The Perfect Recipe For Your Family

panera mac and cheese recipe

(New Photos added: July) I love panera mac and cheese. It is probably my favorite comfort food. This dish remains a personal favorite and is always requested when entertaining. There are few other foods that have such a universally liked flavor profile. I have decided to create a new panera mac and cheese recipe for those who like a slightly different flavor than the traditional.

This time around, I am substituting the heavy cream base for whole milk. For this reason, the sauce may be a bit less rich. So, I suggest using reduced fat or skimmed milk instead of heavy cream. The recipe card calls for buttermilk, so you may not need to substitute.

Dijon Mustard

A plate of food with broccoli

I have found that Dijon mustard will work best in this recipe because of the robust flavor it provides. A tablespoon or two of mustard seeds can be tossed into the sauce. A little bit of Worcestershire sauce also works well. The sauce for this is pretty easy. Just combine three cups of all purpose flour, three tablespoons of freshly grated cheese, and two tablespoons of freshly chopped Dijon mustard.

If you don’t like the taste of Dijon mustard in your pasta, try something with a stronger flavor like curds. curd should be placed on top of the pasta right after it comes out of the oven. Add a tablespoon of hot sauce to the mix before serving. You will definitely see a difference in flavor and color in your macaroni and cheese.

Cheddar Cheese

A close up of a sandwich

You might think that cheddar cheese would be an inappropriate choice for a macaroni and cheese dish, but it actually tastes great. You will want to choose a cheddar cheese that is not aged, so that it has the sharp, pungent flavor that is characteristic of cheddar cheese. Colby-jack or Monterey jack cheeses are both suitable choices. If you do not have any of these cheeses in your fridge, you can substitute them for another variety of cheese that will work just as well.

You might find that you want to up the ante a bit and include some Swiss or Canadian cheese in your homemade macaroni and cheese sauce. By using these kinds of cheeses, you will add another layer of flavor to the mix that is not found with the traditional cheddar cheese sauce. You could also increase the amount of hot sauce that you use to enhance the flavor of the dish as well.

The Pasta

Even though you cook the pasta in a different manner than you would typically cook pasta, you can still get the same results when it comes to cooking the macaroni and cheese. You should remember that since the sauce is already thick, you do not need to overheat the pasta in order to make it work.

The longer you allow the pasta to cook, the thicker it will be, which means that it will end up more curdled than if you were to cook it immediately. You will also find that baking the macaroni and cheese in a separate pan beforehand will ensure that it does not stick to the stove top, which means that you can avoid having to deal with the sticky mess that often forms when pasta cooks on the stove.


Making a panera mac and cheese recipe is really quite simple. All you have to do is combine the pasta, cheese, and sauce according to the package directions. You may want to adjust the amounts of each ingredient based upon personal preference. You can also alter the amounts of ingredients depending upon how much time you have available to prepare your meal. As long as you keep the dish simmering until it is ready, you should have no trouble preparing this meal and serving it to your family.

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