If you like the box Macaroni and cheese, you will like this even better. This Mac and cheese is so cheesy and creamy. I mean, look at all the creaminess! And unlike the baked kind, it is ready in less than 30 minutes. It is adapted from Panera’s Mac and cheese. So you can pretty much make Panera’s Mac and cheese at home now.
Panera’s mac and cheese is my favorite thing on their menu. And after trying it, I was determined to figure out how to make it. I didn’t have to figure it out though because I found it pretty easily on Food Folks and Fun.
If you want to make Panera’s Mac and cheese, you need a couple of specific ingredients, which are all easy to find so that’s not a problem. But my adaptation is more of a use whatever cheddar cheese you want version and you can add a couple of spices. The key to this recipe is the white American cheese though, so do not change that part.
Creamy Stove Top Mac n Cheese
- 1 16-ounce package of shell pasta
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 6 slices white American cheese
- 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Prepare the shell pasta according to the cooking instructions on the packaging.
In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it just begins to brown. Add milk (preferably cold) gradually and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes thick and begins to bubble. Whisk in salt, black pepper, hot sauce and any other seasonings.
Remove the pan from the heat then add the cheeses. Stir until all the cheese is melted. Stir in the pasta until fully combined then cook over medium heat for another minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve and enjoy!