The Best Mac & Cheese Recipe Ever

Mac and cheese is one of those simple meals everyone loves. It’s the perfect comfort food for those days when you don’t want to think too much about ingredients but still want a tasty homemade dinner. By mixing three types of cheese and adding panko crumbs on top, this recipe will give you the right ratio of creamy and crunchy.

Getty Images / Manny Rodriguez

First and foremost: the pasta. Cook your elbow pasta one minute shy of al dente, according to the package instructions, then place it in a large bowl and drizzle it with olive oil. To make the sauce, start by melting butter in a pan and slowly incorporating flour into it, continuously whisking. Then, whisk in milk and heavy cream until the roux starts to bubble up on the surface. At this point, you should add two cups of shredded cheese and whisk until the mix is smooth – then repeat this step with two more cups of cheese. When the sauce is smooth, stir it in the pasta until it is fully coated with the cheese sauce. After that, pour half of your mac and cheese into a baking dish, add two more cups of shredded cheese on top of that layer, and pour the rest of the pasta.

For the final touch, if you want the cheesiest mac and cheese ever to also be the crunchiest, here’s the trick. Mix panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter, and paprika in a small bowl and sprinkle this mix on top of your mac and cheese. Bake it for about 30 minutes and there you go: the creamiest and crunchiest mac and cheese ever made.