Thanksgiving Skillet Mac & Cheese

Thanksgiving Skillet Mac & Cheese


´╗┐´╗┐16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked (or other tubular pasta)
´╗┐´╗┐1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
´╗┐´╗┐6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
´╗┐´╗┐3 cups whole milk
´╗┐´╗┐1 cup heavy whipping cream
´╗┐´╗┐4 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
´╗┐´╗┐2 cups Gruyere cheese shredded
´╗┐´╗┐salt and pepper to taste
´╗┐´╗┐1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
´╗┐´╗┐4 tbsp butter melted
´╗┐´╗┐1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
´╗┐´╗┐1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)


1. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large 3 qt or 4 qt baking dish and set aside.
2. Combine shredded cheeses in a large bowl and set aside.
´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐Cook the pasta one minute shy of al dente according to the package instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and place in a large bowl.
3. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐Drizzle pasta with olive oil and stir to coat pasta. Set aside to cool while preparing cheese sauce.
´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐4. Melt butter in a deep saucepan, dutch oven, or stock pot.
´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐5. Whisk in flour over medium heat and continue whisking for about 1 minute until bubbly and golden.
´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐6. Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream until nice and smooth. Continue whisking until you see bubbles on the surface and then continue cooking and whisking for another 2 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper.
7. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐Add two cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth. Add another two cups of shredded cheese and continue whisking until creamy and smooth. Sauce should be nice and thick.
´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐8. Stir in the cooled pasta until combined and pasta is fully coated with the cheese sauce.
´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐9. Pour half of the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and then the remaining mac and cheese.
10. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.