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Rach's fool-proof mac and cheese base gets a tasty dose of garlic breadcrumbs in this yummy comfort food mash-up. 

Check out Rach's other easy ways to change up her basic mac & cheese base:
Green Chile Bacon Mac & Cheese
Pimiento Cauliflower Mac & Cheese


For the Mac & Cheese Base:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups sharp yellow cheddar, shredded
  • 1 ½ cups yellow American cheese, shredded
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound pasta (Rach likes to use ziti), cooked to al dente
For the garlic bread mixture/topping:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 2 cups large homemade breadcrumbs or Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup parsley, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for sprinkling


Serves: 6 to 8


Preheat oven to 375˚F.

For the basic mac and cheese base, add the butter to a high-sided or deep skillet. Once the butter melts, add the flour and whisk one minute to make a roux. Whisk the milk into the roux. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in cheeses and stir until combined. Mix in white pepper, dry mustard, granulated onion and cayenne pepper. 

For the garlic bread mixture/topping, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat, swirl butter with garlic a minute or 2, and toss with breadcrumbs to moisten. Combine with parsley, oregano, red chili flakes and Parm. 

Combine the pasta with the mac and cheese base, then toss with half the breadcrumbs and add to a casserole dish. Top with remaining bread crumbs and more parm and bake until bubbly and brown on top, about 15 minutes.