Classic and comforting easy cheesy grown up mac and cheese with meatballs.
For The Roux:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 cube)
2 rounded tablespoons flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 cups milk (nutrition is calculated using whole milk)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded cheese (I used medium cheddar)
For The Topping:
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded cheese for sprinkling (optional)
1/4 tsp. paprika (optional)
For The Noodles:
12 oz. or 3/4 of a box elbow macaroni or favorite pasta
For The Meatballs: (see recipe below)
Begin by preparing your meatballs and getting them in the oven. Prepare your noodles according to package directions and cook until just before al dente. Noodles will finish during baking. While the meatballs are cooking, start creating a roux for your cheese sauce.
Melt your butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and salt and whisk together to form a paste. Continue whisking until the flour has fully absorbed and the paste begins bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in your milk. Continue cooking until sauce thickens, about 8-10 minutes, whisking constantly. Add your cheeses and combine well. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare your topping by melting butter in a small pan. Add your breadcrumbs and combine well. Over medium heat, lightly brown the mixture. Be sure to keep an eye on it as it browns fast. Remove from heat and place on a paper plate or dish to prevent it from continuing to brown.
Combine your meatballs, noodles, and cheese sauce and place in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping over the dish. Finish by sprinkling cheddar cheese and paprika over the top (optional).
Cover with aluminum foil. Place in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil after 25 minutes and cook uncovered for the remaining 5 minutes so the top can brown.
I normally only end up using enough of the breadcrumb topping to cover the dish. This is usually around half of the mixture.
I used medium cheddar and parmesan for this recipe but you can use whatever cheese you’d like. Sharp cheddar and gruyere are really good and so are sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack.
*Nutrition Facts are without meatballs. See meatball recipe for nutrition facts.
- Serving Size: 1/8 pan
- Calories: 372
- Sugar: 4.5g
- Sodium: 373.8mg
- Fat: 17.5g
- Saturated Fat: 10.2
- Unsaturated Fat: 0.4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 39.6g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Protein: 15.5g
- Cholesterol: 53.1g
Keywords: macaroni and cheese, mac and cheese, comfort food, baked mac and cheese, mac & cheese, southern-style mac and cheese, meatball mac and cheese, grown up mac and cheese, adult mac and cheese