Classic macaroni and cheese with panko crusted topping [Recipe]


macaroni cheese

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This recipe is a modern twist on an all-star American classic dish. Baked in eight small ramekins, it makes a fabulous party appetizer or easy get-together meal served with a green salad. For more delicious recipes, visit MealsOnHeelsByMindy.com.

Prepared in 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to bake


For the topping


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups panko, Japanese breadcrumbs or substitute 1½ cups country bread cut into cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


For the macaroni


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4.5 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese grated, plus 1 cup, coarsely grated for topping
  • 2 cups Gruyère cheese or Fontina cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • Quart of whole milk
  • 1 pound macaroni or corkscrew pasta
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt to taste




  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease a non-stick 10 x 13 inch baking dish. Combine cheeses into a bowl and set aside. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente (just tender). Drain then pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Heat butter in a separate saucepan and whisk in flour. Cook on low heat for approximately 2 minutes. Whisk in warm milk then remove from heat.
  • Stir in cheeses to the milk mixture. Once cheese is melted, stir in cayenne, nutmeg and salt. Pour cheese mixture over pasta in the large bowl and gently toss until pasta is well-coated. Transfer pasta into greased baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. Remove and set aside
  • Raise oven heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a food processor, combine all topping Ingredients except for butter and extra-sharp grated cheese. Pulse until combined. Sprinkle panko topping and grated cheese evenly over the macaroni. Dot topping with remaining pieces of butter.
  • Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes more until sauce is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Serve immediately. Serves 8-10.