The Best Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese

Fall 2022

There's something about a piping hot bowl of Panera mac and cheese that just hits different this time of year. It tastes like home. So why not make it at home? You can enjoy all the delicious cheesiness from the comfort of your couch, wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket with your family. And I can't think of anything better than that!

I find myself reaching for this copycat recipe practically every week as the weather starts to get colder. And since I've really ramped up the foodie content in my YouTube videos, it seems like you guys are doing the same. Practically every comment I get is about the food, food, FOOD. That brings me so much joy, because let me tell you, feeding your family is some of the most important work you'll ever do in your life. I feel the most fulfilled when my babies' bellies are filled!

If you make this delicious mac and cheese recipe at home, please share the results with me! I want to see your kids' smiling cheesey faces, or the view from the couch as you take a moment to yourself. (You deserve it, by the way!) Tag me on Instagram @bitsofbri to let me know you made it, and scroll down below to save this recipe to Pinterest for later!

Fall 2022
Fall 2022


Set out shredded cheese in advance of making this so it can be close to room temperature when you add it to the sauce.

In a large pot boil 1 lbs (one box) medium shells until al dente. 🔥

Drain and set aside.

In a separate large pot on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup of butter (one stick), and whisk in 1/4 cup of flour for one minute. 🧈

Slowly whisk in 1 cup heavy cream and 2 cups whole milk. Keep stirring for 3 minutes. 🥛

Add in 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce. 🧂

Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle in 3 cups of shredded white cheddar cheese. 🧀

Keep whisking until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth and thick.

Remove from heat. Add boiled pasta and stir until sauce has coated the shells. 🧀

Enjoy!! 🥰🥰🥰

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Hi, Loves! I'm Brianna!

enjoying bits of life as a mama + homemaker 🏡💕
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