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Copycat Noodles & Company™ Mac and Cheese

Macheesmo Recipe by
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Copycat Noodles & Company™ Mac and Cheese
  • Prep Time 15 min
  • Total Time 30 min
  • Servings 6
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Copycat Noodles & Company™ Mac and Cheese

This popular restaurant is known for its extra-cheesy Wisconsin mac and cheese, topped with a glorious pile of shredded cheddar. Here’s how you can nail it at home!

Ingredients

1
pound (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4
cup unsalted butter
1/4
cup all-purpose flour
2
cups whole milk, warm
1
pound (16 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated
1
teaspoon kosher salt
1
teaspoon black pepper
Finely grated cheddar cheese (for topping)

Directions

  • 1 Cook elbow macaroni in salted water until al dente (cook time will vary; use guide on back of pasta box). Drain pasta and set aside. If you aren’t going to use the macaroni immediately, rinse it with cold water after draining.
  • 2 In medium-sized pot, add butter and flour and whisk together over medium heat to form a roux. Cook until the flour reaches a light tan color.
  • 3 Next, add warm whole milk to the roux 1/2 cup at a time. Pour in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly in order to avoid lumps and ensure ingredients are well incorporated before adding the next 1/2 cup. Repeat until all milk has been added.
  • 4 Reduce heat to low and cook mixture until it is steaming hot (but not boiling). Then stir in the grated cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  • 5 Stir cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce. Divide into bowls and garnish with a handful (or two) of finely grated cheddar cheese for extra cheesiness!
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See Step By Step

Step By Step  

Copycat Noodles & Company™ Mac and Cheese

As prepared by Macheesmo,

A homemade version of the famously cheesy macaroni dish.

Noodles & Company™ is known for mastering flavorful pasta dishes from all over the world, so for simple, classic mac and cheese to be one of their most famous menu items tells you there is something truly special about that bowl of pasta.

If there isn’t a location near you, or you just want to try making it at home, here’s my go-to method for making a super-cheesy batch of creamy mac and cheese every time.

For starters, you’ll need pasta! I like just plain elbow macaroni, but lots of smaller pasta shapes would work. Just don’t use any long spaghetti-like noodles, and you’ll be good.


Mac and cheese

Cook the pasta in salted water and then drain it when it’s al dente. If you aren’t finishing the macaroni and cheese right away, rinse the pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process and make sure the noodles don’t stick together. Don’t worry! The hot cheese sauce will warm up the pasta later.


Mac and cheese

Speaking of cheese, you’ll need a LOT of it for this recipe. You’ll want about a pound just for the cheese sauce, and you’ll also want a cup or two of finely grated cheese for piling on top at the end (I use a microplane grater for mine). The cheese shreds are so fine, they’ll melt into your noodles really quickly.

Okay. Let’s talk cheese sauce. This is a really basic one. (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?)


Mac and cheese

Start by melting your butter in a large pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to cook it until it turns a light tan color.

Then slowly whisk in your warm milk in 1/2-cup batches. Work slowly to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Once all the milk is added the sauce should thicken and be really smooth. Turn the heat down to low at this point and heat the sauce until it’s steaming hot, but not boiling.


Mac and cheese

Then add all that beautiful cheese! Of course, you could add other cheeses if you wanted. Gruyere is always a great cheese sauce cheese, but just cheddar works great also!


Mac and cheese

Stir this together and season it with salt and pepper and you’ll be in business.

Stir in the pasta, divide the cheesy goodness between bowls, and top each serving with AT LEAST one handful of finely grated cheese!

See Recipe
Tips  

If you want to add a crunchy element, top with toasted breadcrumbs. To make: melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over low heat. Add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and cook until browned.

Nutrition Information 
No nutrition information available for this recipe
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