Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Copycat Panera Macaroni and Cheese

There was a day in June that I decided to have a big barbecue dinner.  It was the day before school got out so I was feeling good.  Even though I actually hate BBQ, I planned to make ribs (I know) with my own barbecue sauce, mac and cheese, cheddar rosemary cornbread muffins, and salad with homemade dressing.  Be on the lookout for those recipes soon!  But today is your lucky day because I am starting off with the best recipe from the BBQ: macaroni and cheese.  And not just any mac and cheese, but a copycat recipe for the mac and cheese from Panera.

To be honest, I have never had the real Panera macaroni and cheese, but I have friends who swear it's the greatest thing on the planet.  It certainly looks great: the sauce is thick and white and creamy.  You've probably seen the pin on Pinterest, because I think everyone is obsessed with it and trying to make a copycat version at home these days!  That's where I found this recipe.

The recipe is fairly straight forward, and not unlike other macaroni and cheese recipes I have tried.  The sauce is made from milk, butter, cream and flour, with white cheddar and dry mustard.  But it definitely tastes amazing.  We devoured this at dinner and the leftovers were gone in days.  The next time you're craving something cheesy, this should probably be what you end up eating.


copycat Panera macaroni and cheese
from Shugary Sweets
serves 8

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups shredded white cheddar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 pound pasta, cooked


1) Cook pasta according to package directions while making the sauce.  Drain and set aside until ready to use.

2) In a large pot on medium high heat, add butter and heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add milk, heavy cream, salt, dry mustard, and pepper.  Continue whisking until it begins to bubble.  Reduce to low and add white cheddar.  Stir until melted.

3) Add cooked pasta, stirring until combined.  Remove from heat and allow to sit about 5 minutes to thicken.  Season with additional salt and pepper.

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