I am totally in love with Panera Bread. I’d never eaten at one until we moved to Florida, but now I scout them out wherever we go. Their macaroni and cheese is to die for. Fortunately for me [and you] I managed to stumble across the recipe. Which I will now share. 🙂
You will need:
- 1/3 Cup of All Purpose Flour
- 2 1/2 cups of 2% Low Fat Milk
- 8 oz [1 block] of Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- 6 Slices of White American Cheese [cut into small pieces]
- 1 Box of Medium Shell Noodles
- 1 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
- 1/3 tsp of Hot Sauce
- 1/4 tsp of Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Cup of Butter
-Prepare your noodles according to the directions on the box and drain.
-Melt butter in Boiler on Low Heat. Once melted, gradually mix in 1/3 cup of flour. Whisk continually for 1 minute until creamy and thick.
-Gradually stir in milk on Medium Heat. Sauce should thicken and bubble but remain creamy. Whisk until smooth.
– Next, remove sauce from heat and add cheeses, mustard, hot sauce and salt. Mix thoroughly until smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps in the sauce.
**Personal note: I found when making this that it helped to do 1 kind of cheese at a time. I added my sharp cheddar and once it was smooth I added my American Cheese. As for the American Cheese, I recommend placing one slice at a time in the pot until melted. This will make it easier to mix your sauce and keep it from getting lumpy.
-Once mixed, add your noodles back to the sauce and cook over Medium Heat for 1-2 minutes…just long enough to heat the Pasta the entire way through.
-Add Paprika as a garnish if you desire.
We like to serve this in a Bread Bowl…the way they do at Panera Bread.
And then everyone enjoys…
This is a delicious comfort food; perfect for the coming winter months! Hope you guys enjoy! If you try this out at your house, please let me know! I’d love to know how it turned out! I’d also be interested in any fun modifications you guys make to this dish. Making it more organic…adding additional garnishes…Lots of ways to make this yummy recipe your own!