It’s Friyay and I’m sharing the world best mac and cheese recipe. Legit, you are going to love this. I always default to a copycat type version of Panera’s mac and cheese. It’s easy, delicious, and definitely hits the spot when you are craving a mac and cheese dish. But, I recently branched out. I mean I ask my son to try new things, I can only do the same. Also, it’s mac and cheese so it can’t be bad. It definitely was not. This dish was super easy. I think the homemade breadcrumbs on top made this feel like quite a process for a weeknight meal, but I promise you, it’s not. While you prep the pasta water, I grated the bread in my food processor. I got the crumbs all situated and while they were toasting, I changed out the attachment in my food processor so I could grate the cheese that way. The pasta is effortless and the sauce is super quick and easy. Very low maintenance and that toasty topping is worth the extra step.
Mac and Cheese with Garlicky Breadcrumbs
For the breadcrumb topping
- 6 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
For the mac and cheese
- To make the breadcrumb topping, process the torn bread pieces in your food processor until they have become medium-fine crumbs. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When it foams, add the garlic and cook, stirring untul the garlic is very fragrant but has not browned. About 1-2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until toasty and browned, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large plate to let cool. Stir in the grated Parmesan.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, reducing the cooking time by one minute. Drain, rinse, and toss with the olive oil.
- In a large heavy saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat., Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until it is a light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the milk a little but at a time, whisking each time until fully incorporated before adding more. You will add it slowly at first and then add in larger quantities. Add in the cheese whisking until smooth and well incorporated. Whisk in the black and cayenne pepper.
- Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. Pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the topping is browned and crisp and the cheese sauce is bubbling about 8-10 minutes.
From Everyday Annie, originally from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings