Panera Mac n Cheese

18 Apr

I love Panera Mac n Cheese.  I LOVE Panera Mac n Cheese.  It’s the most delicious mac n cheese on the planet, like anywhere ever.  Or at least that I can quickly grab and devour.

It’s so cheesey, and so creamy – it’s like, next level Kraft mac, but a trillion times better.

This is the recipe I use (thank you thank you Tim, husband of Brandi at sixmonsters for being a perfectionist with a savant like ability to taste and dissect a recipe for recreation; and thank you Brandi for posting it).

My only change is to add crumbled Ritz crackers on top because someone in this house loves his mac with crispies on top.  And who am I to argue with that?

8 to 12 ounces small or medium Shell pasta
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3 slices American cheese, chopped
2 ounces Cream Cheese
1 ounce shredded Parmesan
6 ounces shredded extra-sharp White Vermont cheddar (if you can’t find white, who cares?  so it’ll look more like regular mac, but be just as delicious)
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 drops Frank’s hot sauce


1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, do steps 2 – 4

2. Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.

3. Gradually whisk in cream; cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low.

4. Add cheeses, mustard, salt, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. Add a small amount of whole milk to thin out if needed. It should look kind of like vanilla pudding, but a little bit thinner.

5. Stir in pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute (or until thoroughly heated).



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2 Responses to “Panera Mac n Cheese”

  1. mqs April 19, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    American cheese gets higher billing than Vermont cheddar? That doesn’t seem right

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