Copycat Panera Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Creamy white cheddar macaroni and cheese just like Panera. Give this copycat version a try. Oh and it’s quick and easy on the stove top too!!

Bowl with homemade macaroni and cheese. Copycat recipe from panera.

Click HERE to save recipe to Pinterest!

My kids are so predictable sometimes when it comes to ordering from restaurants. I like to order something different every time I go out, it’s fun to try new things.

But at Panera, we all seem to be creatures of habit. We all get the same soup, sandwich or salad..EVERY TIME. 

And of course, the macaroni and cheese. Obsessed.

It’s creamy. Wait…I should say it’s THICK and CREAMY. Capital letters help emphasize, right?

I thought it would be fun to try to recreate this recipe at home. I’m good at making the main dish for dinner, but it’s the side dishes that always get forgotten. And peanut butter fudge is the perfect ending to any meal, right?

We usually end up having a fruit salad and a steamed veggie because I can’t seem to wrap my head around making side dishes.

Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese: easy stove top recipe, so creamy and thick just like the real thing!

But with today’s recipe, it’s the side dish that takes the show! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this photo. A side of sloppy joes with our Mac and Cheese.

I used Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar for this recipe. But a good quality white cheddar would work if you can’t find the Cabot. 

How to make Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese:

STEP 1: Cook pasta according to package directions while making the sauce. Drain and set aside until ready to use.

PRO TIP: Use your favorite noodle. Cavatappi is a great choice, or shells or elbows work great too!

STEP 2: 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. Continue whisking until it begins to bubble. Reduce to low and add white cheddar. Stir until melted.

STEP 3: Add cooked pasta, stirring until combined. Remove from heat and allow to sit about 5 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. ENJOY.

TIPS for Panera Mac and Cheese:

  • Use a good white cheddar. Don’t use the packaged shredded cheese, as it usually has cornstarch or some other thickeners already on it. Buy a block of cheddar and shred it yourself. Trust me, it’s going to melt so much creamier!
  • While your noodles are cooking, you can whip up the roux (flour and butter mixture). Then add remaining ingredients. By the time your noodles are done, your sauce should be ready. Easy!
  • When ready to reheat your leftovers, you may need to add about 1/2 cup milk. Warm it up on low on the stovetop. This recipe is about two meals for us as a side dish, for our family of 4.
  • Use the video tutorial below to follow along!

Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese: easy stove top recipe, so creamy and thick just like the real thing!

What to serve with Mac and Cheese:

If you love Panera, here are a few of my favorite copycat recipes

Dinner in under 30 minutes! Loaded with vegetables and cheese, you’ll love this easy, creamy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe! It’s the BEST!

This Strawberry Pecan Salad is loaded with fresh berries and candied Pecan Halves. It’s also topped with a sweet, homemade lemon poppy seed dressing.

Orange Scones are my favorite bakery treat from Panera!

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If you love this Cheddar Mac and Cheese, you may also love:

Copycat Panera Bread Macaroni and Cheese recipe and video:

Yield: serves 8

Copycat Panera Macaroni and Cheese

Copycat Panera Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Creamy white cheddar macaroni and cheese just like Panera. Give this copycat version a try. Oh and it’s quick and easy on the stove top too!!


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cup shredded white cheddar (I used Cabot seriously sharp cheddar)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1lb, pasta, cooked (cavatapppi, shells, or elbow)


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions while making the sauce. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot 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. Continue whisking until it begins to bubble. Reduce to low and add white cheddar. Stir until melted.
  3. Add cooked pasta, stirring until combined. Remove from heat and allow to sit about 5 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. ENJOY.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 519 Total Fat: 39g Saturated Fat: 24g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 115mg Sodium: 379mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Protein: 14g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.
Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese: easy stove top recipe, so creamy and thick just like the real thing! #macandcheese #panera #copycat

*This Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese recipe was originally published on Shugary Sweets on March 21, 2014. 

