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Crumb-Topped Macaroni and Cheese

Everyone loves this grown-up macaroni and cheese. It's also tasty with sharp cheddar and cream cheese instead of Gruyere and mascarpone. Throw in some crispy bacon for a twist. —Jennifer Standing, Taos, New Mexico
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake 15 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup butter and pepper flakes over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in Gruyere, mascarpone, mustard, salt and pepper until blended. Add sauce to macaroni, tossing to combine. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • Melt remaining butter. Add panko and Italian seasoning; toss to coat. Sprinkle over macaroni. Bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown, 10-15 minutes.

Test Kitchen tips
  • The Italian seasoning adds a lot of herb flavor to this creamy mac and cheese.
  • The casserole only needs about 10 minutes in the oven to crisp up the crumb topping.
  • Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup: 473 calories, 36g fat (21g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 487mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 16g protein.

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