Copycat Panera Mac & Cheese
This Copycat Panera Mac & Cheese is even better than the original. You're welcome.
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb. dry pasta, such shells or elbows
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ c. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. whole milk
- 1 c. heavy cream or half & half
- 1½ tsp. dry mustard or Dijon mustard
- ¾ lb. sharp white cheddar, shredded (4 c.)
- ¼ lb. white American cheese, about 5 slices
- 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.
- 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 rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until all the cheese is melted. Add the cooked macaroni and stir to mix.