Pioneer Woman makes Mac and Cheese with Panko

Mac and Cheese used to be served, quite often, in this house.  I am guessing, as the kids grew up, there was less of a quest for better mac and cheese dishes.  One of the best, I have had, is Paula Deen's with tomatoes.  Seeing Ree's recipe, I was excited to see tomatoes included until I realized, I had none in the house.  In this frozen winter, I am not willing to run to the store for almost any item.  It is cold and it is slippery and one gets tired, climbing over the NY garbage that has not been picked up as well as the snow mounds that are getting higher and higher, even with the rain trying to wash them away.

I made the recipe without the tomatoes.  After all, it is a Pioneer Woman recipe.  I do suggest keeping the tomatoes as a nice balance to the gooey cheese.

Mac and Cheese…and Panko!

Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes


  • 1 pound Cooked Pasta (slightly Undercooked)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ cups Flour
  • 2-½ cups Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Mustard Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (more To Taste!) Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 8 ounces, weight Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 8 ounces, weight Tomato Basil Pepper Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Sliced Thick
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs  (mine had seasoning and I don't recommend this)
  • Salt And Pepper For Sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook pasta until al dente.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet.
  • Sprinkle in flour, whisk to combine, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it deepens in color. 
  • Pour in milk, whisking constantly. Add mustard, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking until it thickens, 4 minutes or so. 
  • Add cheese and stir until melted. Pour in cooked pasta and stir to coat. Check seasonings and add more salt if needed.
  • Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Top with 3/4 of the panko crumbs. 
  • Arrange tomato slices neatly on the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the rest of the panko crumbs.
Bake for 20 minutes. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes at the end to make the top golden brown.

 The seasoned crumbs was overkill.  It messed up the seasoning of the mac and cheese.  Without them, I think this would have been better or with plain Panko, I am sure I would have been more pleased.

Linked to Simply Sweet Home - one of my favorites, Mac 'n Cheese Challenge,


  1. This sounds like a recipe I would love to try. Thank you for your visit.

  2. Thank you for linking this up to the mac and cheese quest! Feel free to add more if you have some!


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