Monday Recipe Mission: Yummy Homemade Mac & Cheese

This recipe is great.  It is a huge hit in my home, both with the kids and daddy.  As you know it can sometimes be hard to please everyone!!!
And as always, it’s “ALL NATURAL”
*I usually cut this recipe in half for the family, unless I am making it for a larger group.
Makes: 12 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Broil: 3 minutes

1 box (16 ounces) cavatappi or cellentani (corkscrew-shaped pasta)
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups 2% milk (I use skim milk and it works fine)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
16 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
(*you can also use 8 ounces Gouda cheese, 4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated 4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or just 4 cheese blend)

2/3 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-3tsp unsalted butter

1. Heat broiler. Coat a 9 x 9-inch broiler-safe baking dish or six 1-cup ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 11 minutes, following package directions. Drain and transfer to bowl.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add flour, whisking to blend. Gradually add milk; whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat, stirring, then add onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Simmer 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

3. Add cheese and stir continuously until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Mix into cooked pasta.  Pour mixture into prepared dish(es). ( I put pasta in baking dish and then pour sauce over it then.  LESS DISHES TO CLEAN!

4. In medium-size microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining 1 teaspoon butter. Stir in panko and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide evenly over pasta. Broil 3 minutes or until browned. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

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