- 1 – 16oz. box elbow macaroni
- 4 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
- 2 cups Gruyere or Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 6 tbs butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 cups whole milk or half and half
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 4 tbs melted butter
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
- Cook pasta for 8 minutes in boiling, salted water. Drain and add to a large mixing bowl
- Drizzle pasta with olive oil. Stir and set aside.
- Melt 6 tbs butter in a deep skillet or stew pot
- Whisk in flour and cook for one minute
- Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream. Continue cooking and whisking for two minutes. Add onion powder, salt, pepper and paprika. Whisk for two more minutes until smooth and beginning to bubble.
- Add your cheeses one at a time, reserving about a cup of your cheddar, continuing to stir.
- Turn off heat and add pasta. Stir to combine pasta and cheese sauce.
- Add half the mac-and-cheese to your baking dish. Top with remaining cheddar and then the remaining mac-and-cheese.
- Melt 4 tbs of butter in the microwave, stir in Panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top of your casserole, cover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
NOTES: You can use pre-shredded cheese and mix different varieties, but I beg you to shred your own cheese. Try different combinations. Hot pepper, white American, fontina. So many good combinations! You can also switch it up by adding, diced ham, bacon, green onion etc.