This macaroni and cheese from Chrissy Teigen’s book Cravings just shot its way to the top of our favorite macaroni and cheese recipes. For large potlucks, we like this crockpot macaroni and cheese. And I love this butterless macaroni and cheese from Lidia Bastianich. And I’ve got a few more on the site that I like as well. But this one with its garlicky cheesy bread crumbs on top and a mix of Cheddar, Gruyere and American is currently my top-ranking recipe for macaroni and cheese.
I almost made a half recipe for a family birthday celebration because I didn’t want too many leftovers but Odette had just given me this old Le Creuset casserole dish and I really wanted to use it so I made the full recipe.
And it’s a good thing I did! Everyone ate lots at dinner and everyone wanted to take some home. I had to ration it out because I wanted at least one portion here, too!
Chrissy’s Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 lb pasta shells
- 1 Tbs oil
- 1/4 lb (1 stick) butter plus more to grease the casserole dish
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 heaping 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
- 5 Tbs flour
- 5 cups milk
- 3 cups grated Cheddar
- 3 cups grated Gruyere,
- 3/4 lb of American cheese slices
Cook the Pasta
- Cook a pound of pasta shells, drain, rinse, and toss with some oil so they won’t stick together.
Make the Bread Crumbs
- Tear 6-8 slices of white bread into pieces and then whir in a food processor to make the fresh bread crumbs, aiming for about 4 cups.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat, add the garlic, and cook until softened but not browned, just 1-2 minutes.
- Add the fresh breadcrumbs to the skillet and stir well to blend the butter and bread crumbs. Turn the heat up a bit and cook, stirring, until toasty.
- Take off the heat and stir in salt, pepper and grated Parmesan. Set aside.
Make the Cheese Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425 and butter a 9×13 baking dish.
- Melt a cube of butter in the pot you used to cook the pasta. Add the flour and stir, cooking a few minutes until toasty.
- Whisk in the milk gradually. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until it thickens, whisking, about 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Reserve a handful of the grated cheese and add the rest of the grated plus the American to the sauce, stirring until it’s all melted.
- Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce and stir and reheat if necessary.
- Pour the pasta and sauce into the buttered 9×13 pan and top with the reserved grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 425 about 8 minutes.