Welcome to One Pot Bangers, Benjamin Kemper’s weeknight cooking column, where you’ll find our freshest, boldest ideas that require just one pot, skillet, or sheet pan. Busy week? We’ve got you covered with these low-effort, high-reward recipes from around the globe.
Some of my biggest culinary wins are a product of the drunchies—you know, the drunk munchies. That’s how this one-pot manchego mac and cheese recipe was born: I'd just gotten home from the club and had a hankering for a big bowl of mac. But making béchamel was a nonstarter—I needed sustenance, now. So I fried a handful of breadcrumbs, adding Spanish pimentón for color and heat. Then I cooked a box of pasta straight in the milk, stirring it like a risotto and letting no creaminess go to waste. Finally, in went the contents of my cheese drawer, grated white American and manchego. I wolfed down every last smoky, gooey spoonful, convinced I’d created the best Iberian-American mashup ever. Maybe that was the drunchies talking—or maybe a pinch of pimentón really is the secret to great mac. Try this recipe, and you be the judge.
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón), divided
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 4 cups whole milk, plus more as needed
- 1 lb. dried fusilli pasta, or other pasta with grooves
- 2½ cups grated block white American cheese (10 oz.), such as Land O’Lakes
- 2½ cups grated manchego cheese (10 oz.)
- 1½ tsp. mustard powder, or 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- Finely chopped parsley leaves, for garnish