The best aspect of a basic mac and cheese recipe is the simplicity. Store a box in your pantry or cupboard so you can whip up dinner in no time. Plus, mac and cheese is super cheap and you can often find it on sale.
But sometimes you want to take your mac and cheese beyond the box. So yea, there are TONS of yum add-ins to ramp up your mac game.
In fact, you can start with the basic boxed variety and add a few extras to really ramp it up and it will still be a cheap, easy meal. So the next time you have to resort to the blue box or purple, or yellow, depending on your favorite brand , alleviate boredom with add-ins and extras. So, the MOST basic of basic mac and cheese is usually made from a box. There are a zillion variations, but the boxed variety will get you started down the path of mac and cheese success. Create your own cheese sauce or buy a jarred cheese sauce such as Ragu Classic Alfredo sauce.
You can also bake mac and cheese. The simplest method is to prepare a box variety, add pre-seasoned breadcrumbs, extra cheese and simply broil for a few minutes until melted. While real baked mac and cheese is awesome and yummy, it does take longer to prepare and most of us prefer to stick with minute meals or less. The best way to take your basic mac and cheese recipe to the next level is simply add-in additional ingredients to make it even better.
This is a classic paring—mac and cheese with hot dogs! Once your mac and cheese is combined, add a drained can of tuna packed in water. Stir thoroughly to break up the tuna. Pasta and peas go together perfectly. The peas are great with either white cheddar or the classic variety of macaroni and cheese. Boil a cup of frozen peas right with the noodles and stir in the sauce.
You can also compose a great cold salad using macaroni noodles, peas cooked together and parmesan cheese. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and cracked pepper.
Use of leftover ham by adding chunks to your macaroni and cheese! If you visit the deli, you can also ask them to slice up ham into thicker slices or look for ham steaks which need to be pre-cooked. Another classic paring is tomato with macaroni and cheese. The creamy cheese goes great with the tangy tomato. Dice a tomato into cubes and add as a final touch to your macaroni and cheese. Or just dump in a can of diced tomatoes and add a bit of chili powder for kick!
Tomato soup—the old standby canned variety is the perfect background for macaroni and cheese. Simply boil plain noodles, drain, add in a can of condensed tomato soup and stir a few cups of cheese.
Peppers go great with mac and cheese and are used to give your dish an Italian or Mexican flair. Add jalapenos like this recipe from SheKnows. You might call this cowboy mac, beefy mac, chuckwagon mac or goulash. You can add tomatoes or diced red peppers as well. Adding chili powder really brings it all together. Use jarred Alfredo sauce, cook frozen broccoli with your noodles and top with leftover chicken or Tyson pre-cooked chicken tenders for a totally easy take on chicken and broccoli Alfredo.
Use fettucine as they did here or mix it up with any noodle variety you like. Just like peas, add frozen broccoli to your boiling pasta water and cook it right with your noodles. You can add extra pepper and even sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Sep 28, mac: 13 simple ways to make boxed mac and cheese even better Never fear: There are truly easy ways to amp up this supper standby. Sep 5, 10 Easy Ways to Upgrade Boxed Mac & Cheese for Last-Minute Dinners while the noodles boil—or better yet, let that pot of water do double duty and toss the How to Make the Crispiest, Dreamiest Macaroni and Cheese.
Cauliflower is a great solution for those watching their carb intake or looking for gluten-free options but still craving macaroni and cheese. The cauliflower mimics pasta enough that you can enjoy this meal without noodles, or simply microwave cauliflower and use it to stretch your basic mac and cheese recipe —more fiber and servings! There are many baked versions of pizza macaroni, but this version has all the flavors and is super simple to cook. You can either add cannellini beans and tomatoes to your existing macaroni, or forgo the cheese and simply add the tomatoes and beans to pasta.
Say what?! Tortellini is absolutely amazing instead of regular macaroni. The cheese is right inside, so you can use less on the outside if you want to.
Take the suggestion and use cream cheese in this recipe, because it adds a different creaminess than regular cheese sauce. Is there a better appetizer than spinach artichoke dip? This recipe takes all the flavors of your favorite dip and adds them into macaroni and cheese. She makes her own sauce, but you could easily use a white cheddar variety and simply add in the spinach and artichokes.
Ok, this is a little oh la la fancy, but this combination of walnuts, gorgonzola and pears is absolutely killer. You can follow this recipe or simply add a diced pear, walnuts and blue cheese crumbles to your basic mac and cheese recipe. This recipe takes a little more time than the more basic and cheese recipe, but not too much more hands-on work.
To make Sloppy Joe macaroni and cheese, all you really need is leftover Sloppy Joes! Carbonara basically means pasta with bacon. You can use batch-cooked bacon for this dish which makes the recipe super simple. This recipe harkens back to Hamburger Helper, which is the ultimate filling dinner. You can make the whole dish in one pan. Most Recent Most Popular. Close Attach Photo Would you like to attach a photo to your submission? Browse Cancel. Close Attach Photo. Close Report this post? Are you sure you want to report this post for review?
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