Rockin Mac and Cheese

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Since 1937, when the Kraft Company started to put it in a box, every kid has grown up with mac and cheese. How can you not love this American classic? Warm pasta wrapped around melted cheese and then baked until the top has a crispy golden crust, it’s a perfect comforting dinner.

{Tinsley’s Story} In middle school, my best friends (Vicki Roberts / Katie Swecker) and I would spend cool fall nights curled up on the couch at Katie’s house indulging on Velveeta mac and cheese, watching scary movies. Whenever I make mac and cheese, I take a trip down memory lane to those favorite middle school memories.

If you love mac and cheese, you’ve got to check my recipe below. Its so easy and fool proof, you never know, it might take you down on memory lane.

Ingredients:Rockin Mac and Cheese

  • 1 lb of short cut pasta
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella
  • ¼ shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter


Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, generously season the water with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain and set aside.

Add panko to a small prep bowl with parmesan cheese. Add in melted better and toss to combine, set aside.

While pasta is cooking, start on the béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, allowing the floury flavor to cook out. Add milk and bring sauce to a bubble. Reduce and stir in cream cheese plus ½ of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese into the sauce (stir in a figure eight motion until it becomes rich and creamy); about 5 minutes and remove from heat. In a large prep bowl, add cooked pasta. Pour the béchamel cheese sauce over the pasta and gently fold to coat. Add in the remaining cheese and fold the béchamel cheese sauce and cheese to combine.

Transfer pasta to a casserole dish and finish by sprinkling the top with the buttered panko/parmesan mixture. Place the mac and cheese in the oven for about 20 minutes. Change the setting to broil and continue to cook until brown and bubbly; 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe freezes beautifully. Freeze leftovers and reheat in the oven at 350, covered with foil, for about 15 minutes.

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