Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust

The creamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese ever. Five cheeses are blended together with a creamy béchamel sauce, tossed with pasta and topped with a crisp, buttery panko topping.  Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust is sure to become your favorite recipe of all time.  So easy to make.

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust | The Suburban Soapbox

Yesterday…we talked salad.  I love that salad but I also love some gut-busting meals….aka comfort food.  Things that are smothered in cheese, dipped in butter, swimming in sauce.  And then I’ll eat a salad.  It’s all about balance, it’s the way I live.  A little bit of everything you like to eat…just in moderation. BUT all bets are off on Thanksgiving day.  When all the food categories, not to be confused with the food pyramid….food categories are more like sweet, savory, cheesy, crunchy, gut-busting, healthy. They’re all there on that Thanksgiving table.

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust | The Suburban Soapbox

Everything from these amazing green beans which won’t cause you to change into sweatpants to this pumpkin bread pudding….which will definitely require a wardrobe change. Nothing is left out and everyone leaves your house (or your relatives house) full, happy and needing a nap.  If it were up to me, I wouldn’t even make a turkey…nobody likes it anyway and it really is only good for the leftovers. It’s more of a centerpiece for the table, the world (at least the USA) lives for the sides….so I try to have an epic selection with a few new things thrown in each year.  My mashed potatoes make an appearance every single year but this year I’m adding a few new things.

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust | The Suburban Soapbox

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust will be the new star of the show this Thanksgiving….and beyond.  It’s amazingly creamy with an ooey, gooey sauce and topped with a buttery panko crust.  It’s so simple to make and can be assembled in advance for an easy side dish that will soon be a family favorite.  I know lots of people that have included macaroni and cheese on their holiday table for years but for me….this is a first.  And definitely not the last….and this Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese will be showing up for many more dinners throughout the winter because it’s the most epic comfort food ever.

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust | The Suburban Soapbox

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust | The Suburban Soapbox

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust

Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: macaroni and cheese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 731 kcal
Author: Kellie

Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is blended with five cheeses and baked with a panko crust.



  • For the topping:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups panko Japanese breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the macaroni:
  • 1 pound dried small shape pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 2 cups grated extra-sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup grated havarti
  • 1 cup grated munster
  • 1 cup grated gouda
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the butter until butter foam subsides. Add panko and garlic powder. Stirring constantly, cook until crumbs are golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer panko mixture to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan and salt. Set aside.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until just al dente (the pasta will still be firm but not crunchy). Drain pasta and set aside. In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the butter, whisking to combine and make a roux. (It will look like a paste.) Continue cooking, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the roux is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Slowly add the milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate and create a béchamel sauce. Stir in the nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a low boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until the béchamel sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Add the cheeses, 1 cup at a time, whisking until each addition is completely melted before adding more. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir the drained pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer macaroni mixture to the prepared baking dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil. Sprinkle topping evenly over pasta. Bake until golden and bubbling, approximately 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 731 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 27g169%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 1270mg55%
Potassium 352mg10%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 1405IU28%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 670mg67%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

14 comments on “Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust”

  1. When it comes to macaroni, the more cheese the better! I love the crisp panko topping too!

  2. There really is nothing like homemade mac and cheese…it truly is the perfect comfort food! And the panko topping…out of this world!

  3. This does look gut busting in the best way possible 🙂

  4. Can you advise the actual serving size for this? IT looks like you left serving size for muffins in your recipe 🙂 I am planning to try this for our work holiday party on Monday and I need to feed a crowd so I’m thinking I should double it.

    • Thanks for pointing that out, Angela! It’s 10-12 servings (about 1 1/2 cups per person which is a huge serving size)….and they’re clearly not muffins. 🙂

  5. Where do you find sharp white cheddar cheese? I am making this tonight, unfortunately I am using orange colored extra sharp cheddar. I hope this does not ruin the flavor

  6. I made this mac and cheese last night, the dish turned out amazing. I could not find White extra sharp cheddar, I ended up using the orange colored extra sharp cheddar, I was concerned about how it was going to look, all the other cheeses were white the one cup of orange cheese did not affect the color or taste of this dish. I did not add the extra salt this recipe called for, there is plenty of salt in all of the cheeses. Husband loved it.

  7. Can I assemble ahead of time and store in refrigerator before baking or will this change taste and texture?

    • You can assemble ahead of time and store in the refrigerator without the panko topping. Add the topping right before baking and you may need to bake a little longer since it will be cold when you start the cooking process.

  8. I don’t see where to add the second 1 teaspoon of garlic powder under “For the Mac:)? 

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