Four Cheese Mac and Cheese With Bread Crumbs

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mac and cheese recipe with bread crumb topping

Mac and Cheese Recipe With Bread Crumbs

Does your family love macaroni and cheese? The box stuff is great when you want a quick meal, but this is a grown up version that is amazing. 

We took some cheeses we love and took mac and cheese to the next level.  See how you can make a cheese sauce for your homemade mac and cheese with bread crumbs. Perfect to serve with chicken parmesan dinner or some delicious barbecue ribs and chicken.

slices of bread in container to crumble

What Kind Of Bread Do You Need?

Use dry bread. If you don’t have stale bread, pop a slice into the toaster and lightly toast it.

Can I Use Panko Bread Crumbs?

You can. The crumbs you get from the store are almost a powder form. If you make your own, they will have more of a bite and crunch. But in a pinch, definitely can use what you have on hand.

cheese sauce and  crumbs with sharp cheddar, parmesan cheese and asiago, fontina

Can I Use Different Cheeses?

You can modify this for your tastes. You will want to have the cheese sauce melted well. Use a melty cheese, like Fontina. A sharp cheddar works well to add additional flavors and asiago and parmesan cheese are our favorites. If you want a different flavor profile, experiment to find a creamy cheese sauce that matches your families tastes.

melted cheese sauce in a pan

Do I Need To Baked The Mac & Cheese?

Yes. Otherwise the crumb topping will fall flat and not give you the crunch you want on top.

putting cheese on cooked pasta in a bowl

What Kind Of Pasta Is Used?

We didn’t specify, because you can use what you have on hand. We’ve used penne, macaroni and cavatappi.

mac cheese penne pasta in 8x8 baking pan
mac and cheese recipe with bread crumb topping
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Mac & Cheese With Bread Crumbs

Never eat boxed macaroni and cheese again. Make this delicious four cheese mac & cheese with bread crumbs for your family. Baked for another layer of flavor.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Regina Sober

Ingredients

Topping

  • 3 slices dry sandwich bread with crusts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiana-Reggiano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Pasta

  • 1 pound Pasta
  • 11 cup Parmigiana-Reggiano
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 c. grated Italian Fontina
  • 1 cup grated Asiago
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon salt for water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt for sauce
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Start preheating the oven to 500F.

Topping

  • For the topping, pulse the bread in a food processor until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs; transfer to a small bowl and stir in the the parmigiana, salt and pepper and set aside.

Pasta

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt.
  • When the water reaches a boil, add pasta.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cheeses and set aside.
  • Take a small saucepan and melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk in the flour until no lumps remain, (about 30 seconds).Slowly whisk in the half and half and increase heat.
  • Bring the mix to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 minute (to cook out the taste of the flour).
  • Stir in the remaining salt and pepper and add the cheese. 
  • Stir until it is mixed and smooth.  Turn off heat.
  • When the pasta is completely cooked, Keep 1/4 cup pasta water.
  • Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl with the pasta water.
  • Add the cheese and cream mixture until the pasta is covered evenly.
  • Pour into a 9×13 or 8×8 baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumb mixture, pressing down lightly.
  • Bake until topping is golden brown – about 7 minutes.
Never eat boxed macaroni and cheese again. Make this delicious four cheese  mac & cheese with bread crumbs for your family. Baked for another layer of flavor.

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