Best Homemade Mac and Cheese with Panko Breadcrumb Topping

Best Homemade Mac and Cheese with Panko Breadcrumb Topping: creamy macaroni and cheese recipe with crispy panko breadcrumbs.

mac and cheese recipe with panko

This mac and cheese recipe with panko is from a old friend that always makes the most delicious food.  She gave the mac and cheese recipe to my sister, and when she made it for us, I had to have the homemade mac and cheese recipe too.  I’ve been making it ever since and it’s such a family favourite.

homemade Mac and cheese with panko

I love this creamy baked mac and cheese.  It’s the perfect side dish for just about any occasion, and kids especially will love it as a main dish too.  The secret ingredient that sets this homemade baked macaroni and cheese apart and take it to the next level is the panko bread crumbs.  They create a top layer of crispy breadcrumbs that is better than regular bread crumbs. We love the creamy texture of the mac and cheese, combined with the perfect buttery crunch of the buttered bread crumbs recipe.  

Mac and cheese recipe with panko breadcrumb topping

Video:  See How We Made our Mac and Cheese with Panko Breadcrumb Topping

And the other thing that sets this recipe apart is using different types of cheeses in the creamy sauce.  The combination of the different cheeses; sharp cheddar (you could also use extra-sharp cheddar here if you prefer) along with the gruyere cheese, and the parmesan cheese creates the best results and a delicious creamy macaroni and cheese.  If you’ve ever been intimidated by making your own béchamel sauce, this easy baked macaroni and cheese isn’t difficult to make and it is the ultimate comfort food.  This bechamel sauce comes together quickly and easily and adds so much creaminess to the dish.

homemade Mac and cheese with panko breadcrumbs

We don’t recommend using pre-shredded cheese for this recipe.  Shred your own cheese to avoid the additives they use to keep the pre-shredded cheese from sticking together.  It can slightly affect the texture of the cheese when it’s melted and it may not give you the stringy gooey cheese pull quite as well as cheese you grate yourself.

creamy baked Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese recipe with panko breadcrumbs

Yield: 8 servings

Best Homemade Mac and Cheese with Panko Breadcrumb Topping

Mac and cheese recipe with panko breadcrumbs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 16 oz dry macaroni pasta
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated and divided


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the breadcrumb topping, combine panko breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp melted butter, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  3. Cook the elbow macaroni until al dente, in a large pot of salted water. When it's cooked drain the elbow pasta and run it under cold water until it's completely cool. Set aside.
  4. To make the creamy cheese sauce, melt 1/3 cup butter in a medium pan, over medium heat. Add the flour and onion powder and stir until it's a smooth sauce. Cook for 2 min.
  5. Whisk in the milk, cream, dry mustard powder, salt, and black pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat while stirring, until mixture thickens. Let mixture boil for 1-2 minutes while stirring.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese, gruyere swiss cheese and remaining 1/4 parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and well blended.
  7. Add in the cold cooked macaroni to the cheesy sauce and stir to fully combine. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  8. Top the macaroni and cheese with panko topping. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown on top. Do not overbake. Cool 10 minutes before serving and enjoy.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 878mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 24g
This recipe creates the best baked mac and cheese.  If you have any leftovers store them in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Mac and cheese with panko breadcrumb topping

Like a little more heat? Feel free to add some hot sauce, or cayenne pepper for a little kick.

homemade Mac and cheese with panko breadcrumbs

We love this dish to go along with bbq, but it’s good anytime of year.  It’s especially a great addition to any meal around the holiday season.  And also travels well for pot lucks.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.  This easy recipe truly is the best mac and cheese.

homemade macaroni and cheese with panko breadcrumbs

With this homemade mac and cheese recipe panko, life really is a party!

More Inspiration

You might also like our Homemade Baked Beans recipe here.

Also check out our Marinated, Grilled, Flattened Chicken Recipe here.

You might also like our Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe here.


  1. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of Parmesan but in the recipe itself it only uses a half a cup total Between the Bread crumb topping and the cheese sauce. Where is the other quarter cup going?

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