Skillet Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is one of those dishes that you eat as a kid, but really never stop loving. You definitely learn to eat better (and fancier) mac and cheese, but no matter what, you still enjoy the dish. So, here is a really easy one that you make in a skillet.  It is perfect to serve at any outdoor functions you have this coming Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients
1/2 pound elbow pasta
8 tablespoons butter (not using all of it at once)
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Optional: 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a skillet dish by spraying it with nonstick spray.

2. Cook the pasta based on the directions on the packaging. When done, drain the pasta and set it into the skillet.

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3. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter (save the rest for later) in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the salt, paprika, and pepper and mix. Pour in the milk slowly, continuously whisking until it is a smooth thick texture, which should take about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and continue stirring until the cheese has mixed in.

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4. Pour this cheese sauce over the pasta and mix.

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5. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and mix with bread crumbs and Parmesan (and bacon if using). Sprinkle this over the top of the mac and cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble. Serve warm (we reheated ours on the BBQ).

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