Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

Jeff Coulson Author: Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

If comfort food is what you're after, nothing beats a generous helping of creamy, oozy mac and cheese. This recipe is the yummiest version – and the only one you'll ever need.

  • Portion size 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni (about 450 g)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded extra-old Cheddar cheese
Topping:
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter diced and softened

Method

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain; set aside.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook garlic and thyme, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Pour in milk in slow steady stream, whiskingconstantly until smooth; cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 7 minutes. Whisk in mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir in Gruyère and Cheddar cheeses until smooth; stir in pasta. Scrape into lightly greased 12-cup (3 L) casserole dish.

Topping: In bowl, combine panko with Parmesan cheese; using fingers, rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse sand. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.

Bake in 400 F (200 C) oven until sauce is bubbly and topping is golden, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tip from the Test Kitchen: The sauce might seem a little runny at first, but it will thicken beautifully when baked with the starchy macaroni.

Looking for more delicious bakes? Try our best casserole recipes.

Nutritional facts per serving: about

  • Fibre 2 g
  • Sodium 576 mg
  • Sugars 11 g
  • Protein 23 g
  • Calories 479.0
  • Total fat 24 g
  • Potassium 262 mg
  • Cholesterol 72 mg
  • Saturated fat 14 g
  • Total carbohydrate 43 g

%RDI

  • Iron 15.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 45.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 51.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 25.0
  • Vitamin C 2.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese