This is a kid-friendly version of my Spicy Baked Mac & Cheese. (If you really want something fun though, try my Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese!!)It still has a little heat from the chile powder for flavor, but nothing like the original version full of pepper jack cheese (and nothing that will scare away the kiddos)!
You don’t have to cook the sauce for this mac & cheese on the stove, so it’s a very quick and easy recipe to throw together.
Always a crowd pleaser in my house, this macaroni & cheese is also amazing with some diced ham stirred in with the cheeses before cooking!
- 3/4 pound short noodles, cooked al dente
- 1 1/2 cups diced mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (1 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup)
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 Tablespoons sour cream
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Boil the noodles to al dente, according to package directions. (I usually boil the whole pound, and then give a bowl of buttered noodles to my toddler to snack on while I work. He loves noodles and butter!)Butter a 9x13" baking dish. Stir together the cooked noodles, the diced mozzarella & 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheddar and place in the buttered baking dish.
Stir together the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, except for the parmesan, bread crumbs, butter and remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar. Pour this sauce evenly over the noodles in the dish.
Sprinkle the parmesan and 1/2 cup cheddar evenly over the top. Combine the butter and bread crumbs and sprinkle those over the top as well.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling (cover with a piece of foil if it is getting too brown towards the end of the cooking time!).