Ultimate Mac and Cheese

Ultimate Mac and Cheese – loaded with Havarti, White Cheddar, and Parmesan and topped with yummy Garlic Parmesan Breadcrumbs. Makes a ton – great for potlucks, parties, and the holidays! There are never any leftovers! Everyone RAVES about this delicious pasta casserole! #pasta #macandcheese #casserole #sidedish #freezermeal

Ultimate Mac and Cheese - loaded with Havarti, White Cheddar and Parmesan and topped with  yummy Garlic Parmesan Breadcrumbs. Makes a ton - great for potlucks, parties and the holidays! There are never any leftovers! Everyone RAVES about this delicious pasta casserole! #pasta #macandcheese #casserole #sidedish

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The Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese

I call this the Ultimate Mac & Cheese because it is loaded with three types of cheese – Havarti, White Cheddar and Parmesan. YUM! The Mac & Cheese is topped with yummy garlic parmesan breadcrumbs. Seriously delicious.

We LOVED this Ultimate Mac & Cheese. The combination of cheeses was perfect. My favorite part of the whole casserole might have been the yummy garlic parmesan breadcrumbs. Perfection!

How to Make Mac & Cheese from Scratch

Most of the work for this Ultimate Mac & Cheese is done on the stovetop. Start with boiling the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Melt a stick of butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and cook a few minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Add grated havarti cheese, white cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir until smooth. Add cooked pasta. Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with fresh breadcrumbs, melted butter, garlic, and parmesan. Pop the dish in the oven just to crisp up the breadcrumbs.

  • Can Mac & Cheese be made in advance? Yes! You can make this casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, bake the casserole at 350ºF until warm and bubbly, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Can Mac & Cheese be frozen? Yes! You can assemble the casserole and freeze unbaked for later. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake at 350ºF for 30 to 45 minutes, until warm and bubbly.
  • You can use any pasta you prefer. Elbow, penne, rigatoni would all work great.
  • I used Havarti, white cheddar, and parmesan cheese in this recipe. Feel free to use any of your favorite cheeses.
  • This recipe uses fresh breadcrumbs, not the canned breadcrumbs.
  • I usually use day old french bread to make breadcrumbs.
  • To make fresh breadcrumbs, place bread in a food processor and process until crumbly.

What to Serve with Mac & Cheese

This makes a lot of mac & cheese, so this is perfect for dinner parties, potlucks and cookouts. I have this on my list of sides to make when we have football parties this fall and for the holidays!

This goes with just about everything – chicken, pork, beef, steak dinners, burgers. You name it! Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this yummy mac & cheese casserole:

Ginger Ale Pork Tenderloin

Ginger Ale Pork Tenderloin – the BEST pork tenderloin I’ve ever made! SO good!! Pork tenderloin marinated in ginger ale,…

Charley’s Steak Marinade

Charley’s Steak Marinade – seriously delicious! Only 6 simple ingredients – yellow mustard, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, salt and…

scooping mac & cheese from baking dish

Ultimate Mac and Cheese

Ultimate Mac and Cheese – loaded with Havarti, White Cheddar and Parmesan and topped with yummy Garlic Parmesan Breadcrumbs. Makes a ton – great for potlucks, parties and the holidays! There are never any leftovers! Everyone RAVES about this delicious pasta casserole! #pasta #macandcheese #casserole #sidedish

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-oz) box mini penne pasta
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 (8-oz) block Havarti cheese, grated
  • 1 (8-oz) block sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 (8-oz) wedge Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9x13x2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1/2 cup butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in milk until well blended. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes, until thickened.
  • Stir in Havarti, white cheddar and parmesan cheese. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
  • Combine cheese sauce and pasta, stir to coat. Spoon pasta into prepared pan.
  • Combine fresh bread crumbs, melted butter, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on top of pasta.
  • Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until topping is golden brown.

Notes:

  • You can make this casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it. You will just need to up the cooking time to at least 30 minutes to get it heated through.
  • You can assemble the casserole and freeze unbaked for later. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake at 350ºF for 30 to 45 minutes, until warm and bubbly.
  • You can use any pasta you prefer. Elbow, penne, rigatoni would all work great.
  • I used Havarti, white cheddar, and parmesan cheese in this recipe. Feel free to use any of your favorite cheeses.
  • This recipe uses fresh breadcrumbs, not the canned breadcrumbs.
  • I usually use day old french bread to make breadcrumbs.
  • To make fresh breadcrumbs, place bread in a food processor and process until crumbly.

Steph

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Comments

  1. Oh my goodness this looks amazing! We love mac&cheese at our house. Definitely going to make this soon!
    Thank you =^.^=

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