Healthy Camping Meals: Baked Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese

Indulge in a classic comfort food with this irresistible baked mac and cheese recipe! This dish features a luxuriously creamy cheese sauce made with a blend of Gruyere and mozzarella, and a delightful panko breadcrumb topping for the perfect textural contrast.

Easy to follow and bursting with flavor, this recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re looking for a delightful side dish for the holidays, a comforting weeknight meal, or a show-stopping potluck contribution, this baked mac and cheese is sure to impress.

Ready to dive into cheesy bliss? Let’s get cooking!

About Baked Mac and Cheese

  • Recipe Yield: 4 YIELDS Servings: 6 – 8 people
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1hour Total Time: 1hour 10minutes
  • Type: Side Dish Cuisine: popular recipe

Key Ingredients for Creamy Perfection

  • Pasta: 250g (8 oz) elbow macaroni (or your favorite pasta shape like cavatappi or shells)
  • Cheese:
    • 200g freshly shredded Gruyere cheese (Swiss cheese for a nutty depth of flavor)
    • 100g freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (for gooey, stretchy goodness)
  • Breadcrumb Topping:
    • 40g panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, melted
    • ¼ tsp salt
  • Cheese Sauce:
    • 60g unsalted butter
    • 50g all-purpose flour
    • 750ml milk (whole milk for richest sauce, low-fat or skim milk for a lighter option)
    • ¾ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
    • ½ tsp onion powder (optional)
    • ½ tsp mustard powder (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide to Cheesy Heaven

  1. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package instructions, minus one minute for an al dente texture. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of butter to prevent sticking.
  2. Prepare the Topping: Combine panko breadcrumbs, melted butter, and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Craft the Creamy Cheese Sauce: In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute to create a roux. Slowly whisk in warmed milk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded Gruyere and mozzarella cheeses until just combined. Season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder for an extra flavor boost (optional).
  4. Assemble and Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Combine the cooked pasta and cheese sauce in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the prepared panko topping and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
  5. Serve and Savor! Enjoy this decadent dish immediately, while the cheese sauce is hot and the topping is crispy.


Calories: 551cal Carbohydrates: 48g Protein: 23g Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 89mg Sodium: 847mg Potassium: 326mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 8g Vitamin A: 915IU Vitamin C: 0.2mg Calcium: 449mg Iron: 1.4mg

Baked Mac And Cheese
Baked Mac And Cheese

Tips for the Perfect Baked Mac and Cheese

  • Don’t Overcook the Pasta: Aim for al dente for the best texture. Overcooked pasta can become mushy in the final dish.
  • Experiment with Cheeses: While Gruyere and mozzarella are a classic combination, feel free to explore other cheeses like cheddar, fontina, or parmesan for a unique flavor profile.
  • Make it Ahead: Prepare the mac and cheese up to a day in advance and bake before serving.
  • Reheating Leftovers: Gently reheat mac and cheese in a low oven or microwave with a splash of milk to prevent drying out.

Read also: 6 Winter Camping Soup Recipes

This baked mac and cheese recipe is sure to become a new favorite! With its simple yet flavorful ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, it’s a recipe that’s perfect for any occasion. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to experience creamy, cheesy bliss!

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