Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

Published on
September 22, 2023
This is the macaroni and cheese of your dreams- crunchy topping, creamy sauce and tender pasta. This recipe is a guaranteed winner and is sure to disappear.
Macaroni and cheese with crunchy garlic infused panko.
Prep Time:
20 Minutes
Cook Time:
40 Minutes
Difficulty Level:


2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 pound macaroni, elbow or your choice of dried pasta

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups milk (preferably whole)

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Ground Mustard Spice

1 tablespoon White Peppercorns

6 cups cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup parmesan, grated


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9x12 inch baking dish. Set aside.

2. Make the topping: Prep a food processor with a steel blade. With the machine running, drop the garlic through the feed tube until finely minced, about 8 seconds. Stop machine and add in salt, panko and Parmesan cheese. Pulse to combine.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and oil. When the butter is melted add the garlic panko mixture. Cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, in the running food processor (no need to clean) drop in the White Peppercorns through the feedtube until coarsely ground.

5. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions for al dente. Drain.

6. In the same pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for until flour is golden brown, about 3 minutes.

7. Slowly pour in the milk and cream, whisking to create a cream sauce. Once incorporated use a wooden spoon and stir until sauce has thickened.

8. Stir in the salt, ground mustard, and ground white peppercorns. Then add the cheeses in three batches, whisking until the cheese has melted before adding more.

9. Stir in the macaroni, tossing to coat. Transfer to the prepared pan. Sprinkle garlic panko topping evenly over macaroni.

10. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Pro Tip: Pre-shredded cheese has a coating that does not allow it to melt well. Shredding the cheese yourself is worth the effort.

Recipe Tip:
A spice grinder (coffee grinder) can also be used to grind the peppercorns. To avoid oven drips and spills, place the baking pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
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