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3.67 from 36 votes


Easy, cheesy comfort food
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Rest10 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mac and cheese
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 472kcal
Author: halfbakedharvest


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 1/2 cups milk I use 2%
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded havarti cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated
  • 1 cup Progresso™ panko crispy bread crumbs or Progresso™ plain bread crumbs
  • Parsley chopped (for garnish)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Add the pasta and about 1 cup of cheddar cheese to the prepared baking dish, set aside.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, whisking often, until a very thin, glossy sauce forms, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard powder, cayenne pepper (if using), salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese until smooth.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta, stirring to coat. The pasta should be submerged in the sauce. Cover with foil and bake until pasta is almost tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wipe your same sauce pot clean, then add remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter. Add garlic and breadcrumbs, toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. If desired you can toast the crumbs over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until fragrant.
  • Remove the pasta from the oven and remove the foil from dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup havarti cheese, then the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until pasta is tender, edges are bubbling, and top is golden brown, about 10-20 minutes longer. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with


Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 430mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 553mg | Iron: 1.7mg