Creamy Baked Mac’ and Cheese


  • 1 pound elbow, cavatappi, or rotini pasta
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt

Crispy Topping

  • 1 cup Panko
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ounce (3 tblespoons) finely grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot.

Make the topping:  In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until foam subsides. Add panko and garlic; cook, stirring, until the crumbs are golden. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese and set aside.

Make a bechamel sauce:  Melt the butter. Sprinkle flour over the butter, whisking to incorporate and make a roux. Cook , stirring constantly, to toast the flour, about 2-4 minutes. Gradually pour in milk and cream, whisking constantly. Simmer until the bechamel sauce is thickened (3 – 5 minutes), whisking occasionally.

Add the cheeses, mustard, worcestershire, pepper, and salt to taste. whisk until cheeses are completely melted. Add to the drained pasta and stir until everything is combined. Transfer to a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the macaroni and bake until bubbling. This will take 20 minutes if you do it right away. The mac and cheese can be prepared ahead to this point and put in the refrigerator, so if you just pulled it from the refrigerator cooking will take about 40 minutes.



About prhscience

A Science Educator and her students.
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