb and cheese mixture, and bake for 5-10 minutes more.
You can add in broccoli and/or diced ham to make this a meal in itself!