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Bang-Bang Mac & Cheese

Finally, a mac and cheese dish that explodes with flavor! Bang-Bang Mac & Cheese has everything you want from mac and cheese: creamy, melty, stretchy cheese sauce with notes of cheddar, Colby-Jack, and Monterey Jack blanketing tender pasta with a topping of crunchy, toasted breadcrumbs. But Bang-Bang Mac & Cheese has a secret ingredient — a hit of cayenne pepper that adds a kick of heat and spice. This actually makes it taste even more cheesy by contrast, so you may just have the cheesiest mac and cheese around when you serve this up!

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  • 1 (16-ounce) package medium shells pasta
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) package extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


Step 1 -Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 2 -Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.

Step 3 -In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the pasta to al dente, according to package directions.

Step 4 -Drain the pasta.

Step 5 -In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.

Step 6 -Add the breadcrumbs and sauté, stirring frequently, until toasty brown.

Step 7 -Pour the breadcrumbs into a bowl and set them aside.

Step 8 -In the same skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of the butter.

Step 9 -Add the milk and the cayenne.

Step 10 -Add the cheddar, the Monterey Jack, and the Colby-Jack and melt until a smooth sauce forms.

Step 11 -Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce in the skillet.

Step 12 -Season the pasta mixture with the salt and the pepper.

Step 13 -Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

Step 14 -Top the mac & cheese with the panko breadcrumbs.

Step 15 -Cover and bake for 25 minutes, removing the lid for the last 5-10 minutes.

Step 16 -Let the mac & cheese sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Step 17 -Serve!

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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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