To promote the new dish, the chain restaurant tapped Michael Bolton to sing a sweet love song

By Benjamin VanHoose
September 17, 2020 02:07 PM

A match made in cheesy heaven!

On Wednesday, Panera Bread announced its latest menu item, an enviable combination of broccoli cheddar soup and mac & cheese, served in a warm bread bowl. To unveil the new dish, available now nationwide, the restaurant chain enlisted Grammy winner Michael Bolton to sing an original tune about it, playfully titled “When Some Mac Loves Broccoli Cheddar."

“To celebrate the first-ever mashup of two iconic Panera menu items coming together in perfect harmony, we knew we had to do something big,” Eduardo Luz, chief brand & concept officer at Panera, said in a press release. “The combination of our crowd-pleasing Broccoli Cheddar Soup, with our Mac & Cheese is a true embodiment of Panera’s dedication to delicious food.”

“We felt so passionately about the flavor combination that the love song almost wrote itself,” added Luz, “and who better to help us announce to the world than love song legend and Panera superfan, Michael Bolton.”

In the 90-second digital short, shared on YouTube, Bolton, 67, performs the song, singing: "Can't keep your mouth on nothing else/ Two classic loves swirled into one."

Panera Bread
Panera Bread

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According to Panera, the Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese is a new recipe that was "developed by combining two distinct cheddar cheese sauces into a singular velvety blend, simmered with a burst of seasoned broccoli florets and julienned carrots."

Also available in the refrigerated deli area at select grocery stores, the Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese starts at $5.79 or as part of the restaurant's You Pick 2 order.

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“As the new head Chef at Panera, I am incredibly excited to work with our pantry of fresh, clean ingredients to create delicious new innovations on the Panera menu,” said Claes Petersson, head chef and chief food and innovation officer at Panera. “I’m obsessed with the flavor combination in our new Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese — it’s an insanely crave-able and irresistible creation that our customers nationwide are sure to love.”

Panera noted that the new offering free from artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors from artificial sources, as defined by its comprehensive No No List.