Monday, January 16, 2012

Copycat: Noodles & Co. Truffle Mac

Did you know that this post for Noodles & Co. Mac & Cheese is BY FAR the most popular thing I've put forth into the interwebs? It's true! Someday soon I hope to revise that recipe and take a decent photo for it, but until then, here's a similar post, with a similarly terrible photo. :) {done and done!}

Now that I'm a mom, I'm pretty much a total hermit. I don't go out to eat much, and if I do I look for places that have a drive-through so I don't have to get myself and the wee bairn (read: baby) out of the car. So my trips to Noodles have been much less frequent. I did try valiantly to get in there, though, when they introduced their "Grown-Up Mac & Cheese" a while back, with varieties like Bacon Cheeseburger, Chili Mac, and Truffle Mac.

One Saturday, while the hubs, baby, and I were out and about, we stopped by to try it. I was SO excited. But, alas, they said that the truffle sauce wasn't ready and wouldn't be ready for at least 20 minutes. Let me tell you how much that wasn't going to happen: a lot. It wasn't going to happen quite a bit, because we were coming up on nap time, and you do not mess with nap time.

So I missed the Truffle Mac.

My mom, however, did not miss it, and told me over and over how fantastic it was. She didn't know she was rubbing it in my face, so I forgive her. {stifled whimper} And she also gave me a bottle of white truffle oil for Christmas -- probably for the sole purpose of having me recreate it.

So recreate I did.

Using my original copycat recipe for Noodles Mac & Cheese as a base, I tweaked it by adding sauteed crimini mushrooms, toasted panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and, of course, truffle oil. It was delicious! And tasters who were lucky enough to taste the original from Noodles told me it was dead on. (Score!)

So, give it a try sometime. I bet you'll love it, too!

No elbow macaroni on hand? We used shells, but of course any short cut pasta will do.
Noodles & Co.-esque Truffle Mac


1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. cream
1 c. shredded cheddar-jack cheese blend
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
3/4 tsp. - 1 tsp. white truffle oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. sliced crimini mushrooms
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
fresh parsley, finely chopped


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain well.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 c. butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir to combine well. Let cook and bubble 1 minute or so, or until mixture smells toasty. Add a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. (A quick note about roux-making: I like to start with a wooden spoon, then switch to a whisk when I add liquid.) Whisk vigorously as you add the milk. Turn heat up to medium-high, and cook, stirring frequently, until just thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. (I mean it. Don't let it thicken too much.) Add more milk if it gets too thick.

While this is happening, sautee mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. of butter (or oil, if you like), and likewise toast the breadcrumbs over low heat, in 1 Tbsp. of melted butter, until golden. Set aside.

Remove sauce mixture from heat and add cheeses, cream, and truffle oil. Stir until cheese is melted and incorporated. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

When ready to serve, ladle some sauce in the bottom of your bowl. Spoon in pasta, then top with more sauce, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, parsley, and more parmesan. Drizzle a little more truffle oil on each serving, if you're so inclined, to up the fancy-schmancy factor.


(A note, I started writing this post a long while ago, and I did hear that they brought "Grown-Up Mac" back recently, so I made my husband go out and get it for me, but it was all wrong: burned mushrooms, no breadcrumbs... I still maintain that I haven't had proper Noodles Truffle Mac. Or if that's it, then this is WAY better.) 


  1. I just made this (I'm eating it as I type) and it was amazing!! Just like Noodles & Co! The truffle oil was a bit pricey ($13.99) but it will last me forever so it was worth it. I'm so glad that I found this recipe! This is my favorite dish at Noodles but at $8 a bowl, it was too expensive to keep getting it. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  2. Hayley, I'm so glad you tried it and that it turned out for you! I agree, the truffle oil is expensive, but a little goes a long way. Thanks for your comment!

  3. My daughter and I LOVE the Noodles and Company Truffle Mac - and decided to give your recipe a try! IT IS DELICIOUS!! Good job recreating. I will be making this many more times but will have to space it our as I can only IMAGINE the calories....hmmmm...but who's counting when something is this good... : )

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, and I'm so glad you liked my recreation! I do try never to think of such things as calories... ;D

  4. I tried this tonight and it was AMAZING! Thanks!

    1. I am so pleased that you liked it! Thanks for your comment!

  5. About how many does this serve?

    1. Depending on how large you like your portions, I would say it serves 4.

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe! I recently moved from Colorado to New England and I missed the truffle Mac at noodles & co! This was spot on and easy to make. I seriously cannot cook anything (this was the most complex recipe I have ever tried) and it turned out perfectly!

    1. I'm so glad it turned out well for you, and that the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  7. What kind of oil did you use? I am looking online and I see that it can be infused into either sunflower oil or olive oil. I dont know what to order. Do you mind sharing the brand you have?

    1. Good question. The brand I have is "La Tourangelle", which is infused sunflower oil. I've seen it at my local Kroger store, so you might try a regular supermarket first. Whole Foods is also pretty reliable when I'm looking for something out of the ordinary.

  8. This recipe is great, and my daughter absolutely loves it! In fact, she's having a sleepover tonight, and is planning on making it with her friend. My only criticism, and it's a minor one, is that one cup of Panko breadcrumbs is way too much. 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup would be plenty. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. what type of cream did you use sense there are different types of creams out there

    1. I use heavy cream or whipping cream. Either one will work.


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