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Steakhouse Mac and Cheese

A homemade version of an Outback Steakhouse classic! Steakhouse mac and cheese is flavorful, lightly spiced, and easy to make in under 30 minutes. Creamy and delicious without processed cheese. Vegetarian. Makes 4 entree servings or 8 side-dish servings.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword Copycat Outback Steakhouse Mac and Cheese, Steakhouse Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 514kcal
Author thedachshundmom

Ingredients

Seasoned Bread Crumbs

  • ½ c Panko bread crumbs
  • tsp olive oil
  • tsp black pepper
  • tsp garlic powder
  • tsp onion powder
  • tsp paprika

Mac and Cheese

  • 2 c sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 c Gouda, shredded
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp AP flour
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • ½ c milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp garlic powder
  • tsp onion powder
  • 16 oz Cavatappi pasta

Instructions

Prepare Seasoned Bread Crumbs:

  • Combine bread crumbs and spices in a medium bowl.
  • Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add bread crumb mixture and toast, stirring constantly, approximately 1 minute, until fragrant and lightly browned.
    Waiting for oil to heat completely ensures crisp bread crumbs.
  • Remove crumbs from pan and set aside. Store leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator.

Make Mac and Cheese:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add flour and whisk continuously to form a medium brown roux, approximately 1 minute.
  • Stir in heavy cream, milk, and spices. Cook on medium, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, fragrant, and bubbling-- about 5 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat and slowly add cheese, stirring until fully melted and smooth. This takes 2-3 minutes.
  • Fold cooked pasta into cheese sauce until combined.
  • Serve and top with seasoned bread crumbs.

Storage and Leftovers:

  • Store leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Reheat with a little milk or cream.

Notes

Have all sauce ingredients ready before making this dish-- once the sauce begins, it requires constant stirring to ensure a smooth, creamy finish.
A good, smooth cheese sauce is best made with freshly shredded cheese-- bagged cheeses often have added fillers that prevent melting.

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal