Probably not. Mac & cheese is one of those universal foods that everyone on the planet loves. I’m always trying out new recipes and a couple of weeks ago Annie @ Annie’s Eats posted the Panera Bread style mac & cheese. I had to try it out because my husband loves getting that mac & cheese when we go to Panera. We both agreed that it tasted exactly like the Panera Bread recipe. The cheese sauce is extremely thick and creamy, giving each pasta shell and nice coating of delicious, gooey sauce. Make it this weekend for your family! It’s terrific with chicken fingers, a nice green salad, or just by itself!
|Panera Mac & Cheese|
- 1 lb. pasta shapes, such as shells
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups milk or half-and-half
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1½-2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp. hot sauce
- 4 oz. white American cheese, finely chopped (available at the deli counter)
- 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain well. Return to the stockpot off the heat.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook until light golden brown, whisking constantly, about 1½-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Stir in the salt, mustard, and hot sauce. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the cheese a handful at a time, mixing until fully melted before adding more. Once all the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, pour the sauce over the pasta in the stockpot. Mix well until the pasta is fully coated in the sauce. Serve immediately.