Three Cheese Baked Mac and Cheese

Ahh, yes.  Macaroni and cheese.  One of the most beloved, yet common, side dishes that is used to bring to pot lucks, family gatherings, cookouts…you name it, and it’ll probably show up for most any occasion.  I do have a crock pot mac ‘n cheese recipe that everyone always polishes off at any gathering, but I came across a really good baked mac ‘n cheese recipe that desperately needed to be experimented with.  Normally, I just use the standard cheddar, but went with some different cheeses along with even some different pasta.

This time, I used white cheddar, Gruyere (which is a type of swiss) and parmesan.  Yumdiddles.  Grating the cheese was certainly a task, but the freshly grated cheese was absolutely beyond delicious.  The baking dish I used with this recipe was one that I ordered from Pampered Chef, and it’s the Deep Covered Baker.  And just in case you didn’t already know, it’s fabulous.

I couldn’t wait to try this out, and was very happy with the end result.  It was different and delicious, but my brother put it the best way…  He said, “It tastes like the kind of macaroni that you’d order in an  upscale restaurant.”  That description hit the nail right on the head!

Mac & Cheese Recipe:

1 lb. uncooked small shells pasta

1 stick butter

1/2 cup flour

5 cups 2 % milk

2 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

10 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

7 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups Cheese and Garlic croutons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.  Meanwhole, melt butter in pot and add flour, whisk until smooth.  Slowly add milk to flour mixture, whisking constantly until smooth.  Add mustard, salt and pepper.  Simmer 14-17 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.  Add cheeses, one at a time, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth.  Remove sauce from heat.  Meanwhile, coarsely chop croutons in food chopper or processor.  Mix sauce and cooked pasta in bowl until combined, then pour into baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, 25-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and croutons are golden brown.  Remove dish from oven, let stand for 10 minutes before serving


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