I LOVE macaroni and cheese – but sometimes I don’t want to make it out of a box. Want to know a pretty easy recipe that will be sure to WOW your guests? Check out what my family ate tonight:


  • A box of pasta (something with a spiral works best)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives and scallions


Step 1: Ok, so this one starts out ugly and ends up beautiful. You just have to trust me. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, mustard and paprika and stir with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste puffs slightly, about 1 minute.


Step 2: Whisk in both milks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened and creamy, 6 to 7 minutes.



Step 3: Add the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and all but 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and whisk until melted; keep warm.


Step 4: Combine the panko, herbs and/or scallions, 1 tablespoon butter and the remaining parmesan in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the butter melts, about 1 minute; toss.


Step 5: Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup cooking water, and return to the pot. Toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then stir in the cheese sauce, adding the reserved cooking water if needed. Season with salt and top with the breadcrumb mixture.


Eat and enjoy! Don’t forget you can send in your favorite recipes and I will post them. Email me with step by step instructions just like this story. Can’t wait to get invited inside your kitchen!

Recipe from Food Network Magazine – April 2010 (revised) Instead of mozzarella they use Monterey jack. And I added a bit more Parmesan to my panko mix. Also chose not to use cayenne pepper and substituted it with paprika.

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