Copycat Panera White Cheddar Mac and Cheese recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight side dish!

**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

219 comments on “Copycat Panera Macaroni and Cheese Recipe”

  1. That’s a stunning bowl of mac and cheese! The only thing that would make it better is if it were mine!

  2. That macaroni looks like perfection! So creamy and flavorful. I want a spoon of it right now!

  3. So easy. So cheesy. So darned good!

  4. Nan

    Super-yum! We make a copycat of the Panera tomato soup that I like even better than the original. Happy Friday!

  5. I have never had Panera’s mac and cheese. I always go for their chicken salad if I’m fortunate enough to find a Panera anywhere near me. Nebraska is dumb. This mac and cheese is not. The end.

  6. Not going to lie, I haven’t had Panera’s Macaroni and Cheese…but this girl LOVES white cheddar anything….and everything I have had at Panera has rocked my socks. If this is 1/16 as incredible as it looks (which I am 110% sure it is!) I am one happy girl! Pinned

  7. Can you baked this in the oven? If yes how and how long.thank you.

  8. I Am not sure if you received my first email.if you did I apologize for the second one.just won’t to know if you could bake this in the oven and how to do it and how long.thank you.

  9. A job where you get to try cheese? So lucky! 🙂 I tried Cabot a few weeks ago and loved it! This looks delicious and I know it would go over well with the family!

  10. PERFECT!!! so happpyyyy that you recreated this recipe-it looks crazy amazing

  11. MMM..that looks like a great bowl of mac n cheese.

  12. I love the panera mac & cheese and I adore sharp cheddar, I can’t eat normal cheddar. Sharp all the way baby!!

  13. Terry LaForce

    One of our favorites at St. Louis Bread Company (Panera’s hometown!). Their serving size is never enough to satisfy. We’ll have this for dinner tomorrow night. Thank you for sharing.

  14. I always get the same thing at Panera too. There have been one or two times where I got something else and although it wasn’t bad I missed the norm. The mac and cheese is not the norm. And though I would love to try it I want to miss out on my favorites. Making this at home is the perfect solution.

  15. This is seriously one delicious looking bowl of mac and cheese! White cheddar is my favorite!

  16. This dish looks so appetizing. I guess that the sauce is very piquant and there is a lot of it in the dish. I always admired the variety of macaroni in the shops. It is really amazing.

  17. So I totally see why you’d call this a side dish….I want it at my side all day long! (crickets chirping) But It needs to be my main course. Seriously though: this mac and cheese looks freaking out of this world, Aimee. 😀

  18. I am obsessed with Cabot cheese. Their outlet store used to be down the street from my office when I lived in Vermont. We would go in there all the time and bring back cheese and crackers for an afternoon snack at the office! I am dying over this Mac and Cheese!

  19. Bought everything to try this tonight!! Saw it on the recipe girls facebook and was drooling over it! Gorgeous photos and thanks for the recipe 🙂 Love that bowl!!

  20. PB does have good mac and cheese. Love this copycat version. So creamy!!!

  21. tiffany mustain

    Would this freeze well?????

  22. Laura

    Bookmarked this awhile ago but finally made it tonight. Only took a couple minutes longer than the magic blue box and oh so yummy! Our grocery stopped carrying Cabot, so I used Cracker Barrel Aged Reserved (sold out of sharp). It’s a little less salty than the Cabot, so I added another 1/2 tsp of salt. The only one who didn’t try was the toddler who’s going through a phase and only ate broccoli and pudding for dinner. Ahhh, comfort food at its finest.

  23. That macaroni looks amazing Aimee! So creamy and flavorful – loved how you recreated it – it’s perfect! Wish I had a bowl right now 🙂

  24. Erica

    I love the turquoise bowl itself! Where can you find those? By the way, awesome recipe!

  25. geneva

    Mac & Cheese, I could eat several times a week. I love the variations you can do with it. I found Cabot cheese out our local grocery store (Winn Dixie) , I am in Florida.
    It wonderful dishes, the cheeses are so delish. Will try your version, soon. avocado mac and cheese will be the next one I try..

    Thanks for your fabulous venues

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  29. Twin Mommy Erica

    This is hands down THE BEST Mac and cheese recipe that I’ve ever had!!!!!! My two year old twins loved it too!! Thanks!

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  32. Laura Adams

    Made this tonight with my rising college sophomore daughter. We have been looking at recipes that she and her roomie can make next year in their apartment at school. We really liked it. Daughter said maybe not seriously sharp white cheddar. Husband is seriously devouring it now. Will try again but with slightly less sharp. Great recipe!

  33. Oh. my. goodness! I just saw this on pinterest and I’m in aww. I’m so happy I have found a copycat recipe of Panera’s mac n cheese. Isn’t it amazing?! I’ve been dying to make this myself for a while now! Definitely saving this one! Thanks Aimee

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  35. Oh the yumminess! I made this tonight to go with some fried fish my husband was making. Total comfort food! I LOVE mac and cheese. This is very much like Panera Bread’s. I couldn’t find Cabot but I did find Cracker Barrel white cheddar and I just LOVE this! Thanks you for sharing a delicious recipe!

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  39. Ellen

    I NEVER cook but this looked so good I had to try it. I was afraid I would mess it up but it turned out phenomenal (and may just give me a nudge to make some more dishes in the future). Thanks so much for sharing!

  40. Coryn

    I made this last night. I used a combination of white cheddar and havarti, because it was what I had on hand. It was fantastic and so creamy!

  41. Sarah

    Where did you find those adorable bowls?

  42. sandra king

    Do you have to use heavy cream? Can you use reg. milk?

  43. Julia

    I made this and followed the directions exactly and it turned Out HORRIBLE.

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  45. This stuff is kinda addicting. Haha 🙂 Lots of great macaroni recipes.

  46. Ruth

    This Mac n Cheese is awesome! Great recipe!

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  48. Jennifer

    Does it have to be white cheddar or could I use the orange cheddar I have in my fridge?

  49. Bill

    I just finished making this recipe.. I believe that the sauce is way to much for the amount of pasta… I am going to cook another lb of pasta and add it 1/4 lb at a time until I get a good mixture of cheese sauce and pasta

  50. Bill

    disregard my last post… sorry Aimee I just didn’t wait long enough for it to thicken.. it started getting to a good consistency after about 10 mins

  51. Laura

    Love this recipe! I did find out that you can use 2- 12 oz cans of fat free evaporated milk in place of the cream and skim without affecting the taste or texture (didn’t have any cream). I also double the mustard powder and halve the pepper to suit my children’s tastes. So very yummy! Sigh…cold weather comfort food at its finest.

  52. Melissa

    Hi! quick question. The recipe calls for 1lb of cooked pasta, how much dry pasta do you use?

  53. This is an awesome recipe! I substituted 2% Evaporated milk for the heavy cream and for the cheese we did a raw milk Vermont maple cheddar and a smoked gouda with bacon. SO AMAZING. I think I just upped my mac and cheese game. 😉

  54. mike harris

    This stuffwas truly God awful . I too followed the recipe exactly and it tastes like paste.

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  56. This looks too good! Can’t wait to try 🙂

  57. Kristin Rosenberg

    So I have to ask…how in the world did you get on a Cabot Cheese Board and where can I sign up? Haha. I am a huge fan of cheese and anything with cheese in it.I would LOVE to be on this board so much. Please email with details if you would be so kind at – thanks!!!!

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  61. Rima

    Made this for my kid today. She loved it. Thank you for sharing.

  62. Cindy

    This mac & cheese is awesome!! Made it a few days ago and it tastes every bit as good as the pictures look! Don’t hesitate to make this…’s great! Thank you for sharing the recipe!!

  63. Made this tonight! It was a great hit in my house, kids loved it!
    Thanks for sharing! It’s for sure a keeper

  64. Kristy

    I am a macaroni and cheese lover and have been my whole life. I started out being obsessed with Velveeta shells and cheese, but as I’ve gotten older, I am trying to get away from the processed cheeses and focus on real cheese macaronis! I tried this recipe tonight and it’s pretty darn delicious. I don’t think it tastes like Panera, even though I used the Cabot Seriously Sharp White Cheddar and all ingredients listed above. I think I didn’t use enough cheese and maybe a tad too much cream. Overall, still fantastic and highly recommended! Next time I’ll add extra cheese!

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  66. Katelyn

    I just tried Panera mac and cheese for the first time last night. It was the best! I think I will make this for dinner one night and mix it with grilled chicken and broccoli!! Thanks for posting!

  67. Made this today and it is absolutely the creamiest mac and cheese ever! I made 1 batch with the Cabot sharp cheddar and another with mild cheddar and both were fantastic! Next time I’m thinking smoked gouda…thanks for sharing this recipe!

  68. I have made this and it is so good,, and if you don’t want to eat it right away you can bake it , which I did on 350 and waited for it to bubble to know it was done which wasn’t very long and it was very creamy still .. Just love this recipe. 🙂

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  70. Rachel

    Made this last night and was very good. Next time I will use more cheese and less heavy cream though.

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  81. Every time I see this on Pinterest I DROOL! I think I’ve added it to like, every board I have… hahaha… and now it’s officially yummed! 😉 Can’t wait to finally make it soon- love your pics!!

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  83. Lindsay

    I tried to make this recipe and mine tasted nothing like Panera’s 🙁 It tasted horrible, I’m not sure what I did wrong

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  85. What percentage cream did you use? I always wonder exactly what “heavy cream” means. COffee cream? Whipping cream?

  86. This looks awesome! I make Trader Joe’s copycat Deli Mac and Cheese, but this recipe is a must try, too! Yum!

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  88. Tracy

    I made this tonight.  My new favorite mac & cheese!  SO good! 🙂

  89. I LOVE Panera. This looks so amazing. I bet it’s a thousand times better than theirs 😀

  90. I made this today and loved it. I halved the portion of the sauce since it is just me and my husband. I used two cups (dry) of macaroni. This gave us about 4 delicious portions!  I used Tillamook Vintage Sharp Cheddar and it was great! I am on weight watchers and can definitely confirm that this is a sometimes meal, best served with a light side salad 🙂  Thank you very very much for sharing this recipe!

  91. Samantha

    Am I correct in believing that this recipe needs the block of cheese shredded at home, not the bagged stuff hanging at the store? Cabot now has both the block and the shredded in my store. So now I’m curious. I want to make sure I get the right product!

  92. Tiffany

    what about the mac & cheese from whole foods? dying to find that copy cat recipe… “help” 

  93. Rachael

    Made this with the Cabot seriously sharp… It’s very good but doesn’t taste a thing like Panera. I also got a somewhat gritty texture

  94. Michelle

    what is “dry” mustard?

  95. Really disappointed. Following the instructions exactly and this tastes nothing like Panera. 

  96. Lindsay Brown

    I was really excited to make this… however I should have researched the recipe more. Please don’t call this a copy cat recipe, when it doesn’t even taste like Panera’s Mac and Cheese. This is way too sharp. I’m typing this as I am finishing up my small portion…

    I found a different recipe that calls for 8oz white sharp cheddar, and 6 slices of white American (from deli!!), also a dash of hot sauce. This will make it more mild and probably creamer. Haven’t tried it yet, but seems like it would be a better “copy cat” than this one.

  97. Ken

    This recipe has the look and texture of the Panera version. My two older children, wife and I think the recipe is fantastic! My 7-year-old, however, states again and again that it does not taste like Panera. I will have to tinker with the cheese to get to the Panera flavor.

