Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food that can be enjoyed year-round, whether it’s to warm up in the winter or to bring to a summer barbecue. Mac and cheese can be a main course for lunch or dinner, a late night snack or a side dish at a Thanksgiving or holiday meal. Ultimately, the best time to eat mac and cheese is whenever you’re in the mood for its creamy, cheesy goodness!
One of the best things about mac n cheese is its ability to be customized in a variety of ways. So we’ve rounded up the best macaroni and cheese recipes out there so you can try your favorite comfort food in multiple variations. From Seafood Mac to Veggie Mac to mac topped with pulled pork, we’ve got all the macaroni and cheese that you can’t resist.
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What to Add to Mac and Cheese
Here are few easy ideas of things to add to mac and cheese to quickly elevate your mac and cheese experience:
Spices: Garlic and onion powder, Oregano, Paprika, Cayenne pepper or chili powder, Nutmeg, Truffle Salt, White or black pepper, Thyme, Tumeric, Cumin, Basil, Marjoram, Mustard powder
Blended Seasonings: Curry powder, Herbes de Provence, Italian seasoning, Taco seasoning, Hamburger seasoning, Ranch seasoning, Creole/Cajun seasoning, Takis powder seasoning
Sauces & Pastes:BBQ, Hot sauce, Buffalo sauce, Sriracha, Chipotle, Chimichurri, Salsa or pico de gallo, Pesto sauce, Alfredo sauce, Tomato paste or soup, Fish sauce, Harissa, Garam masala, Tamarind, Teriyaki, Sweet and sour, Wasabi, Miso paste
Ingredients: Meat such as chicken, beef, pork, Seafood such as lobster, crab, scallops or shrimp, Vegetables such as broccoli, peas, mushrooms, carrots, tomato, spinach, green beans or kale, Extra cheese or a combination, Leftovers, Bread or cracker crumbs, Crushed chips such as Cheetos, tortilla chips etc., Jalapenos, peppers or chipotles, Truffles or truffle oil, More meat such as bacon, pepperoni, hot dog or pulled pork, Kimchi
Alright, let’s get to the recipes, from subtle twists to the unique and possibly weird we’ve got it covered. Do you have a favorite homemade mac and cheese variation?
Best Mac And Cheese Recipes
Mac And Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. And one of the best things about it is its ability to be customized in a variety of ways. Here are some of the best Mac and cheese recipes out there.
Spicy Garlicky Korean Mac and Cheese is made with Gochujang, or use sriracha for variation. This recipe is vegan and made with gluten free pasta, but you can use regular cheese and regular pasta if you prefer.
If you love french onion soup, you'll love this gourmet mac and cheese recipe. This French Onion Mac n Cheese merges the sweet flavor of the popular soup with the creamy goodness of the most comforting mac and cheese.
Here are some fun info about Mac n Cheese that you may not know.
The first recipe for mac and cheese dates back to 1769. But here in America, we can thank Thomas Jefferson. He brought noodle recipes and a pasta machine back from France, and served it for dinner at an 1802 state dinner when he was president. While Jefferson loved to eat it, his favorite dish was perfected and prepared by the enslaved chef, James Hemmings.
Boxed macaroni and cheese was first introduced by Kraft Foods in 1937. Each box sold for 19 cents, and they sold 8 million boxes in a year. Today, more than 1 million boxes of their mac and cheese is sold every day.
James Kraft, the founder of Kraft Foods, started out selling macaroni and cheese out of a wagon in 1903 in Chicago.
Velveeta Shells and Cheese debuted in 1984, offering shells instead of elbows, and a pouch of cheese sauce, so no milk or butter was required to prepare it.
If you think your mac and cheese recipe is the best around, enter the annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown in St. Louis in July, or the NOLA Mac and Cheese Fest every October. If you just want to taste it, you can visit one of the many Mac and Cheese Festivals around the country in places like Washington DC, Avila Beach, CA, New York, San Diego, and Austin.
Mac and Cheese is so popular, it even has it’s own holiday. National Mac & Cheese Day falls on July 14th every year.
Got an appetite? The worlds largest macaroni and cheese dish was created by John Folse and Cabot Creamery Co-operative in 2010. It weighed about 2,469 pounds and included 575 pounds of pasta, 286 pounds of cheese, 56 pounds of butter, 26 pounds of flour, 1100 pounds of mile, and 61 pounds of dried seasonings.
Heidi Deal is an editor, mother of two, and seasoned home cook who enjoys experimenting with new recipes and teaching her kids how to prepare family meals. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.