Panera grocery Mac & Cheese in lunch setting

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More mealtime fun with Mac & Cheese


Need some new ideas for putting lunch or dinner on the table fast? Make mealtime easy – and fun – with cheesy, creamy Mac & Cheese from Panera at Home. Just set up bowls filled with your family’s favorite toppings and mix-ins for a DIY Mac & Cheese bar everyone will love. 

Start with Mac & Cheese.

Plan for 1 cup of Mac per person. You’ll find our 16 oz. size at many grocery stores and 40 oz. packages at club stores -- and, of course, it is served at our bakery-cafes. Heat it all up in a slow cooker (with a liner for easy clean up), or warm in a pot and transfer to keep things hot.

Choose your toppings.

The possibilities really are endless. You can play it safe, or experiment with unusual ingredients—it’s up to you! Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Bacon. It’s a classic and appeals to almost everyone young and old.
  • Burgers & Dogs. Dice them up small for a totally kid-friendly meal.
  • Salsa & Corn Chips. Kids love this easy combo!
  • Shrimp. Try it grilled with chives for more grown-up tastes.
  • Lobster. It’s perfect for special occasions, and even elegant parties.
  • Broccoli. Try it blanched (or roasted) if you’re a broccoli cheddar fan.
  • Chorizo & Corn. Give your bowl a southwest flair.
  • Boston Baked Beans. Spotted at a recent party, and oh so good.
  • Apple & Dried Cranberries. Great for your fall events or even as a Thanksgiving side.
  • Anything else you can imagine! Try out regional and seasonal flavors for a truly personalized party.

Stash some in the fridge.

A Mac & Cheese bar is a great way to up the fun factor of your mealtime, but don’t count on any leftovers! To make sure you can enjoy your Mac the next day – or any day, we always recommend hiding some away in the fridge. With Panera at Home Mac & Cheese on hand, you can add your favorite toppings and enjoy whenever you get a craving.

Or, explore some recipes.

Whether you’re going for something veggie-forward, indulgent or fancy, we’ve got easy-to-make recipes for you. Try Primavera Mac & Cheese with colorful vegetables, Caprese Mac & Cheese for a culinary trip to Italy, BBQ Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese for a combination of bold flavors, or wow the table with Lobster Mac & Cheese.

If the day is calling for something extra special

  • Try this Breakfast Mac & Cheese recipe that will get everyone excited to get out of bed!
  • Lunch will be the highlight of the day when you serve our Pizza Mac & Cheese, a sure hit especially with the kids.

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