Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside – this Air Fryer Mac and Cheese is a delectable twist on a classic favorite. Velvety cheese sauce, a hint of cream cheese luxury, and perfectly cooked elbow macaroni come together in a harmonious blend of flavors.
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes until it becomes a light golden color.
- Gradually whisk in the milk to the roux, making sure to eliminate any lumps. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, usually about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, and add the shredded cheddar cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and softened cream cheese. Stir until all the cheeses are fully melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a pinch of paprika for extra flavor if desired.
- Mix the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce until evenly coated.
- In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with a little melted butter for added crispiness.
- Place the mac and cheese mixture in the air fryer basket. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top.
- Set the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
- Once done, let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy your delicious air fryer mac and cheese!