Noodles & Company's Wisconsin Mac and Cheese is a beloved classic known for its creamy, cheesy goodness. It's by far the best mac and cheese recipe! It's also made with minimal ingredients!
You can easily enjoy this comfort food favorite in the comfort of your own home. I'll guide you through a copycat recipe that recreates Noodles & Company's famous Wisconsin Mac and Cheese at home, allowing you to savor its deliciousness anytime you want! (And for a whole lot less money!)
The Secrets of Wisconsin Mac and Cheese
Before we dive into the recipe, let's uncover what makes this the best mac and cheese recipe. Noodles & Company's Wisconsin Mac and Cheese is exceptional! This dish embodies the cheese-loving spirit of Wisconsin, known as America's Dairyland, where high-quality cheese is a culinary hallmark.
What Makes this recipe the Best Mac and Cheese Recipe?
Wisconsin Mac and Cheese is all about the cheese. High-quality cheddar is the star, typically a combination of sharp and mild cheddars for a balance of flavor and creaminess.
The pasta used is crucial for capturing the cheesy sauce. Elbow macaroni is the classic choice used by the restaurant. Other shapes like cavatappi or shells work well too.
The creamy sauce is a blend of butter, milk, and, of course, cheese. Seasonings like salt, pepper, and paprika enhance the flavor, while optional ingredients like Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce add depth.
To elevate the dish and make it the best mac and cheese recipe ever, consider adding toppings like breadcrumbs, crispy bacon bits, sautéed onions, or diced jalapeños for extra flavor and texture.
Get ready for the creamiest, best macaroni! You will need:
- Elbow macaroni
- Cheddar cheese
Boil the Pasta:
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it's al dente. Drain and set it aside.
Prepare the Cheese Sauce:
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the Milk:
Gradually pour in the milk while continuously stirring to combine it with the melted butter.
Incorporate the Cheese
Begin adding the shredded cheddar cheeses, one cup at a time, stirring until each cup melts and forms a smooth sauce. If you're using smoked cheddar for added complexity, add it here.
Season to Taste
Stir in the salt, black pepper, and paprika. Adjust the seasoning to your taste preference.
Combine Pasta and Sauce:
Gently fold the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce, ensuring each piece is thoroughly coated in cheese sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
A blend of cheddar cheeses works best.
If you go to the restaurant, they use elbow macaroni, however you can use shapes like cavatappi, shells, or rotini. The key is to select a shape that can hold onto the cheese sauce.
To prevent lumps, add the cheese gradually and stir constantly as it melts into the butter and milk mixture. This ensures a smooth sauce.
Besides breadcrumbs, you can top your mac and cheese with crumbled crispy bacon, sautéed onions, diced jalapeños, or even fresh herbs like chives or parsley for a burst of color and flavor.
While mac and cheese is best when freshly made, you can prepare it in advance and reheat it in the oven or microwave. Just be aware that reheating may slightly alter the texture.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat portions as needed.
Yes, you can use gluten-free pasta in place of regular pasta and ensure that all other ingredients are gluten-free as well.
You can pair it with a side salad, steamed vegetables, or even some grilled chicken or sausage for a more substantial meal.
If you want an even creamier sauce, you can increase the amount of milk slightly or add a small amount of heavy cream while making the sauce.
yes, you can swap out dairy free ingredients. Just know it may alter the taste of the recipe a little. But still delicious!
Yes! Place your noodles, water and a little salt in your pressure cooker and cook for five minutes. When the timer is up, release the pressure then drain any extra liquid.
Serve the best mac and cheese recipe ever! It's time to eat! We love mac and cheese so much! If you love this recipe, try some other great best mac and cheese recipes! This four ingredient macaroni and cheese is perfect for busy nights. We love some game time baked macaroni and cheese balls. And the most requested macaroni and cheese recipe at our house? Our five ingredient pulled pork mac n' cheese!
Copycat Noodles n' Company Wisconsin Best Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 pound elbow macaroni uncooked
- ¼ cup butter unsalted
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 cups cheddar cheese grated and divided
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Cook your elbow macaroni according to package directions.
- In a pan heated to medium on the stovetop, add the butter and flour and whisk together. Whisk on medium heat until the flour and butter form a roux and the flour starts to brown slightly.
- Next begin to slowly pour the milk into the pan, whisking constantly to avoid forming lunps.
- Reduce heat to low, cooking until mixture is heated thoroughly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the grated cheese and your paprika.
- Stir cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce and garnish with extra grated cheese and salt and pepper if desired.