This was the BEST macaroni and cheese recipe I've ever had. We made this for Thanksgiving and it was the star of the meal. In the future, we would omit the pecans as nobody could taste them and they didn't add anything to the dish. This dish was outstanding.
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck
Yield: Makes 8 servings
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Total: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes
- 12 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups (8 oz.) freshly shredded white Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded fontina cheese
- 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded Asiago cheese
- 1 1/2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- 2. Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup butter in a Dutch oven over low heat; whisk in flour and ground red pepper until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 6 to 7 minutes or until milk mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
- 3. Toss together Cheddar cheese and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; reserve 1 1/2 cups cheese mixture. Add remaining cheese mixture and hot cooked pasta to sauce, tossing to coat. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with reserved 1 1/2 cups cheese mixture.
- 4. Toss together breadcrumbs and next 3 ingredients; sprinkle over cheese mixture.
- 5. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
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