Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe by Chris Reynolds
READY IN: 1hr
SERVES: 16
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss the panko bread crumbs with melted butter on a small baking pan. Toast the bread crumbs until lightly browned about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted, then stir in the flour. Heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbling about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the milk. Add the seasonings (next 6 ingredients).
  • Heat and stir to boiling, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
  • Stir in 3 cups of the cheddar cheese and all the Gruyere until melted. Pour the sauce over the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, stirring until all the macaroni is coated.
  • Pour the macaroni into a well-greased 9x13 baking pan. Drizzle heavy cream around the edges of the casserole. Sprinkle on the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Top with the panko crumbs and cover the casserole.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 10 minutes.