  98. Debbie H

    I made this recipe tonight with Cracker Barrel white cheddar and added a little more salt as suggested by others when using the alternate brand cheese. I let it sit almost 10 minutes to get to the perfect creaminess. I have not tasted Panera mac and cheese but I can say this recipe is delicious. My teenage daughter commented that it tastes like “grown up” food, much more fancy then the blue box! Very easy to make, too!

  99. Tracy

    I wanted to love this recipe. I followed the recipe exactly. I found it to be very bland. 

  100. This is definitely a keeper! My very picky family has enjoyed this recipe very much! Thank you!

  101. Linda Belcher

    When I saw this recipe I was so excited because Panera’s mac n cheese is delicious!
    But I just got done eating it, and it tasted horrible! I followed all of the directions.. 
    Wouldn’t recommend this to anyone!

    Just wasted a 1lb of delicious noodles :,(

  102. Nicole

    Could i put this in a crockpot? If so, should i do more sauce to keep it from getting dry? 

  103. Natalie

    While the recipe itself tasted great, hard cheese does not keep well after one day even in the fridge. The macaroni clumped together and when I heated it up the milk solids separated from the oil and it was an oily gloopy mess. In the.future I would use a white cheddar cheese bit not sharp.

  104. Saren Romero

    Can you cut this recipe in half for less? it’s a lot of pasta and I’m just cooking for 2. It’s absolutely delicious though! I just feel bad that there is so much left over and much of it gets thrown away.

  105. Jeanine Falco

    I agree…I don’t use any other cheese in my Mac & Cheese recipes but Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, but I use the orange one. EXCELLENT brand!!

  106. Made it right away. Cooks up in a snap.  I grew up with fresh tomatoes swirled through,guess the garden always had plenty.  I added them . Great quick dinner.

  107. Anita

    I’m in love with j Alexander’s (Redlands grill) Mac and cheese I hope u will make a copy cat version of that one day! 

  108. Anonymous

    This is better then Panera. Unfortunately there’s is a plastic pouch of kraft that is heated up in hot water or steam.

  109. Karen

    I love Panera’s mac and cheese and was so excited to see a copycat recipe. I made this tonight was very disappointed. I followed the recipe exactly and this tastes nothing like Panera’s.  It had absolutely no taste. I had to add lots of salt and pepper to it to make it the least bit palatable. I will not be making this recipe again. 

    • Oh, that’s unfortunate. Did you use Cabot White Cheddar? A good quality white cheddar cheese makes a world of a difference! Also keep in mind Panera mac and cheese comes from a bag with lots of processed ingredients, so the flavor will be different, but in my book, better!

  110. Anonymous

    It tastes absolutely nothing like Panera mac and cheese but it’s good 

  111. leigh s.

    This recipe works just great as is. The only problem I have is that I can’t stop eating it.

    I like mine extra creamy, so I added more milk, cheese and spices. I prefer cornstarch as a thickener instead of flour, using 1/8c. cornstarch diluted in 1/8 c. water.

    Cook your pasta half way through. Shock in cold water. Let it cook the rest of the way in the creamy cheese sauce.

    Cabot is excellent. They usually sell it at Walmart. You can use any kind of melty cheese. I live in Wisconsin near a cheesemaker. I have lots of varieties of cheeses I could add to this dish.

    If your cheese is too soft, freeze it then shred it while its frozen.

  112. Cody Andreoff

    Was excellent kiddos loved it

  113. Mary Beth

    Omg. No wonder it’s so good. Two cups of heavy cream. ????  I just don’t know if I should try it. I might. It stop eating it. 

  114. PB does have good mac and cheese. Love this copycat version. So creamy!!!

  115. Heather Anne

    Oh yummy! I tried to look through the comments for a link, but can you pretty please tell me where you found the wee handled bowls in that lovely blue? I’m on the hunt and would love to know! Thanks Aimee!

