Panera Mac & Cheese

We’re exactly one week away from Christmas and now starts the mad rush to finish all your holiday shopping and planning.  The week before Christmas I usually never have time to cook a full meal so now’s the time when super quick and easy recipes come in handy.

Today’s secret recipe (below) is a simple and delicious dish from the menu at Panera Bread.  Everyone loves macaroni and cheese and Panera’s version tastes so much better than any store-bought version.

Don’t forget we have a special collection of holiday recipes on our forum that you can browse: Go Here


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New Secret Recipe

Panera Mac & Cheese

1 16 oz. package of rigati pasta (or other small pasta shells)
1/4 Cup butter
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Cups 2% reduced fat milk (or cream)
6 slices white American cheese, chopped
1 Cup (8 oz.) shredded extra-sharp white Vermont cheddar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. hot sauce

Cook pasta according to directions on box or bag.

Melt the butter over low heat, and stir in flour. Cook for one minute. Gradually stir in milk or cream, whichever you choose to use. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat.

Add cheeses, mustard, salt, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. Stir in cooked pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute (or until thoroughly heated). Serve warm.

Serves 4

Source: Recipe4Living

Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,


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Copycat Luby’s Cafeteria Cheese Enchiladas With Chili Sauce

Chili Sauce:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons.salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 cups beef broth or bouillon
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) whole peeled tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons. paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water

16 corn tortillas (6-inch)
vegetable oil
6 cups (24-oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup (4-oz) shredded American cheese

To prepare the sauce; in a large saucepan or dutch oven, brown ground beef with onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drain any excess grease. Add broth, tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Mix well, breaking up tomatoes with large spoon. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 1 hour.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gradually add to chili sauce, stirring constantly. Continue cooking 5 minutes.

To prepare the enchiladas; preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a small skillet, until hot but not smoking. Quickly fry each tortilla in oil until softened, about 2 seconds on each side. drain on paper towels. In large bowl, combine Cheddar cheese and onion. Mix well. Spoon 1/3 cup cheese mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in two 11×7-inch baking dishes. Top with chili sauce. Cover with foil. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with American cheese. Continue baking 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

8 servings

Copycat Marie Callenders Potato Cheese Soup

The old-fashioned flavor of a cheesy potato soup that can be made in no time!

Serves 8

8 cups potatoes; peeled and cubed
4 cups water
2 cups chopped onion
4 cups chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups half-and-half
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, add water, potatoes, onions, celery, and salt. Bring to a simmer; simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender; drain. Transfer to blender and puree until chunky.

Return to saucepan; add half-and-half, butter and cheese; simmer until hot, stirring to melt cheese.

Make sure you do not let it boil and stir often to prevent any burning.

Copycat Black Angus Garlic Cheese Bread

Garlic bread and melted cheeses — that really is the best of both worlds!  Try this recipe next time you make a nice steak or have pasta and sauce.
Garlic Cheese Bread
1 loaf French bread
1/2 cup butter
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pureed

Split French bread loaf into halves horizontally. Mix butter, cheeses, mayonnaise, green onions and garlic in a bowl, blending well. Spread the cut side of bread with spread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 minutes, then place under broiler about 3 minutes longer. Cut into slices and serve.