Thursday, August 23, 2012

Panera Mac and Cheese

I am all moved in to my home in Madison! My parents helped me out yesterday and now I'm all set.  I can't believe my senior year is actually here! It's all very exciting, but it's a little strange to be back.  I have to get used to living on my own again.  It makes me crave friends and comfort.

Luckily, I have the best comforting recipe to share today! I love a good mac and cheese recipe and this one was just amazing.  It is the Panera Mac and Cheese made at home and it is the ultimate comfort food.  I also got to see a bunch of my friends and even enjoyed some frozen yogurt with them last night! It feels great to be back :)

Panera Mac and Cheese (adapted from Panera)

16 oz whole wheat pasta (use small noodles like macaroni, shells, or small penne)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups half and half
4 oz white American cheese, broken into pieces
8 oz sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot sauce

1. Cook the pasta according to directions, drain and set aside in a large pot.
2. In a saucepan than can hold at least 4 quarts, melt the butter.  When butter starts to foam, whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for about 2 minutes.  Whisk in the half and half until there are no lumps and continue to whisk occasionally until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes.  Slowly stir in the cheeses until completely melted and combined.  Whisk in the Dijon, salt, and hot sauce.  Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta and toss to combine.  Serve warm.

Enjoy :)


  1. I love Panera, but have never tried thier Mac and Cheese. I can never seem to order anything other than Broccoli Cheese soup in a Bread Bowl. I am a new follower and a fellow new member of Foodie Friends Friday! Looking forward to getting to know you better and sharing recipes!

    1. That soup is pretty fantastic! Thanks so much and I can't wait for FFF! It's so fun!