It might be a childhood favorite, but mac and cheese is a dish adults can't resist either. While the pre-packaged boxes somehow keep finding their way into our shopping carts, why not satisfy your craving with the real deal?
Tina from My Life as a Mrs. shared a delicious Panko Crusted Mac and Cheese recipe that certainly beats the box. It yields four individually-sized mac and cheese bowls that ensure everyone gets a bite of the best part — the crusty panko topping!
So let the cheese melt and indulge in one of your childhood favorites!
Panko Crusted Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces (weight) dry pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 8 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 4 tablespoons panko bread crumbs, divided
- In a medium saucepan, cook pasta according to box instructions. Drain pasta and set aside until ready to use.
- In a medium-large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk for about one minute to create a roux. Continue to whisk while adding milk and half and half. Bring mixture to a boil. (It will begin to thicken.)
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cheese, two ounces at a time, mixing well. Season sauce with the salt, pepper and dry mustard. Add cooked pasta into cheese sauce and toss to combine thoroughly.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray four oven-safe ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute the mac and cheese among the four ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet (in case any cheese spills over during baking).
- Sprinkle one tablespoon of panko bread crumbs on top of each of the individual mac and cheese servings. Spray tops with non-stick cooking spray to help encourage browning. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. Turn oven to broil and broil until tops brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Keep a close eye so they don't burn.
- Remove from oven and serve hot!