Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Karlie's Kitchen
by Karlie's Kitchen
6 Servings
35 min

Who loves a classic mac & cheese?!

It’s one of my favourite comforting dishes and a crowd favourite for sure. Whether you are bringing to your a pot luck, back yard bbq or quick week night meal, this is one of my go to recipes.

I really like using a mix of cheeses to add a depth of flavour. Feel free to use what you have on hand and mix it up!

Adding the panko topping also adds such a nice crunch to the creamy cheese sauce and really elevated the taste buds. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

The creamiest and dreamiest cheese sauce!!!

Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe details
  • 6  Servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 35 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info
For the macaroni
  • 1 - 500 gram box macaroni
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp each; salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each: dry mustard, red pepper flakes
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I like 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup Monterey Jack)
For the panko topping
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp paprika, salt, garlic powder
For the macaroni
In a large pot of water, cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions until tender. Drain and place back in pot, cover and set aside.
To make the cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for a minute or two.
Add in all seasonings, dry mustard and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Begin to add in milk, adding one cup at a time while whisking. The mixture will be super thick! Add remaining milk and continue to whisk until smooth and bubbling.
Add in hot sauce and give everything a stir.
Add in cheese and whisk until smooth. Set cheese sauce aside.
For the panko topping
In a large fry pan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add in panko bread crumbs and seasonings. Use a wooden spoon to stir to combine.
Cook and stir often until panko bread crumbs are golden brown. Set aside.
To assemble
Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
To the prepared pan, add in noodles.
Next drizzle over cheese sauce. Give everything a big stir until noodles are totally coated.
Top mixture with prepared panko bread crumbs.
Bake for 15 minutes then switch oven to low broil. Broil until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Keep a close eye so the top doesn’t burn! Serve hot and enjoy!
  • Steve Johnson Steve Johnson on Sep 10, 2022

    Oh man! That looks good! Gonna try this one ASAP!

  • Cso51108026 Cso51108026 on Sep 18, 2023

    Do NOT leave out the mustard, etc., when making the cheese sauce!! It doesn't read at all "mustardy" or "spicy/hot" but those few spices give tremendous depth to the cheese sauce - a little, "I'm not quite sure what that is but it's AMAZINGness!!!!" Thanks so much for the reminder that simple really is just that doggone good!