Noodles & Company Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (copycat recipe)

This has become one of my favorite recipes: Noodles & Company Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (copycat recipe)

I have to admit, when I’d take my kids to Noodles and the order this dish, my throat tightens just a little. Isn’t there anything else you want? I mean, I make home made mac & cheese on a regular rotation and they love it. Can’t they try something I don’t make? And then I tried it. I liked it. Especially with a dousing of Sriracha Hot Sauce. I can see why it is a winner, and I’m from Wisconsin.

Pool of cheesy roux + noodles + a topping of shredded cheese?  You get to stir it up and watch the cheese melt right in front of you. What kid (or adult) wouldn’t want that?

Basically you are taking the cheese roux and instead of mixing that with the pasta and baking it, you plate it up all separate. Why wouldn’t it be good? I’ve been known to sneak some roux and noodle before baking and chomp it down. The stuff is good.

Here we go. Source:

Noodles & Co. Wisconsin Mac and Cheese
8 servings

2 lbs macaroni noodles (cooked al dente)
4 T butter
4 T flour
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups colby-monterey jack cheese, finely shredded

Cook the macaroni according to the directions to al dente; do not overcook!
Heat butter in sauce pan over medium heat; melt.
Add the flour; whisk to make a roux.
Continue to whisk until the mixture boils, bubbles and turns slightly brown.
Whisk in salt, pepper, and paprika.
Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk and cook until it starts to thicken up. It will not get pudding thick, and will still be a thin sauce. This is how you want it.
Remove from heat and add the 4c. of monterey jack.

To serve: Pour about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the cheese sauce into the bottom of a bowl. Add about 1 cup of cooked noodles over the sauce. Top with a small handful of colby-monterey (about 1/4 cup). Stir and enjoy!

NOTE: 1c shredded cheese is approx. 4oz.

I can feed my entire family a very healthy portion of this (and have leftovers) for less than it would cost to feed two people the same meal at Noodles & Co. — score!  You can make the noodles ahead and whip up the roux in less than 15 minutes. Just warm your noodles before plating. It heats up well, too.

10 thoughts on “Noodles & Company Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (copycat recipe)

  1. Oh my GOD that sounds soooo good. I think I would prolly die if I made that cause I’d sit there and eat every bit.

    And die.

    But die happy!

    1. Bonnie, it is like crack. Make it. Do it. If you’re concerned, totally scale it down. I have leftovers even with my family and find it hard not to pick at it because it is so good. Thankfully they finished it up today. I “tested” it to make sure it wasn’t too warm for them before they dug in though. 😛

  2. I make this. I make it a lot. My whole family adores it-grandmas, grandpas, uncles and aunts–everybody. Thank you for a wonderful, easy alternative to the box!

    1. I made it for a party (boys soccer party) and kept the noodles in a Nesco, the sauce in a crockpot and the cheese in another bowl. Each person assembled their own. Was a hit.

  3. Thanks for the validation; I’ve always felt that the baking step in making homemade macaroni and cheese was not only unnecessary, but more work. I mean, who wants to a) wait that extra time and b) wash another pan?! Cheers.

    1. I do still love the baked kind, but this has become a favorite in our house. Definitely nice when you don’t want to fire up the oven. Also reheats in microwave nicely.

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