How To: Big Batch – Creamy Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumb Topping

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Packing is the pits!

Packing has to be one of the least fun things in the world. We are in the midst of packing up our two bedroom apartment to move to a more spacious abode to make room for the babe that will be joining us in the new year. One good thing that comes about from packing is finding those little items you totally forgot you had.

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In our case, that was my husband discovering he had about 20 boxes of KD in the cupboard. My husband is a devoted KD fan – no macaroni and cheese in our 5 years of marriage has come close to being as delicious as his beloved KD. Until now.

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This macaroni and cheese has to be the creamiest and cheesiest pasta bake I’ve made to date. I used whole wheat bow ties in place of the usual macaroni to make it a little more fun and topped it with big cubes of crispy multigrain bread, instead of the normal ground breadcrumb topping.

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Loaded with a ton of cheese, and I mean of ton of cheese, it makes sense why this version of the traditional mac and cheese is the tastiest. But it definitely serves a crowd – 12 to be exact. So it’s perfect for your holiday dinners or lunches or to get you through a busy work week.

If my husband was willing to forgo one of his many boxes of beloved KD for a serving of this pasta bake, then you know you we have a winner here!

Dara

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Creamy Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumb Topping

Serves 12
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 4 Slices multi grain bread (cut or ripped into small cubes)
  • 7 Tbsp butter (divided)
  • 5 1/2 Cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 3 1/2 Cups grated old white cheddar (divided)
  • 3 Cups grated gruyere (divided)
  • 1 Pound whole wheat bow tie pasta or macaroni

Note

This recipe can easily be halved if you don't want such a large batch. Or freeze half for a quick weeknight meal. Any short pasta shape can be substituted for the bow ties.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place bread cubes in a small bowl. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in the microwave and pour over bread cubes. Mix until coated and set aside.
3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes less than the box instructs. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Set aside 1/2 cup of cheddar and 1 1/2 cups of gruyere cheese.
4. In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat. In the same pot you used to cook the pasta melt the butter over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Add flour and whisk for about one minute. Slowly add warm milk and continue to whisk and cook the milk mixture until it starts to bubble and thickens. Remove from heat and add in salt, pepper, and remaining cheese. Then mix in pasta.
5. Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex with cooking spray and pour in pasta mixture. Top with the cheese you set aside earlier and the bread cubes. Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbly and brown on top. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

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