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Comfort Food - Baked Mac and Cheese

Carrie @ poet in the pantry
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Entree
Servings 8


  • 1 pound medium shells pasta
  • ½ cup 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 14 ounces various cheeses shredded or chopped (I usually do a combination of Cheddars and either American, Gruyere, Parmesan, or even cream cheese)
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning blend


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large pot, cook pasta to al dente in salted water, according to box directions.
  • At the same time, melt ¼ cup butter in a medium sauce pan. Once bubbly, stir in the flour.
  • Once that has bubbled and thickened, add the milk. Stir occasionally until thickened.
  • Add the cheese. Once nearly melted, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Melt the other ¼ cup butter in the microwave. Add the Panko and Italian Seasoning, mixing well. Set aside.
  • In a 3-quart casserole, combine the drained pasta and cheese sauce, mixing well. Sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs over the top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.
  • Turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes to brown the bread crumbs. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.