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Macaroni and Cheese

by in Oct 2006
Macaroni and Cheese
32 votes, 4.16 avg. rating (82% score)
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Total Time: 25

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

This version of macaroni and cheese is made with lots of extra sharp Vermont cheddar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a crispy topping made from Japanese panko breadcrumbs.

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey


  • 7 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 8-ounce package ziti, macaroni, or your favorite pasta
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) extra-sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add panko and stir until coated; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package, stopping 2 minutes shy of suggested cooking time. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking continuously, about 1 minute; don't let mixture brown. Add milk gradually and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt, pepper, red-pepper flakes, mustard, and cheeses, whisking until melted.

Add pasta; then spoon mixture into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole or four lightly greased 2-cup baking dishes. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly.
Updated Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

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10 Responses to Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Jacqueline Cebik October 17, 2006 at 7:04 am #

    This recipe is delicious. I doubled the amount of Panko and used more crushed red pepper than the recipe called for and it was GREAT. I am making it again tonight!! It was a huge hit with my family.

  2. Rebecca Rider October 31, 2006 at 4:10 pm #

    The only way to eat mac and cheese. I don’t think I’ll ever have the box mix ever again! This takes longer to make but it’s worth it!

  3. lynda and kevin abbot November 5, 2006 at 12:31 pm #

    Excellent recipe

  4. Steve Pond December 30, 2006 at 7:28 pm #

    Very good indeed. I added some grated carrot and strips of roasted red peppers for some color, the panko makes a nice crumb topping.

  5. Steve Pond January 1, 2007 at 7:02 pm #

    This is the BEST Mac & Cheese I have had in 47 years! It is the only one I will make. The PANKO crumbs on top make it. There truly is no better flavor for this recipe.

  6. Steve Pond January 1, 2007 at 7:03 pm #

    This is the BEST Mac & Cheese I have had in 47 years! It is the only one I will make. The PANKO crumbs on top make it.There truley is no better flavor for this recipe.

  7. Carla Lapierre September 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    This is pretty much the way I make Mac & Cheese – except we like it with Gorgonzola.

  8. Patricia Lawrence October 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    I think Yankee magazine taught me to make Mac & Cheese years ago, very much like this. Still a family favorite!

  9. Martha Kauppinen January 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Made this recipe tonight and “my people” loved it! Been looking for a creamy mac n’ cheese recipe and this is it! In a word, delicious!

  10. Chris Trainque June 6, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Have made this several times and it is delicious, have had great reviews when I have made it.

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