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The Best Macaroni & Cheese

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

1 Hour


6-8 Servings



About the Recipe

The best, easiest, cheesiest mac and cheese you will ever have. This is my number 1 most requested dish at family parties!


  • 16 oz pasta (I always use cavatappi)

  • 3 tbsp EVOO

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 3-4 tbsp unsalted butter melted

  • 3 large cloves garlic minced

  • 1-2 large shallot finely diced

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated

  • 2 cups gruyere cheese grated

  • Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cups panko crumbs

  • 1/2 cup parmesan

  • 1/4 tsp paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 3qt or 4qt baking dish and set aside (I use EVOO or butter). Combine shredded cheeses in a bowl, set aside.

  2. Cook pasta about a minute shy of al dente. Remove from heat, drain water, mix in tablespoon of EVOO and set aside

  3. Over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of EVOO and shallot to a large sauce pan, cook until translucent then add garlic.

  4. Once shallot has softened, add butter and melt. Whisk in flour over medium heat and continue to whisk until raw flour smell is gone (-1 minute). Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream, add salt, pepper and paprika. Continue to whisk occasionally until béchamel sauce is created.

  5. Mix in 4 cups of the cheese mixture and 1/4 cup parmesan until melted. Stir in cooked pasta to coat in cheesy sauce.

  6. Pour half of the pasta into baking dish, sprinkle 1/2 remaining cheese on top then add the remaining pasta and rest of cheese.

  7. In a small bowl, mix panko crumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle over the top and bake for about 30 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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