The breadcrumb topping adds a buttery flavor and a crunchier texture to the dish. It’s possible to use two distinct kinds of cheese in this baked mac and cheese dish, but you may also create it with a wide variety of other cheeses.
Using a grater attachment on a food processor, crush the cheese into a fine powder before using it in the Southern baked mac and cheese recipe. Compared to pre-shredded cheese, this cheese is far more affordable, but it also tastes substantially better. Although you can use pre-shredded cheese in your macaroni and cheese, you won’t lose any of its delicious flavors.
Pour the gruyere mac and cheese sauce over the pasta, and mix the two components until the sauce covers the pasta. Next, bake it in the oven after adding more shredded cheese and toasted butter breadcrumbs. This will make it more crunchy. Cover the pan with aluminum foil; if your breadcrumbs begin to turn black while baking, continue baking as usual.
It would help if you began your pasta dish with a layer of cheesy, gooey mac and cheese on the bottom of your casserole, followed by a golden brown coating of crispy breadcrumbs. Then, topped with a rich, silky gruyere sauce, the bottom layer is pasta that has been cooked to perfection.
What Can I Use Instead of Breadcrumbs for Mac and Cheese?
There are so many recipes that include breadcrumbs as a critical ingredient. Would it still be as good if the crunchy, buttery coating on your favorite casserole or baked macaroni and cheese were missing?
Breadcrumb substitutes can be found in a variety of pantry items. For the same effect as breadcrumbs, you may use crushed tortilla chips or store-bought croutons; you may prefer these substitutions to the real thing.
Dried stuffing is nothing more than huge, seasoned slices of bread that have been dried and stored. You can make your seasoned breadcrumbs by pulsing some into small crumbs in a food processor.
Pretzels are an excellent breadcrumb alternative because of their crunch and salty flavor. For recipes calling for traditional breadcrumbs, grind the oats into coarse crumbs before adding them to the mixture.
Potato chips are always handy in the kitchen. Replace breadcrumbs with these tiny crumbs when coating chicken or pork, or sprinkle them on top of your favorite casseroles.
It’s hard to beat the flavor and convenience of pre-made croutons when making a sandwich or salad. Using breadcrumbs is as simple as processing them into fine crumbs and then adding them to your favorite recipes that call for them.
Can You Put Italian Breadcrumbs on Mac and Cheese?
Bread crumbs can be used in various dishes, from meatloaf and meatballs to casseroles. Even soups and stews can benefit from their thickening properties. Store-bought and homemade are the two options.
In addition to bread crumbs, Italian bread crumbs can be found in many supermarkets and convenience stores. They’re just standard bread crumbs seasoned with oregano and basil, common Italian herbs and spices. Salt, pepper, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder are also included.
The cheese sauce is made with butter, milk, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley, making it creamy and luscious. Oh, my, the breadcrumb topping. Toss breadcrumbs, butter, additional parmesan and parsley, and garlic powder together until evenly distributed around the dish. It’s a match made in heaven when the two meet.
Bread crumbs can be used in various ways, depending on the application and the final product. Bread crumbs, either fresh or dry, are commonly used in meat combinations to help bind moisture and give the meat a more soft, moist flavor. Meatballs and meatloaf are excellent examples of incorporating a panade into a dish. While cooking, the bread’s starches help keep the food moist rather than drying it out.
Chicken parmesan, chicken tenders, fried seafood, and tempura all use bread crumbs as a coating or breading. Also, it can be used as a garnish for salads, baked pasta dishes like macaroni and cheese, or green beans.
What Do Breadcrumbs Do?
Breadcrumbs can be utilized in wide-ranging baking and cooking recipes. A few examples of their versatility include thickening sauces, binding together meatballs or croquettes, and serving as a crunchy coating or topping.
Dry breadcrumbs are commonly sprinkled on top to give gratins, casseroles, and other similar foods a crunchier texture. However, when making meatloaf and stuffing, breadcrumbs are an essential ingredient.
Panko is usually bought from a store and is prepared from white bread, either with or without the crust. White panko is the name given to the former, while tan panko is used to describe the latter.
Unlike other breadcrumbs, this one is crumbly and absorbs less oil, making it ideal for meals that require a more crunchy feel. This ingredient is widely utilized in Asian cuisine but has also found its way into Western cuisine.
Dry breadcrumbs can be purchased at most stores, or you can prepare your own to control the flavor and texture. First, cut or tear the bread into large pieces; then pulse until it is the proper texture in a food processor to produce your fresh breadcrumbs.
For a quick and straightforward way to prepare crumbs, cut bread into cubes and bake them in a 350oF oven until they are dehydrated. Next, pulse the cubes in a food processor until they’re the right consistency, then let them cool before serving.
If kept in a cold, dry place, dry breadcrumbs will keep for at least a year. Breadcrumbs produced from scratch can be frozen in a zip-top plastic bag for six months. Frozen breadcrumbs don’t need to be thawed beforehand.
What Can You Add to Mac and Cheese?
Mac and cheese is a universal favorite. Seriously, it’s the perfect comfort meal, with its gooey, cheesy, and salty mix. So quickly whip up a meal by keeping a box in the pantry or cabinet. Say hello to a delicious meal for less than two dollars!
However, there are occasions when you want to go beyond the confines of the mac and cheese box. Anyone can make next-level macaroni and cheese with basic cooking skills. As far as delicious add-ons go, there are a plethora of options!
- Macaroni & cheese and hot dogs are a tried-and-true combination. Better or more reassuring does not exist. Plus, it’s a cinch to put together and provides a small amount of protein to your meal.
- You can’t go wrong with serving pasta with some sauteed green peas. White cheddar or traditional macaroni and cheese go well with the peas. Add a cup of frozen peas and the sauce to the boiling noodles. Macaroni noodles, boiled peas, and grated parmesan cheese make a delicious cold salad. Before serving, stir in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Add a drained can of tuna (still in the water) to the mac and cheese mixture and stir until the tuna is broken up. A “stovetop” tuna casserole can be made by combining tuna with white cheddar macaroni and cheese.
- It’s a wonderful way to use up some ham sitting in the fridge. It’s also possible to request thicker slices or look for steaks at the deli, so don’t be afraid to ask (which need to be pre-cooked). Then, add the steak cubes to your mac and cheese after cooking them in a skillet.