Creamy Cheddar and Gruyere Baked Mac & Cheese
- 1 pound penne or any pasta of your choice – cook to package directions
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups half and half
- 16 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz. shredded gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions to desired doneness. I prefer al dente because pasta will continue to cook when placed in oven. Drain pasta and pour into 9 x 13 baking dish, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep pasta from sticking together while you prepare the cheese sauce.
- In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
- Once butter is melted add 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour and whisk together until all lumps have melted and mixture is smooth.
- Pour in half and half, continue to whisk until smooth and mixture starts to thicken.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and add in cheddar and gruyere cheese, mix until blended well.
- Remove cheese sauce from heat, add salt and pepper and stir.
- Add cheese sauce to baking dish with pasta and fold in until pasta is completely coated.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with breadcrumbs, top the mac and cheese with the buttery breadcrumbs.
- Bake in oven, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Serve and enjoy!!