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Panko Crusted Mac and Cheese

Panko Crusted Mac and Cheese

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!

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Panko Crusted Mac and Cheese

Cooking Method: 
Bake
Category: 
Side, Entree
Level: 
Easy
Yield: 
4 servings (ramekins)
Ingredients: 
  • 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
Instructions: 
  1. In a medium saucepan, cook pasta according to box instructions. Drain pasta and set aside until ready to use.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Remove from oven and serve hot!
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