Skip the boxed macaroni and cheese and make this creamy and rich Baked Mac and Cheese recipe in under an hour. It's topped with a crispy buttery crust and makes a delicious comforting meal or the ultimate holiday side!
Course Side Dish
Keyword baked, creamy, crust, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, side dish
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Grease a 9 inch baking dish and keep it ready.
In a large pot bring the water to boil, add elbow pasta and cook per packet instruction minus 1 minute.
Drain the water and add a tablespoon of butter to the cooked pasta and set aside.
To the bowl with melted butter, combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley and salt. Keep aside.
Making cheese sauce
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk often for a minute.
Slowly pour the whole milk and whisk until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour the remaining milk and heavy cream.
Add the garlic powder, pepper and salt, cook for 5 more minutes until the sauce thickens.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the cheeses to melt and combine (reserving 1 cup of cheese to use it later)
Assembling the baking dish
Combine the cooked macaroni pasta and sauce together.
Pour half of the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish. Add in a layer of reserved 1 cup of cheese on top. Pour the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture on top of the cheese layer.
Sprinkle the prepared breadcrumb “topping”. Bake for 20 minutes until the top is light golden in color.
Serve the baked mac and cheese while it is still hot.