Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe Made with Panko Crumbs

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This baked mac and cheese recipe is made with a buttery panko crumb topping. It’s extra cheesy, creamy, and delicious!

We make this a lot! It is always the most requested dish when we attend potlucks and everyone wants it for the holidays. It’s been a staple side dish at most of our holiday meals and family gatherings. Baked mac and cheese and deviled eggs are always a must!

Growing up I never liked baked mac and cheese. Once I got older, some of the members in our family loved it and wanted me to make it. I kept trying different recipes but didn’t find any that I liked.

I finally found one that used a bread crumb topping, but I prefer panko crumbs so I made a few adjustments to the topping. I also used different cheeses to give it more flavor and custimized it to how we would like it.

Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe Made with Panko Crumbs

I know the baked mac and cheese with velveeta is popular, but it was not a hit with our family. Neither were the recipes that used Gruyère cheese. They weren’t bad, but it just didn’t satisfy our taste buds. However, this easy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe seemed to hit the spot with everyone.

What Kind of Cheese Do You Use in this Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe?

This recipe avoids the gruyere cheese and uses colby jack, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar. I use these cheeses because they are common and we are always buying them and because we prefer them. We purchase the large bags of cheese because it’s often cheaper and because we use cheese a lot.

Baked Mac and Cheese Ingredients

These are the ingredients to make baked mac and cheese from scratch. We use everyday ingredients. Ingredients that you can find at just about any grocery store or ingredients that you may already have on hand.

  • 1 box elbow noodles (16oz box)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons of margarine
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 3 cups of milk (we use 2%)
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 8 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan

How to Baked Mac and Cheese

This baked mac and cheese recipe made with panko crumbs takes a little bit of work to get it together, but is worth it! Trust me! It’s such a creamy, filling, baked mac and cheese dish.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the elbow noodles as instructed on the box. Drain, stir in the extra virgin olive oil, and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, melt the 6 tablespoons of margarine on medium heat.
  4. Whisk in the flour, adding a little at a time. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to turn to a golden color (about 1 minute).
  5. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until it is lump free. Gradually pour in the heavy cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. There should be no clumps.
  6. Still whisking, let the mixture cook until you see small bubbles start to form. Once you see the bubbles, cook for another minute.
  7. Add in the cheddar, mozzarella, and colby jack cheese and continuously stir until the cheese is melted. You should now have a semi-thick creamy cheese sauce with no lumps.
  8. Add the cheese mixture in with the noodles and mix until all of the noodles are covered in cheese sauce.
  9. Then, pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. The dish will be full to the top so be careful!
  10. In another bowl, mix the panko bread crumbs, 8 tablespoons of melted butter, and parmesan cheese together.
  11. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the mac and cheese.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.

This picture does not give this baked mac and cheese recipe justice! It’s so creamy and delicious. Your taste buds will thank you!

Guests and family will want this recipe! Pin it for later so you can come back to it!

Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe Made with Panko Crumbs
Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe Made with Panko Crumbs

Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe Made with Panko Crumbs

This baked mac and cheese recipe is made with a buttery panko crumb topping. It’s extra cheesy, creamy, and delicious!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box (16oz) elbow noodles
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp margarine
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 3 c milk
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 3 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 c shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 8 tbsp margarine
  • 1 c grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook the elbow noodles as instructed on the box. Drain, stir in the extra virgin olive oil, and set aside.
  • In a large pan, melt the 6 tablespoons of margarine on medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour, adding a little at a time. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to turn to a golden color (about 1 minute).
  • Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until it is lump free. Gradually pour in the heavy cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. There should be no clumps.
  • Still whisking, let the mixture cook until you see small bubbles start to form. Once you see the bubbles, cook for another minute.
  • Add in the cheddar, mozzarella, and colby jack cheese and continuously stir until the cheese is melted. You should now have a semi-thick creamy cheese sauce with no lumps.
  • Add the cheese mixture in with the noodles and mix until all of the noodles are covered in cheese sauce.
  • Then, pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. The dish will be full to the top so be careful!
  • In another bowl, mix the panko bread crumbs, 8 tablespoons of melted butter, and parmesan cheese together.
  • Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the mac and cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
Keyword sides

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