For all you fans of Panera Mac and Cheese, I’m about to blow your mind. This is the actual Panera Mac and Cheese recipe that the company had posted on their website some time ago. Thank goodness my neighbor saved it for all of us to enjoy!
I thought my favorite was my stove top macaroni and cheese recipe, but boy this sure makes it hard to decide!
How to Make Panera Mac and Cheese at Home
This creamy, delicious copycat Panera mac and cheese tastes just like the restaurant. Aside from the pasta, please adhere to the ingredients listed below. As with all copycat recipes, if you want it to taste like you bought it there, you have to make it like they do. If you change any ingredients, you will change the recipe.
We even sought out the same pasta Panera uses, just to make it authentic. We found ours at Trader Joes, but there’s a little Italian grocery store by me that sells it too. They are called pipette rigate and have a unique shape that the Panera chefs say hold the sauce the best. If you can’t find pipette rigate, you can use regular elbow macaroni instead.
What you need to make this recipe:
- Pipette rigate (or elbow macaroni)
- All-purpose flour
- Sliced white American cheese, cut into strips
- Vermont extra-sharp white cheddar, shredded
- Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- Hot sauce
Helpful kitchen tools:
Making this amazing Panera macaroni and cheese
Panera Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounce pipette rigate or elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cup milk
- 6 Slices white American cheese sliced into thin strips
- 8 oz Vermont extra-sharp white cheddar shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Follow the directions on the package of pasta to cook al dente.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly.
Gradually whisk in the milk; cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat.
Add cheeses, mustard, salt, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and cheese sauce is smooth.
Stir in the cooked pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute (or until thoroughly heated). Serve immediately.