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Creamy Stovetop Panera Mac and Cheese

A homemade recipe for Panera Mac and Cheese, so you can enjoy this ultra creamy and cheesy pasta from the comfort of your own home! This recipe is so easy, you can have it on your table in 30 minutes (or less)!
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 484kcal


  • 16 ounces macaroni (or our favorite pasta shells)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups 2% milk
  • 4 ounces white American cheese chopped into small pieces*
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese shredded (sharp or extra-sharp preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • dash of hot sauce optional


  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, drain and return to the pot; set aside.
  • Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
  • Slowly whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in cheeses, a little bit at a time, stirring until cheese melts completely. Add mustard, salt, and hot sauce, and stir until well combined and sauce is smooth.
  • Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to combine. Serve immediately.


White American cheese is often available at the grocery store deli counter.
Slightly adapted from Panera Bread.


Serving: 1/8 recipe | Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 604mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 668IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 455mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is only an estimate.
© Kristine's Kitchen https://kristineskitchenblog.com