I’m about to share with you the perfect top for your baked mac & cheese. I love a good crunchy top to my mac & cheese and I’m positive you are going to love this idea! That little extra topping makes this dish so much better.
You may have seen a lot of recipes that call for buttery breadcrumbs, and although that is delicious, I have something better. Inspired by a food truck that I would visit on the regular, I decided to add cheddar squares!
Cheddar squares are crunchy & cheesy making it the ultimate baked mac and cheese.
I use elbow macaroni because that’s what my mom used. You can use whatever pasta you like or have in your pantry. I would suggest using elbow or any kind of corkscrew-type because they hold the most cheese for each bite.
Because I’m a mom now, I also added in lentil pasta. I did half lentil pasta and half regular pasta. This is my way of sneaking in some good stuff. I also just love lentil pasta & my picky eater does too. My favorite brand is Tolerant (not an ad, I just really love them).
Crunchy Top 3-Chese Mac & Cheese
- 1 lb Macaroni (elbow or corkscrew)
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP Flour
- 2 cups Milk
- ½ TBSP Mustard (yellow or dijon)
- 1 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup Shredded Gouda
- 1 box Cheddar Squares
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray your cast iron pan or casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a pot of salty boiling water, cook your macaroni according to the package until it is al dente.
- In a large pot you will want to make the cheese sauce. Over medium heat, melt your butter and whisk in the flour. It should form a wet sand consistency – this is called a roux.
- Add in your milk and mustard. Whisk until the lumps are gone. Cook for 2-4 minutes until it becomes thick. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Take off the heat and stir in the cheeses. Stir until the cheeses are melted and fulling incorporated.
- Add in your cooked macaroni and stir until evenly distributed.
- Pour your thick macaroni and cheese mixture into your prepared pan or casserole. Spread around so that it's an even layer.
- Now you want to add your cheddar squares. Maybe start with a cup or so, I don't think you will use the entire box, but I like my topping to be thick. You can hand crush the squares, use a food processor or in a plastic bag, bang them with a rolling pin. I use my hands because I like the rustic look with both large and small pieces.
- Place in the oven at 350F for 25 minutes.
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