Everything bagels are pretty high on my list of favorite foods. So is mac and cheese. Put those things together and 🤯 (mind blown). Be prepared for anyone who tastes this to ask for the recipe. Yes, it's THAT good. I think the everything bagel seasoning on top makes it a breakfast food too. Imagine waking up to this?!
1 lb pasta of choice
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup all purpose flour
1½ cups whole milk
2½ cups half and half
2½ cups grated medium sharp cheddar cheese, measured after grating
1½ cups grated Gruyere cheese, measured after grating
½ cup brie, sliced (can be substituted for ½ cup additional gruyere)
½ tbsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp paprika
5 tbsp everything bagel seasoning, divided
½ cup panko
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente. Set aside ½ cup of pasta water.
Grate cheeses and toss together to mix, then divide into two piles. You want approximately 3½ cups for the sauce and 1½ cups for the topping.
Melt butter in your Stargazer 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Create a rue by sprinkling in flour and whisk to combine. The mixture will look like very wet sand. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often. Combine milk and half and half. Slowly add in about 2 cups or so of the milk mixture and whisking constantly until smooth. Then slowly add in the remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly again until smooth.
Continue whisking over medium heat until thickened.
Remove from the heat. Add in salt, pepper, paprika, 1 tbsp of the everything bagel seasoning and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir until melted and combined. Add in another 1½ cups of cheese and the brie. Stir until melted and combined. If the sauce is too thick, add in the pasta water you set aside until you reach the desired consistency.
Slowly add drained pasta into cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully.
Sprinkle the top with the last 1½ cups of cheese, remaining everything bagel seasoning and panko. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and lightly golden brown.