  116. Evelyn McSorley

    I need to make this in a bulk amount for a post game tailgate.  What are your suggestions for making sometime before game and keeping warm so can be served to team after game. We may not have access to electrical outlets and was going to keep in covered dish in cooler, but was afraid pasta would soak up all the sauce and be dry if stored for several hours.

  117. so happpyyyy that you recreated this recipe-it looks crazy amazing

  118. Erin Burns

    great recipe! i added half a bag of riced broccoli from trader Joe’s and it was great!

  119. Pamela Byington

    Is Cabot Cheese available in Boise, Idaho?

  120. Sirvermont

    Wondering if I could make this ahead? Or would it not be as good?

  121. Devon Atkins

    I’ve never had PB Mac n cheese, nor made homemade M n C other than the blue box; however I had to search for Cabot’s white cheddar (I’m a cheese LOVER and you sold that, girl!) went to the website and saw it was at a nearby store I never shop at. Days later I was at Costco and stopped by a sample table and low and behold it was THE cheese!! It was the Vintage White and I just about lost my mind!! I felt that was the sign!! Lol
    This M n C was delicious!! I should have 1/2 the recipe as its just two of us but being the first time I didn’t know ????, but it reheated beautifully…with a smidgen of milk it was just as good the 1st and second time; altho I added a lil grating of cheese. One note: when making the roux, next time I will cut down on the flour (or add more butter????) but I just bought more heavy cream and macaroni to make this again!! Didn’t even add the dry mustard and it was fantastic. Thank you.

  122. Angelina

    Made this tonight and we absolutely loved it. I did add extra cheese because I can’t help myself! ???? Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  123. I’ve tried this mac cheese recipe. My son love it..Thanks for share this recipe aimee

  124. Jeanna Brown

    Loved this recipe! Even my oldest, pickiest child loved it. Thanks so much!

  125. Billie

    Oh my goodness! I live in Cabot VT (and happen have an obsession with mac n’ cheese) so it’s so cool to see Cabot cheddar used in a recipe! 😀

  126. Jen D

    Simple and delicious!  We seasoned ours with Old Bay and wow!! Thanks for a nice easy recipe that the family loved. 

  127. Lori G

    This was amazing! So yummy. I’ve had so many problems in the past finding a good homemade mac and cheese recipe and this was perfect. Will now be used all the time for my family! Thanks for sharing it. 

  128. Parker

    This is pretty good but I will never understand how to make a roux that doesn’t have a flour-y taste to it.  I am not sure I’ll make this again.  I wanted to love it.  

  129. This looks awesome, Aimee! My daughter loves Panera’s Mac and cheese, and she will be so happy for me to recreate it!

  130. So easy and cheesy:-):-) I am sure my kids will love this. thanks for sharing this Aimee.

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  132. Emily Braun

    This is absolutely, hands down the best Mac and cheese I’ve ever tasted!!!!  This will definitely be a staple in our house!!!  Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!  It’s sinply fantastic!!

  133. Anonymous

    If I dont have heavy cream can I use 3 cups of 2% milk?

  134. Kelly

    I just made this. I couldn’t find cabot’s so I used helava good sharp cheddar. It came out grainy & the flavor is meh like there’s not enough cheese. 

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  136. Hilar

    Any substitutions for the cream? Looking to lighten it up a bit…..Fat free half and half?

  137. Trish

    My thirteen year old granddaughter loves Panera mac & cheese, so I made this for her birthday. The grandkids, 15, 14, 13 and 12 didn’t think it tastes like Panera, but they did love it, asked to take home the leftovers and requested I send the recipe to their moms.

    I followed all directions except cut the dry mustard back as I didn’t think the birthday girl would like that much. Generous 1/4 teaspoon was perfect.

