Mac n cheese has got to be one of our favorite side dishes with BBQ. Normally, I use a crock-pot mac n cheese recipe that my mother-in-law gave me. It’s perfect because it cooks long and slow – just about the same amount of time it takes Jon to smoke or grill ribs. However, the other night we wanted to make this dish but didn’t have all of the time needed for the crock pot recipe. That’s where this skillet recipe, inspired by a recipe from Southern Living, came into play. This dish is flavorful and is the perfect base if you want to add any additional items (like bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, etc…..)
Skillet Mac and Cheese
- 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 qt. milk
- 6 TBSP butter, cut into pieces
- 6 TBSP all purpose flour
- 1 lb pasta (I used penne)
- 1 (8 oz) package shredded extra sharp cheddar
- 1 (8 oz) package shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups panko
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Preheat broiler with oven rack 8-9 inches from heat.
- Bring 1/4 cup salt and 4 qt water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.
- Meanwhile, microwave milk in a microwave safe 1-qt glass measuring cup covered with plastic wrap at HIGH 3 minutes. While milk is heating, melt butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; add flour, and cook whisking constantly. 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, whisking often.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, continue to cook sauce, whisking often. 6 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cheeses, hot sauce, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cover.
- Stir together panko and olive oil.
- Drain pasta and fold into cheese sauce. Sprinkle with panko mixture.
- Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve immediately.