Fontina Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a rich and hearty macaroni and cheese using a Fontina cheese sauce. Packed with roasted broccoli, red peppers, and yellow squash this macaroni and cheese is loved by adults and kids!
3 cups uncooked elbow noodle pasta
2 large heads of broccoli, diced into florets
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 yellow squash, chopped into quarters
3/4 cup Panko breadbrumbs
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 + 3 tablespoons butter (you use them at different times)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half & half
2 5oz blocks of Fontina cheese, grated (you’ll use 4 cups of the grated cheese in the sauce and what remains gets sprinkled overtop before baking)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
Paprika for garnishing
1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour all of the diced veggies onto a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes. Once veggies have cooked, remove them from the oven then reduce oven heat to 350.
2. While the veggies roast, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the 3 cups of pasta.
3. While the pasta cooks, prepare the cheese sauce. First, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium pot. Once melted, pour over the 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs. Set aside. Next, in the same pot melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and add in the grated garlic, cook for about 1 minute then add the 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk to combine. Slowly pour in the 2 cups of half & half and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until slightly bubbly. Season with the salt.
4. Next, reduce heat to low and pour in 4 cups of the grated Fontina cheese. It helps to pour one cup at a time whisk until it has melted into the sauce then add the next cup until all 4 cups are now in the cheese sauce. Add the 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and increase heat to medium-high until the sauce has thickened, then remove from heat.
5. To assemble, start with the cooked noodles in your large pasta pot. Add in the cooked veggies and stir so they are dispersed in the noodles. Then, pour all of the cheese sauce into the pot. Stir so all the Fontina cheese sauce has covered all of the noodles and all of the veggies. Pour into a 9×13 casserole dish, top with remaining grated cheese, then top with the Panko breadcrumbs and lastly sprinkle paprika overtop for added color. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.