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November 20, 2009

Copycat: Noodles & Co. Mac and Cheese

I love Noodles & Co. I think I've had most everything on the menu, and of everything I've tried there's only been one thing I didn't particularly like.

One of my favorite things they make is their macaroni and cheese. It's comforting, but not too heavy like some versions out there.

Here's my stab at a copycat recipe. I think it comes pretty darn close. Plus, it's super easy and quick. Bonus!

Noodles & Co - esque Mac and Cheese

1 lb. elbow noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 c.  milk (we use 2% because that's what we always have around)
1 1/2 to 2 c. shredded cheddar jack cheese blend
1/4 c. cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour making a roux. Stir in a pinch of salt and some pepper. Let the roux cook for a minute, then add the milk, whisking until just barely thickened -- it should thinly coat the back of a spoon. You want it thinner because it will thicken as it cools, and it will thicken when you add your cheese, and if you're going for authenticity, the original is pretty loose. You could even use less cheese than listed and/or be prepared to add more milk if it tightens up too much. Remove from heat. Add cheese and cream, stirring until cheese melts. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

To serve it up, ladle some sauce into your dish, followed by pasta and top with extra cheese. I love mixing it up myself! Enjoy!

What do you think? Does it stack up to the real deal?
Leave a comment!

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