This creamy Three Cheese Mac and Cheese with Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs is going to top any mac and cheese you have ever made! It is loaded with ooey-gooey melty cheese and you can whip it up in 30 minutes for a quick dinner the whole family will love!
Everyone loves a good macaroni and cheese and I am no exception. I have been getting over a cold this week and comfort food is what I craved. What better than creamy three-cheese mac and cheese when you’re under the weather. I also had tons of leftover cheese from the holidays. What do you do with leftover cheese? Make macaroni and cheese!
This mac and cheese is loaded with 3 different kinds of cheese. I have found that Brie, cheddar, and Parmesan make the perfect creamy combination for this recipe!
This melty cheese is mixed with tender macaroni noodles, topped with butter garlic panko breadcrumbs, and then, of course, more cheese. It is then topped with a thick layer of crunchy panko breadcrumbs that gives you a nice crunch to complement the thick, creamy pasta.
This is the perfect recipe if you are cravings comfort food, like me. Or if you need a quick dinner for the kids or just need a simple side dish. The boxed stuff is convenient of course, but homemade tastes so much better and you really can’t mess it up!
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How to make Three Cheese Mac and Cheese with Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs
This mac and cheese is a 3 step process.
- Boil the pasta.
- Make the cheese sauce
- Put it in the oven.
Serve it immediately, keep it simple, don’t overthink it, and enjoy every bite!
Tips for making the Best Mac & Cheese
- Cook pasta until al-dente. I like to cook my macaroni until al-dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven leaving us with perfectly tender pasta. We all know there is nothing worse than overcooked pasta.
- Shred your own cheese! I can not emphasize this enough. Pre-shredded cheese has preservatives that prevent them from melting and you will end up with a lumpy, gritty, mac and cheese.
- Make the cheese sauce while the pasta is cooking. While the pasta is boiling I make the cheese sauce. The cheese sauce starts out with a simple roux (butter and flour). This thickens up our cheese sauce. Milk is added and then simmered until thickened. Take off of the heat and whisk in all three kinds of cheese. Pour over cooked noodles and add to a baking dish.
- Sautee your breadcrumbs. Saute the garlic Panko breadcrumbs in oil and butter in a small skillet. Add the sauteed garlic to the breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Toss to combine and place on top of the mac and cheese.
How to store leftovers
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3 to 5 days.
What cheese is best for homemade mac and cheese?
My favorite combination for this recipe is brie, cheddar, and fresh parmesan. Brie isn’t typically thought of for mac and cheese but it gives it wonderful creaminess and richness. Other good cheeses to use are gouda, gruyere, cream cheese, and goat cheese.
More quick and easy pasta recipes!
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Macaroni Salad
- Mexican Pasta Salad
- Spaghetti Pea Carbonara
- Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo
- Cajun Chicken Pasta Bake
- Marinated Vegetarian Pasta Salad
Three Cheese Mac and Cheese With Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs
Three Cheese Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups 1% milk
- 1/4 cup brie cheese, cubed (I take the rind off)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon dried mustard
Three Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil pasta until al dente. About 7 minutes depending on pasta.
- Meanwhile, add butter to a medium saucepan and cook until melted.
- Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes until clump free and thickened.
- Add in milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk constantly so milk does not burn on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Take off of the heat and stir in all three cheeses, paprika, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and dried mustard.
- Add the cheese sauce to the cooked pasta stir to coat.
- Pour into an un-greased 8 x 8 pan.
- Top with Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs. Spread evenly over macaroni.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs
- Combine breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley in a medium bowl. Toss to combine.
- Add butter and oil to a small skillet. Melt butter.
- Add in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Take off the heat and add sauteed garlic to the breadcrumbs. Toss to combine.
- Set aside until your are ready to put the mac and cheese in the oven.