I LOVE the mac n cheese at Panera.  It is amazing!  Who’s with me?  I was thrilled to find the recipe on their site.  I have made it twice and it is good.  In fact, my daughter requested it for her birthday dinner this week.  HOWEVER, there are two things I am disappointed by:  #1-It is NOT cheap to make.  #2-I can’t get mine smooth and creamy like theirs.  When I make it the sauce is real thick….not sure how to thin it down.  With all that said.  It definitely is tasty.  And I’ve tried freezing it….it works great!  I just thaw overnight and warm in the microwave.  SO simple!  Let me know if you try it and let me know if you have a way to tweak the sauce.  🙂

Panera’s Mac n Cheese

UPDATE 1/23/14

I don’t think Panera has the link up on their site anymore….so happy I saved it!

Panera Bread’s Signature Macaroni & Cheese 
Adapted by Head Chef Dan Kish 

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