Garlic Parmesan Mac And Cheese

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this creamy and flavorful Garlic Parmesan Mac And Cheese. This classic dish is elevated with a garlic-infused creamy sauce and a crispy breadcrumb topping, making it a crowd-pleasing favorite for any occasion. Perfectly cheesy and satisfying, it’s sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire.


  • 1 pound (500 grams) dry weight pasta: Choose your favorite pasta shape such as elbow, macaroni, cellentani, or any other pasta variety.

Crispy Topping:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • ⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup flour, all-purpose or plain
  • 4 ½ cups milk, divided: Skim, 2% or full fat are fine to use.
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or corn flour
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder or vegetable stock powder
  • ¾ cup low-fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 6 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced


  1. Boil Pasta: Cook the pasta in salted water according to packet instructions until just al dente. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Prepare Crispy Topping: Preheat oven grill or broiler to 190°C | 375°F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, ovenproof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the Panko breadcrumbs; stir to coat and cook until golden browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Prepare Sauce: In the same pan/skillet, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Add the crushed garlic and sauté until fragrant. Whisk in the flour and cook while whisking for about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in 4 cups of the milk, bringing to a boil until thickened. In a separate jug, combine the cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup milk; whisk until lump-free and stir through the white sauce to thicken completely. Season with salt, pepper, and bouillon powder. Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar, 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and mozzarella slices until melted. Toss the pasta through the sauce until coated.
  4. Assemble and Bake: Top the pasta with the crispy Panko topping and remaining parmesan cheese. Broil (or grill) in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
  5. Serve: Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serve Hot: Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese is best served hot and fresh from the oven. The creamy texture and crispy topping are at their peak when served immediately.
  2. Garnish: Before serving, garnish the mac and cheese with freshly chopped parsley or basil for a pop of color and freshness.
  3. Portion Control: When serving, use a sharp knife to cut the mac and cheese into individual portions. This helps control serving sizes and ensures everyone gets a taste of the deliciousness.
  4. Reheating: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the desired portion in a microwave-safe dish and microwave in 30-second intervals until heated through, stirring in between.
  5. Avoid Freezing: While you can freeze leftovers, the texture of the creamy sauce may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. It’s best to enjoy the Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese fresh for optimal taste and texture.
  6. Make-Ahead: To save time on busy weeknights, you can prepare the mac and cheese in advance up to the point of baking. Cover the assembled dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator, top with breadcrumbs and cheese, and bake as directed.
  7. Customize Servings: If you’re serving a large group, consider doubling the recipe and baking it in a larger dish. Alternatively, you can prepare individual portions in ramekins for a more elegant presentation.
  8. Pairing Suggestions: Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as a crisp green salad, steamed vegetables, or garlic bread. Consider serving it alongside your favorite protein for a complete meal.
  9. Serve with Extras: Enhance the dining experience by offering additional toppings such as chopped crispy bacon, diced tomatoes, or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for guests to customize their servings.
  10. Enjoy Leftovers Creatively: If you have leftover Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese, consider repurposing it into other dishes such as mac and cheese stuffed bell peppers, mac and cheese grilled sandwiches, or mac and cheese frittata for delicious leftover transformations.


  1. Bacon and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Add crispy bacon bits to the mac and cheese mixture for a smoky flavor boost.
  2. Spinach and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Stir in chopped spinach leaves to the sauce for added nutrients and color.
  3. Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Mix in chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a tangy twist.
  4. Buffalo Chicken Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Toss shredded cooked chicken with buffalo sauce before adding to the mac and cheese for a spicy kick.
  5. Broccoli and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Add steamed broccoli florets to the mac and cheese mixture for extra texture and flavor.
  6. Sausage and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Brown sausage slices and add them to the mac and cheese mixture for a hearty variation.
  7. Mushroom and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Sauté sliced mushrooms and add them to the mac and cheese for a savory touch.
  8. Tomato and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Stir in diced tomatoes for a burst of freshness.
  9. Pesto Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Swirl in a dollop of pesto sauce for a flavorful twist.
  10. Crab and Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese: Fold in lump crab meat for a decadent seafood variation.


  1. Can I use gluten-free pasta for this recipe? Yes, you can substitute gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free version of this dish.
  2. Can I make this ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the mac and cheese ahead of time and bake it when ready to serve.
  3. Can I use different types of cheese? Feel free to experiment with different cheese combinations such as fontina, gouda, or asiago.
  4. Can I use whole milk instead of low-fat milk? Yes, you can use whole milk for a richer sauce.
  5. Can I freeze leftovers? Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  6. Can I add vegetables to the mac and cheese? Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables such as peas, carrots, or bell peppers.
  7. Can I omit the breadcrumbs for a lighter version? Yes, you can omit the breadcrumbs or use a gluten-free alternative for a lighter version.
  8. Can I use fresh garlic instead of crushed garlic? Yes, you can use minced fresh garlic for a stronger garlic flavor.
  9. Can I use different pasta shapes? Yes, you can use any pasta shape you prefer such as penne, fusilli, or rigatoni.
  10. Can I add protein to the mac and cheese? Absolutely! You can add cooked chicken, shrimp, or even tofu for added protein.

In conclusion, this Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese recipe is a delightful blend of creamy pasta, savory garlic, and cheesy goodness that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. With its simple yet flavorful ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this dish is perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion where you want to impress your guests with a comforting and satisfying meal.

The crispy breadcrumb topping adds a delightful crunch to each bite, while the creamy garlic-infused sauce coats every strand of pasta for a truly indulgent experience. Whether served as a main dish or as a side alongside your favorite protein, this Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese is sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.

So why wait? Gather your ingredients, follow the simple steps, and treat yourself to a taste of comfort with this delicious Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese recipe. Your taste buds will thank you!