Southern Baked Mac & Cheese Casserole

3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
6 Tbsp salted butter
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups half & half
2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Italian panko bread crumbs

Preheat over to 350°F.

Over high heat, boil water to cook the macaroni. Cook macaroni until it's firm and dnot overly cooked.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until there are no lumps. Pour in the half & half and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking and whisking until the sauce starts to thicken.

Reduce heat to medium low, and add 8 oz. of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese and mix until it is well incorporated. Sprinkle in the seasoning salt and pepper and stir.

Place the cooked and drained macaroni in a large bowl and add the cheese sauce. Fold the noodles and sauce together until well-blended.

Butter or lightly oil a 9x13" baking dish. Combine the remaining cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese. Add a layer of the macaroni and cheese at the bottom of the baking dish, then top with a heavy layer of the mixed cheeses. Repeat.

Melt two Tbsp of butter and combine with the bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of the casserole.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Note: for best results, buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself. Store-bought shredded cheese has added ingredients and it doesn't melt as well.

via iHeartRecipes

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