Does macaroni and cheese still mean that blue box to you? If yes— WHY?! Friend, you deserve better.
There are so many recipes out there for macaroni and cheese that you can make right in the comfort of your own kitchen, and they taste so much better than anything you can buy in the store. Don’t you want REAL cheese and all the mixings and toppings you could dream up? Of course you do. Just look at what you COULD be eating.
The best macaroni and cheese is the one that tastes like childhood. Our childhood? It tastes like mom used to make: creamy, velvety, gooey macaroni and cheese baked in the oven with a buttery cracker crust.
Looking for a little portion control along with your better-than-the-box mac? Shrink it down into appetizer-worthy mac ‘n’ cheese bites! Go classic, like these ones . . .
. . . or wrap them up in bacon for a special treat you can even make ahead of time!
One of the biggest problems with boxed macaroni and cheese is how artificial, and unhealthy, the ingredients are. When you make it yourself, you not only control what’s in it, but you can make it all a little bit healthier and greener, like with this broccoli mac ‘n’ cheese . . .
- Two Peas and Their Pod
. . . and this avocado sauce version.
- POPSUGAR Food
Of course, the other side of making your macaroni at home is that you can make it as crazy and indulgent as you want, like this version that includes bacon and a REALLY crazy secret ingredient: spicy Cheetos!
Another way to take your mac ‘n’ cheese to the next layer of indulgence? Imitate another cheesy favorite – pizza! – by layering in pepperonis, tomato sauce and, of course, LOTS of ooey, gooey cheese.
- Everyday Food
“OK,” we can hear you saying, “so homemade macaroni has boxed beat in taste, but what about CONVENIENCE?” Never fear— this one-skillet version is just as easy to make and far more delicious, and like the boxed kind, it won’t leave you with tons of dishes to clean.
Skeptical of the skillet, or simply only have a saucepan on hand? You can still have one-pot mac ‘n’ cheese! This creamy macaroni and cheese is way out of boxed mac and cheese’s league. It doesn’t get any easier/cheesier than this: 25 minutes, simple pantry ingredients, and just one pot.
Another way to keep it easy? Break out your slow cooker! This one is extra creamy and delicious, and it couldn’t get more convenient than making it this way. And if you want another crock-pot option, we’ve got a second version right here.
- Food & Wine
Don’t want crazy flavors or anything other than pasta and cheese? That’s easy! This version is as simple and delicious as it gets.
- Food & Wine
Since everybody loves mac ‘n’ cheese, especially kids, it’s a great dish to use to sneak in healthier ingredients. A prime example: this green pea version, which uses the little green guys to add just a hint of sweetness and veggie power to the cheesy dish.
- Food & Wine
Give the classic some extra kick with chipotle, smoked paprika, black pepper and – most importantly! –jalapeños!
So many versions, so many options, too few meals! We’re torn between, well, all of them. What about you? Tell us which ones you’ll be trying!