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  142. Beth

    It was very thick and creamy, but my husband and I were both disappointed in the flavor. And I used Cabot Very Sharp Cheddar Cheese! I think i’ll add rotisserie chicken and bacon to the leftovers for dinner last this week.

  143. Wow..

    Looks so yummy .. After seeing this i feel like making Panera Macaroni and Cheese is so easy at home .. Detailed info given

    keep posting … You Rocks

  144. Deb

    Gotta agree with all those who said it was bland. I did use Cabot sharp cheddar, and followed the recipe exactly. It was easy, and super creamy, but very blah. After we started eating it we stopped and put a little crumbled up pre-cooked bacon in it to jazz it up. If I made this again I would double the salt, pepper and mustard, and probably add some white pepper. Also, it was a bit too rich, I’d use 1/2 & 1/2 instead of heavy cream.

  145. This looks so good! I bet the kind /brand of cheese you use makes a big difference. Wouldn’t have guessed the mustard either!

  146. Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?

  147. John

    Just made this….no changes…soooo good!!

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  152. GrandTina

    I do love this Mac and Cheese. I usually throw whatever cheese I have in the fridge in my white sauce but it also lacked something now I know what. 
    My husband and Granddaughter are the Mac and Cheese connoisseurs. At the age of 6 she told the family that after trying all the Mac and cheese in her home town restaurants that Panera Breads was the Best and would only eat there’s. 
    Now, when she comes to visit me because the closest Panera Bread is over an hour away, I can make comfort food for her and Grandpa. 
    Thank you for sharing. 

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  154. Sandy Meekings

    This is amazing!!! I used extra old white cheese and added pieces of chicken and smoky bbq sauce. My husband loves it and is super excited that I can make this at home. I am happy that he loves it as much as Panera’s mac and cheese and that we are saving tons of money. Thanks so much!!!!

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  158. WOW looks so great for Panera lover like me. Can’t resist it!

  159. Sandy

    This recipe is fabulous!  According to my granddaughter it is  better than Panera. We were going every week to Panera for lunch so she can have their Mac n Cheese.  Yesterday we were school clothes shopping and I asked if she wanted Panera for lunch. She actually said no!  She asked me to make it at home again.  Made a full batch recipe today but made the cheese sauce 1/2 more.  She likes it saucy and it is such a large recipe I figured it would hold up better & stay saucy for it to last us a couple days.  I used Cabot Farmhouse Reserve, a bold & creamy cheddar, it tastes wonderful!  Thanks so much for this recipe!

  160. Heather

    I finally had the chance to make this and everything was on point except the amount of pepper-1 TSP is way too much. I’d suggest 1/2 or even 1/4 TSP and maybe white pepper instead for aesthetics. My daughter did enjoy it (and my husband and I), the pepper was the only downfall!

  161. This is my all time favorite Mac and Cheese to make. I’ve been making it for a few years now. 🙂

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  165. Ct

    I tried this recipe twice and wanted to provide feedback for any non-cooks (like me) trying to make this. 
    The recipe itself is pretty easy compared to others I’ve looked at. The roux is time sensitive so have all your ingredients out and measured if you can.  I would recommend boiling your pasta first so you don’t have to stress about draining it while you’re mixing your other ingredients.
    Now as far as taste, I personally do not recommend the Cabot seriously cheddar. I thought it was way too sharp and Nothing like Panera. Luckily, I tasted the roux before mixing in the pasta so I added about a cup of yellow cheddar and maybe half a cup of mozzarella. The taste was much better and the whole fam liked it.
    The second time I decided to try it with a different cheese.. someone mentioned Cracker Barrel’s so I tried that. YES!!! Perfect! Very close to Panera!!! I tried adding About half a cup of yellow cheddar again. It was still good but not necessary. I also sprinkled some breadcrumbs on top for a little crunch

  166. LouAnn

    Instead of heavy cream could carnation evaporated milk work?

  167. It looks really good. Thanks for the recipe!

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