Recipes/ Side Dishes

Copycat Panera Mac & Cheese

When you think about comfort food, Mac & Cheese is one of the first foods to come to mind. And the best Mac & Cheese? Well in my opinion, it’s from Panera. But what happens when you want to serve that to a crowd? Or have a late night craving? Try this copycat version of Panera’s Mac & Cheese. It’s dead on and super easy to make and I guarantee it won’t disappoint.

Copycat Panera Mac & Cheese

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A perfect copycat version of Panera's famous Mac & Cheese


  • 1 lb pasta ( I used Italian Trottole)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk ( I used whole milk)
  • 6 slices white american cheese, cut into small squares
  • 1 cup extra sharp white vermont cheddar, cut into small cubes or shredded
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce



In a large pot, cook pasta according to package.


While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan.


Add flour and mix well for about 1 minute.


Slowly add milk and whisk thoroughly so there are no lumps.


Continue whisking while mixture begins to boil.


As soon as it begins to boil, immediately remove from heat and add both cheeses, dijon mustard, salt and hot sauce. Mix until all lumps have disappeared.


Once pasta is done, drain and add to cheese mixture. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

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