No-boil mac and cheese is a very simple concept – cover the macaroni with enough sauce that it cooks itself while it’s baking. Isn’t that brilliant? It also makes the mac and cheese more flavorful and “baked” tasting. Give it 30 minutes and you’re done. No more pre-cooking macaroni!
Easy No-Boil Mac and Cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk (or low-fat milk is fine too)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add milk and 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Whisk frequently. Stir in kosher salt and pepper.
- In a shallow baking dish (13x9x2), toss pasta with 1 1/2 cups cheese. Pour sauce over (pasta should be submerged; do not stir) and cover with foil. Bake pasta for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, panko, and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove foil from pasta dish. Sprinkle pasta with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, then panko mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 9 minutes.
- Turn on broiler and bake pasta for 1 to 2 minutes until top is golden brown. Monitor carefully, as the bread crumbs burn easily. When pasta is done, remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
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