The creamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese ever. Five cheeses are blended together with a creamy béchamel sauce, tossed with pasta and topped with a crisp, buttery panko topping. Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust is sure to become your favorite recipe of all time. So easy to make.
Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust
- Servings: 1 cup
- Yield: 10-12
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cooking Time: 40 min
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (japanese style breadcrumbs)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound dry small shape pasta (like shells or macaroni)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard powder
- 2 cups grated extra sharp white cheddar
- 1 cup grated havarti
- 1 cup grated munster
- 1 cup grated gouda
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the butter until butter foam subsides. Add panko and garlic powder. Stirring constantly, cook until crumbs are golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer panko mixture to a bowl and stir in ½ cup Parmesan and salt. Set aside.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook until just al dente (the pasta will still be firm but not crunchy). Drain pasta and set aside. In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the butter, whisking to combine and make a roux. (It will look like a paste.) Continue cooking, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the roux is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Slowly add the milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate and create a béchamel sauce. Stir in the nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a low boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until the béchamel sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Add the cheeses, 1 cup at a time, whisking until each addition is completely melted before adding more. Remove from heat.
- Stir the drained pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer macaroni mixture to the prepared baking dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil. Sprinkle topping evenly over pasta. Bake until golden and bubbling, approximately 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.