We were extra motivated to try it since it was closed on Sunday when we went there to buy some :)
We also made chocolate chip cookies. Because you can't have anything from Panera without having their cookies. They are the best. ever. end of story. I finally tried the oatmeal raisin ones on Friday and they are life changing.
The mac and cheese is super easy to make, and makes a ton, which means I get to eat it for lunch all week! It's super creamy, rich, and smooth. It also has a little kick from the red pepper that we added. We like our food to have a little kick. It took no time to whip together and was just as good as Panera's, probably because they told us how to make it :)
|All of our silverware was in the dishwasher so we used our handy dandy frozen yogurt spoons :)|
Panera Mac and Cheese
- 1 (16-ounce) package of rigati pasta (or other small pasta shells)
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups 2% reduced fat milk (or cream)
- 6 slices white American cheese, chopped
- 1 cup (8 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white Vermont cheddar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
3. Gradually whisk in milk (or cream); cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat.
4. Add cheeses, mustard, salt, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.
5. Stir in pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute (or until thoroughly heated).
Serves 4 to 6
*UPDATE* The Dijon Mustard makes this dish! Don't leave it out and don't think the yellow stuff is a good enough substitute like we did. We re-made this with the Dijon and it is spot on! Cayenne pepper was a much better substitute for the hot sauce then the red pepper flakes. Now go and make some of your own!!!