Inside: Macaroni and cheese is a side dish that goes with anything and everything. I’m showing you how we make our Instant Pot Panera Mac and Cheese version that is really fast and absolutely delicious.
The BEST Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
I am a big fan of all of the copycat recipes that I can make at home to save money. Even if I have to spend a little more on ingredients, I usually find that I can make three to four times as much as I would have gotten from the restaurant doing takeout.
The frugal girl in me loves that we get more servings of Panera mac ‘n cheese, in fact, the same taste all for the same amount of money spent.
And, the competitive cook in me also enjoys the challenge of getting an item to taste just like it does at the restaurant! So, if you’re like me and have ever wondered how to make mac and cheese like Panera, this is the recipe for you! It’s a dead ringer!
You’ve lucked out finding this mac and cheese Panera recipe because it’s simple, easy, quick and inexpensive given the amount that you get in return vs. heading through the drive thru.
What is the Panera Bread Mac and Cheese secret?
This copycat Panera mac and cheese has a dash of hot sauce and a tad bit of dijon mustard. These two things in my opinion are a big part of the Panera copycat mac and cheese secret sauce. Don’t skip either ingredient if you want to get the best flavors!
Panera Bread Mac and Cheese Ingredients:
16 oz. uncooked pasta shells
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups white cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (8 oz.)
4 ounces American cheese, 4-6 slices
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash Hot Sauce, optional
Panera Bread Macaroni and Cheese Copycat Recipe Directions:
Place the pasta, 4 cups of water, salt and butter into the Instant Pot
Stir, secure the Instant Pot lid and move the valve to the sealed position
Press the pressure cook button, then high pressure for four minutes
When the pressure cooking is finished, turn the valve to venting for a quick release
Once the pressure is released and the float valve drops, remove the lid
Stir in the cheeses and milk
Add in mustard and hot sauce
Stir until melted
Panera Bread Mac and Cheese Copycat Recipe
- 6-Qt Instant Pot
- 16 oz. uncooked pasta shells
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups white cheddar cheese freshly shredded (8 oz. block)
- 4 ounces American cheese 4-6 slices
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- dash Hot Sauce optional
- Place the pasta, 4 cups of water, salt and butter into the Instant Pot
- Stir, secure the Instant Pot lid and move the valve to the sealed position
- Press the pressure cook button, then high pressure for four minutes
- When the pressure cooking is finished, turn the valve to venting for a quick release
- Once the pressure is released and the float valve drops, remove the lid
- Stir in the cheeses and milk
- Add in mustard and hot sauce
- Stir until melted