Panera Mac and Cheese Recipe

Perfect Panera Mac and Cheese Recipe

Here’s our in-depth guide to making the ultimate Panera mac and cheese recipe in the convenience of your own home. We at [Allrecipesmenu] are aware of the appeal of Panera Bread’s famous mac and cheese, which is delicious, creamy, and simply irresistible. With a few basic ingredients and a touch of culinary wizardry, though, what if we told you that you could have the same decadent experience at home?

Unveiling the Ingredients

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Of course, the cheese recipe is the foundation of any delicious mac and cheese recipe. Selecting sharp cheddar cheese is our recommendation for that distinctive Panera flavour. Its strong, zesty flavour transforms the dish from average to outstanding by adding depth and richness.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a necessary component to get that opulently creamy texture that makes Panera mac & cheese famous. Because of the high-fat level, the sauce has a velvety smoothness that makes every taste an indulgent treat.

Elbow Macaroni

In the realm of mac & cheese, elbow macaroni is the best choice when it comes to pasta. With each forkful, the creamy cheese sauce is perfectly captured and held onto by its compact shape and ridged surface, creating a mouthwatering mouthful.

Butter and Flour

We’ll need to make a roux, or mixture of butter and flour, to serve as the foundation for our cheese sauce. This thickening agent gives the sauce a velvety texture that evenly covers each noodle and aids in binding it together.

Crafting the Perfect Cheese Recipe Sauce

Step 1: Making the Roux

Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat to start. To get a smooth paste, stir in the same amount of flour after it has melted. Cook the roux, whisking all the time, until it takes on a light golden brown colour and begins to smell nutty.

Step 2: Adding the Heavy Cream

Pour the heavy cream into the roux gradually while continuing to whisk to avoid lumps. Simmer the mixture until it thickens, stirring from time to time to prevent scorching on the pan’s bottom.

Step 3: Incorporating the Cheese

It’s time to incorporate the main ingredient, sharp cheddar cheese, into the sauce once it reaches the right consistency. Stir the cheese recipe continuously until it melts completely and makes a smooth, velvety sauce, then gradually sprinkle it into the sauce.

Bringing It All Together

Step 1: Cooking the Pasta

Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions until al dente while the cheese sauce is simmering. To give the pasta water flavour, be sure to add a lot of salt to it.

Step 2: Combining Sauce and Pasta

After the pasta cooks, rinse it well and put it in a big mixing basin. Once all of the noodles are covered in a layer of creamy, cheesy bliss, carefully toss the spaghetti in the cheese sauce.

Step 3: Serving and Enjoying

If preferred, top each serving bowl with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper after dividing the mac and cheese. Serve hot and savour the comforting warmth of handmade MacaroPanera Mac and Cheese Recipeni and Cheese whenever and wherever you like.

Panera Mac and Cheese Recipe

This April day in 2020 is an interesting moment in history. Like a lot of us, I’ve been missing out on dining out and have been living off all of my restaurant impersonation dishes.

There are two main things that people know about Panera. Their extremely creamy White Cheddar Mac & Cheese Recipe and their Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

With this recipe, I’ve experimented with many White Cheddar variations and have found a definite winner. (Refer to the recipe card or the ingredient list below.)

I’ve cooked it and put crumbled Ritz to the top before serving it hot off the burner. It’s the best in any case.

How to Make it

PRO TIP: Don’t use pre-shredded cheese from a bag; instead, shred the cheese straight off the block. Let it reach room temperature before combining with the sauce. The key to the perfect creamy consistency is this. To avoid a gritty consistency, make sure the base is warm but not hot when you add the cheese recipe.

In a soup pot set over medium-high heat, melt the butter and mix in the flour. Whisk it for a while longer until it starts to turn a light golden colour.

Add the milk and heavy cream gradually. Add the hot sauce and spices. Whisk for around three minutes.

panera mac and cheese recipe

Turn down the heat to low and slowly add the cheese while continuing to stir. Standing will cause the sauce to get even thicker.

panera mac and cheese recipe

Stir in cooked spaghetti after adding it. Present! For directions on how to make baked macaroni and cheese or use the Crock Pot Method, see below.

panera mac and cheese recipe

Baked Version

Use 3/4 pound of macaroni instead of the whole pound when baking this mac and cheese because it will continue to soak up the sauce.

Pasta should be boiled for one minute less than al dente.

Mix with cheese sauce and pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish that has been lightly buttered.

Add 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers on top. (Delicious but optional.)

Before serving, bake it for fifteen minutes at 325 degrees and allow it to cool for five minutes.

Make Ahead/Crock Pot Method

  • Cook the pasta for two to three minutes below al dente. Empty the.
  • Once the cheese sauce is prepared, allow it to cool slightly.
  • Don’t overmix; instead, use a silicone spatula to mix the pasta and sauce just until incorporated. If it’s not flawlessly coated, that’s acceptable.
  • Keep chilled for a day or two. (If you prepare in advance.)
  • After two hours of low cooking, stir occasionally and place in a slow cooker.

