WISCONSIN MAC AND CHEESE (NOODLES COPYCAT) — Elbow macaroni is smothered in a creamy blend of cheddar and Monterey jack cheese in this Noodles and Co. copycat recipe.
We’re pretty picky about our macaroni and cheese at my house, and when it comes to fast-food versions, this Noodles and Co. Copycat Wisconsin Mac and Cheese is our favorite!
There’s nothing fancy about this recipe–no weird secret ingredients–just milk, butter, seasonings, classic elbow macaroni, and plenty of cheese. Proving that sometimes the simplest dishes are the best.
One of my favorite things about Noodles Mac and cheese is how the macaroni is perfectly al dente and still a little bit firm.
So one of the most important parts of getting this copycat recipe just right is not to overcook your pasta. If it’s mushy, it’s not going to taste like Noodles mac and cheese at all.
When in doubt, err on the side of leaving your macaroni a little bit chewy.
This recipe does make a whole lot of macaroni. Not that leftovers are a bad thing. But if you’re not feeding a crowd, you may want to cut the recipe in half.
Another trick to making this mac and cheese authentic is to finish off each serving with a generous handful of additional shredded cheese, just like they do at Noodles.
Since Noodles mac and cheese is a family favorite, it makes sense that this is our favorite macaroni and cheese to make at home. I don’t usually have the good fortune of ending up with leftovers.
And even though they’re mostly grown, my boys still love this stuff. I mean, do you ever really outgrow macaroni and cheese?
Even if you’ve never had Noodles mac and cheese, you’ve got to try this copycat version of their Wisconsin Mac and Cheese. You’re going to love it!
Be sure to save this Wisconsin Mac and Cheese (Noodles Copycat) recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Wisconsin Mac and Cheese (Noodles Copycat)
- Macaroni noodles
- Half and Half or milk
- Spices: paprika, salt and pepper
- Cheddar cheese
- Monterrey jack cheese
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups Half and Half or whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Do not overcook. Rinse with cold water and drain.
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook and stir another minute.
- Slowly whisk in the Half and Half or milk. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.
- Add the paprika, salt and pepper, and both cheeses. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the cooked pasta and mix well.
- Spoon mac and cheese into bowls and top with additional shredded cheddar, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 490mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g
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