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Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese

This copycat Panera mac and cheese tastes just like the original, for a fraction of the price! 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, pasta
Servings: 6
Calories: 381kcal
Author: Kasey Schwartz


  • 12 ounces dried pipette rigate Butoni or medium shells pasta
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese I like Cracker Barrel
  • 8 slices white American cheese 4 1/2 ounces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season the water with 2 tablespoons salt, and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside (do not rinse pasta).
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to form a thick, smooth paste without lumps. Cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant but not browned. Reduce heat to medium-low and add milk, cream, mustard, and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to whisk until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • ​​Add the cheeses and stir with a spatula until all the cheese is melted.
  • Add the cooked macaroni and stir to mix.


Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1101IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 426mg | Iron: 1mg