Other Cheese Options

Try one of the following cheese recipe combinations for a delicious twist on macaroni and cheese—feel free to experiment with different cheeses and use as many as you like!

  • Gouda
  • Mozzarella
  • Mild Cheddar
  • Monterey Jack
  • Gruyere

Use of aged or extremely sharp cheeses should be avoided as they will not melt as well.

Adding Hot Sauce to Mac & Cheese

The only purpose of the hot sauce is to bring out the flavour of the cheese.

Adding hot sauce to macaroni and cheese could seem strange, particularly if you’re serving it to children. You can’t even taste it, and I can guarantee you that it doesn’t make the recipe spicy in the slightest.

What to Add to Mac and Cheese

These choices will elevate any mac and cheese dish to a whole new level!

  • Hot dogs, BBQ chicken, bacon, ham, pulled pork, sausage, buffalo chicken, kielbasa and lobster
  • Chilli, Caramelised Onions, Pesto, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Peas, Corn and Spinach

Storing Leftovers

  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for three to four days. While this may be frozen as well, the dairy separates a little bit and makes for a less satisfactory reheat.

Panera Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Panera-style macaroni and cheese recipe with a creamy white cheddar flavour. Try this Mac & Cheese knockoff from Panera. Oh, and using it on the hob is also quick and simple!

Panera Recipe

When it comes to placing restaurant orders, my kids may be so predictable at times. Every time I go out, I prefer to order something different since it’s exciting to try new things.

We all appear to be creatures of habit, though, at Panera. Every time, we all receive the same soup, sandwich, or salad. Orange scones, a large bowl of Mac & Cheese Recipe, and broccoli cheddar soup. Remember to include the kitchen sink cookies!

I thought trying to make this dish at home would be entertaining. I constantly forget to prepare the side dishes for dinner, even though I’m terrific at creating the main course. And you do realise that peanut butter fudge is the ideal way to end any meal?

I can’t seem to get my mind around creating side dishes, so usually, we have applesauce and roasted broccoli.

  • Made on stove top in minutes!
  • Creamy and cheesy!
  • Kid and adult approved.

Ingredient Notes

panera mac and cheese recipe

This stovetop mac & cheese is easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients.

  • Utilise your passion—pasta. Although cacatappi is a fantastic option, elbows or shells also work well.
  • Cheese: A high-quality cheese is essential. And the secret to the creamiest mac and cheese is to shred it yourself. You won’t get the same effects with a bag of shredded cheese; instead, it will seem more gritty. To imitate Panera, use white cheddar.
  • Dry mustard or ground mustard. This accentuates the cheese flavour in your mac & cheese rather than adding a mustard taste. Avoid skipping it!
  • Milk & Cream: Use full milk and heavy whipping cream to make the thickest mac and cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper as needed; reapply after serving if needed.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Cook pasta- according to package directions while making the sauce. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Make the roux- In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add butter until melted. Whisk in the flour and cook for about one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add milk, heavy cream, salt, dry mustard and pepper.
  3. Add cheese- Continue whisking until it begins to bubble. Reduce to low and add white cheddar. Stir until melted.
  4. Add pasta- Add cooked pasta, stirring until combined. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 5 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. ENJOY.

Panera Mac and Cheese Recipe


Can I make this dish with a different kind of cheese recipe?

You can experiment with different kinds of cheese to suit your taste preferences, while sharp cheddar cheese is suggested for its unique flavour. Gouda, Gruyere, or even a combination of cheeses can give the dish a fascinating depth of flavour.

Can I prepare this recipe in advance?

Definitely! The cheese sauce and pasta can be made ahead of time, and then combined right before serving. To preserve the sauce’s creamy smoothness, just slowly reheat it over the stove or in the microwave, stirring now and again.

How can I omit gluten from this recipe?

A gluten-free flour blend or cornflour can be used in place of the all-purpose flour in this recipe to make it gluten-free. Make sure you use another type of gluten-free pasta, such as elbow macaroni.

Can I alter the recipe by adding any more ingredients?

Without a doubt! To make the mac and cheese exactly how you like it, feel free to get creative and add your favourite ingredients. A few delectable possibilities to think about are cooked lobster chunks, caramelised onions, sliced jalapenos, and crumbled bacon.

How should leftovers be stored?

You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to three or four days if you put them in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat it again, just warm it up slowly in the microwave or on the hob. If necessary, you can add a little milk to bring back the creamy texture.


You can replicate in your kitchen the delicious magic of Panera mac & cheese recipe with our dependable recipe and professional advice. Forget about standing in a queue and carrying takeaway containers; now, the tastiest mac & cheese in town is only a short walk away.

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