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Next Level Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe was part of the Food Fight: Macaroni and Cheese Challenge which ended Feb 29, 2008 04:00 PM.
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Total Time: 35-45 minutes

Active Time:

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

There’s really no need to remake a classic American staple like baked macaroni and cheese. But, that hasn’t stopped anyone from trying and now mac n’ cheese has numerous variations that add gourmet mushrooms, charcuterie and truffles to a down home classic dish.

However, I’m adhering to the classic recipe that shines because of its simplicity. The only change is I’m using very high quality ingredients and adding just two slight variations i.e. Japanese breadcrumbs (Panko) and cayenne pepper.


  1. 1Cook macaroni al dente according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 2Add butter to large saucepan under medium low heat and stir in flour, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. 3Slowly add milk to flour mixture and continue to stir until blended. Add cream and continue to stir mixture and increase heat until it boils. Congrats, you’ve made the base sauce (a roux)
  4. 4Immediately reduce heat to lowest setting and add 2 cups of cheese and Velveeta slices to roux and continue to stir until the cheese is fully incorporated. Congrats again, now you’ve made a mornay sauce.
  5. 5Remove saucepan from burner and fold macaroni into cheese sauce.
  6. 6Transfer macaroni and cheese sauce to a greased baking dish.
  7. 7In a medium saucepan, add butter and melt. Then add panko breadcrumbs, remaining cheese and cayenne pepper (to taste) and mix quickly under low heat until all ingredients are incorporated.
  8. 8Crumble panko mixture on top of macaroni and cheese and place baking dish in oven; cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Member recipes are not tested by the CHOW food team.

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