$5 Dinner Plan: Copycat Panera Macaroni & Cheese!

Copycat Panera Bread Homemade Stovetop Mac & Cheese
Salad or Steamed Broccoli

Copycat Panera recipes are at the top of the most requested dinner dishes at our house.  They’re easy and budget friendly, which is always a bonus!  If you haven’t tried this dish, what are you waiting for?

What’s on your menu tonight?

Copycat Panera Bread Homemade Stovetop Mac & Cheese
-adapted from Dairyspot

1 pound pasta elbows
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter
2-3 cups shredded cheese, like cheddar, monterey jack, or colby (don’t add extra)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon or clove of chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard

  1. In a large stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.
  2. Melt the butter in the same stockpot over medium heat.  When the butter has melted and has started to bubble, whisk in the flour; cook for 1 1/2 minutes whisking constantly.  Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture, whisking frequently, until it thickens and bubbles, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove sauce pan from the heat and by the handful, stir in the cheeses allowing all of the cheese to melt into the sauce before adding more.  Stir in the mustard, salt, garlic.  Return the sauce pan to the heat and stir in the pasta.  Be sure to stir up the sauce from the bottom of the sauce pan and thoroughly coat all of the pasta with sauce.  Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until heated through.
  4. Eat and enjoy!
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