Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, add butter and melt over low heat. Add flour to the melted butter and stir until well incorporated and mixture thickens. Turn burner up to medium heat and slowly add the milk, about a half cup at a time. Continue to stir the sauce until it begins to lightly simmer and thicken. Then, add salt, pepper, mustard and stir. Turn the burner off and add 1-3/4 cups cheddar cheese and the cream cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
Pour elbow macaroni into an 8x8 baking dish. Evenly pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and give a light stir to make sure macaroni are fully coated in cheese sauce. Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese on top.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until top is golden. Do not over bake to keep creamy consistency on the inside.
***Recipe Notes: If your mac and cheese is not getting a golden top in the oven, place in the broiler for up to 1 minute until golden.
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