White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese (Panera Copycat)

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by SashasMommy

From The Sophisticate's Guide

Top Review by ggolden

Whenever you mac a roux (fat and flour to thicken a sauce) you should have equal parts of fat and flour. Therefore, this recipe has double the amount of flour that should be used. Also, I would make this recipe on the stove by melting the butter in a sauce pot and adding in the flour, whisking constantly until the flour is cooked (3-4min) slowly add the milk, whisking constantly and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper (white pepper if you don't want black flecks in your sauce) and I like to add a dash or Worchestershire sauce and dijon mustard as well. Then, turn off the heat and add the scheese in small handfuls, stirring until melted before adding more. Another great addition is to mince up a small onion and saute it in the butter before adding the flour, and add a bit of white wine before you add milk.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Boil 2 oz of pasta shells. Slightly undercook the pasta. Set aside.
  2. Microwave 4 tbs of butter with 8 tbs of flour for two minutes, stirring with a whisk after each minute.
  3. Then slowly add 2 cups of milk, stirring with the whisk constantly.
  4. Microwave the entire mixture for several minutes, stirring after each minute, until sauce thickens and takes on a matte finish. How many minutes will depend on the power of your microwave. (Mine took about 6 minutes).
  5. Add grated Vermont white cheddar to sauce. The sauce should be hot enough that the cheese will melt as you stir. If not, you may add the cheese then microwave a little more.
  6. For an extra creamy sauce, pour a small amount of the pre-cheese sauce into a separate bowl, add one egg and beat vigorously, then return the reserved sauce to the original sauce.
  7. Add cheese to taste. I used an entire 8oz block.
  8. Add a dash of grated American cheese (optional).
  9. Combine pasta and sauce, then pour into a well-greased baking pan. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid, so don't worry if the mixture seems more liquid-y than the way you would normally serve pasta. I used a 9 by 9 inches pan.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees covered for about 25 minutes or until bubbling and starting to become golden.

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