This classic cheesy and creamy Panera Bread mac n cheese is coming your way! Grab this opportunity to make yourself a delicious bowl of quality mac and cheese and surprise your loved ones with its earthy rich flavors. Filled with cream and cheese, this recipe will wow you with its smooth and cheesy texture. Mac and cheese lovers! Its time to bring the amazing Panera flavors to your dinner tables and never feel like you’re missing out on anything. You can now serve it at every festive dinner or occasion.
In this recipe, I will try my best way to break down the whole Panera mac and cheese recipe into a few simple steps so that everyone can easily cook it. Whether, you are young or old, a beginner cook or a homemaker, you can easily bring the following ingredients together to make an irresistible bowl of mac and cheese.
How To Make Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese
The very first step is the pre-cooking preparation; I usually call this step the stage zero. Choosing the right ingredients for the recipe is the most important part of this stage. For this recipe, you will need to find suitable pasta. I always go for something basic like elbow macaroni; however, you can use other shapes as well if you can’t find elbow-shaped macaroni.
The next important ingredient of this recipe is the cheese, by selecting the right cheese you can have exact Panera inspired taste in your mac and cheese. Here we need white cheddar cheese. This cheese will give the perfect taste, color, and texture to the mac and cheese. Make sure the cheese is finely shredded before adding to the mac and cheese sauce.
Now let’s start with the first step, which is cooking the pasta in the boiling water until it is al dente. The instructions to cook the pasta are usually given on its box, but you can always go for this standard cooking formula that I use. I boil water at least double in amount than the amount of the pasta and add a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of cooking oil to this water. Then I add pasta to this salted water and allow it to cook on a simmer until the pasta is soft and cooked. Then I drain and rinse it until tap water and leave it in the colander until my sauce is ready.
The next big step is to prepare the white cheese sauce for this recipe. To do so, take a large-sized saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. We need to start with the butter, so add it to the pan and let it melt. And just when the butter is melted, slowly add the flour and stir cook for 1 minute. At this point, you can actually smell the aroma of the flour cooking. This is the time when you lower the heat and pour in milk and cream.
Make sure to continuously whisk the mixture to keep the mixture lumps free. When it is smooth and creamy, you can add other ingredients for seasonings like black pepper, dry mustard, and salt. Mix it evenly then add white cheddar to the sauce. Let it cook until the cheese is melted then add the cooked pasta. Mix the pasta well with the sauce then serve with your favorite garnish. Plus if you need to reheat it the next day you can.
8 servings per container
Serving Size1 servings
- Amount Per ServingCalories305
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 17g 27%
- Saturated Fat 9g 45%
- Cholesterol 47mg 16%
- Sodium 534mg 23%
- Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
- Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
- Sugars 5g
- Protein 12g 24%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Other Mac & Cheese Recipes
I am craving Panera macaroni and cheese already! As I go to my kitchen and make myself a creamy, cheesy, and delicious bowl of mac and cheese, you too, go and try it. This quick and simple recipe is one quick way to enjoy the classic Panera flavors at home. Trust me! Once you have a taste of it, there is no going back. I also keep making it at home on all occasions, and everyone in my home just loves it. So, give this recipe a try and let us know in the comments below how it turned out for you.