Baked Mac and Cheese might be the star of the show this Thanksgiving if your family goes that route with side dishes. It’s one of the tastiest I’ve had in a while, and it’s perfect any night of the week.
My Baked Mac and Cheese floored me a little bit! It’s turned out to be super-creamy and super-delicious – what could be better? I’m a cheese lover so I might be biased, but seriously, you need to make this. It’s definitely good comfort food!
This recipe is here because one of my coworkers asked me for a mac and cheese recipe. I had to stop and think for a minute. I can’t believe I didn’t have one on the site. So you have Gaby for getting me on the ball and making this!
The cheesiness! The crunchy breadcrumbs! The flavor is amazing, but take note: I used high-quality cheese for this recipe. And I shredded the cheese myself. Why not buy a bag of shredded cheese, you ask? Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt well because it includes “something” in the ingredients to keep it from clumping in the bag.
I know a lot of people include mac and cheese as a side dish at Thanksgiving. We never did growing up, and neither did my husband’s family, but my Italian family does include lasagna each year! Each family has their own traditions, right?
Are you planning a smaller Thanksgiving gathering this year? Many of us are, for good reason, and this recipe is perfect for smaller crowds. It serves 4-6 people, so you may (or may not) have leftovers.
Try one of these recipes as a Thanksgiving side dish:
This Baked Mac and Cheese recipe might be the start of a new tradition for you and yours for the holidays, but why put this dish in a box? Enjoy it for lunch or dinner any night of the week. It’s so comforting and filling. It’s indulgent, for sure. Maybe serve it with a salad or another veggie if you’re interested in a smaller portion.
How to Prep Baked Mac and Cheese
- Prep a 1-1/2-quart baking dish by lightly coating it in cooking spray.
- Use a food processor with a shredder attachment to easily shred the cheese.
- Prep the panko breadcrumbs. Add them to a small bowl and include the seasoning and melted butter, mixed to combine.
- Get the pasta cooking.
- Have your butter, flour, heavy whipping cream, cheeses, and seasonings near your stovetop.
- Drain your pasta and have it near the stovetop.
- Get ready to add the pasta to your cheese mixture and make sure all the pasta is well coated.
- Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top, and bake.
Where do you stand with serving Baked Mac and Cheese for Thanksgiving? Whether or not you decide to serve it as part of your holiday meal, you should make this dish to enjoy on another day. It’s got amazing flavor and all sorts of cheesiness with a lovely little crunch.
Patricia Conte/Grab a Plate
Yields Serves 4-6
5 based on 10 review(s)
- 8 ounces medium-sized pasta (I used corkscrew pasta)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 7 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 1.5-quart baking dish with the cooking spray. Set aside.
- Boil the pasta until almost done. Drain and set aside.
- As the pasta cooks, add 2 tablespoons butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to incorporate. Continue to stir for a few minutes until the mixture turns lightly golden.
- Whisk in the heavy cream. A little at a time, add each type of cheese until everything is melted and smooth.
- Add the mustard, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the garlic powder. Stir to combine.
- Add the drained pasta to the cheese mixture and stir to combine so all the pasta is well coated.
- Transfer the pasta to the baking dish.
- Add the panko breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Add the remaining salt and pepper and mix to combine. Add the remaining melted butter and stir.
- Evenly sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
- Serve warm.