Yield: 8 to 10 servings
16 ounces medium elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1½ teaspoons onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
4 ounces Velveeta cheese, chopped
10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (approximately 2½ cups), divided
1 (7-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
1 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add macaroni, and cook until tender, approximately 11 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, and cook until nutty in fragrance, approximately 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, garlic salt, onion powder, and red pepper. Cook until thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Add Velveeta, and whisk until completely melted, approximately 4 minutes. Add 2 cups Cheddar in small handfuls, letting cheese melt between additions. Stir in pimientos.
4. Pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni, stirring to coat. Pour into prepared baking dish.
5. In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs, paprika, and remaining ½ cup Cheddar. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over macaroni.
6. Bake until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, approximately 10 minutes.