Which Mac and Cheese Are You? 

 Meaty, packed with vegetables, or no cheese at all. . .We have you covered.

Published Jan. 27, 2023.

There is a lot to be said for macaroni and cheese. Even the pickiest eaters will settle down for a bowl of the good stuff, and I don’t mean from the box

The same parts that make mac and cheese so versatile and delicious can also make it difficult to choose which one to cook. Elbow macaroni or penne? Cheddar or Monterey Jack? Both? And what about toppings? Bacon, buttery bread crumbs, or broccoli

The possibilities are endless. Luckily, so are our recipes. 

We’ve sifted through all of our macaroni and cheese recipes to find the favorites and the showstoppers. There’s something here for everyone. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a particular mac recipe, we’ve got you covered.

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For the Mac and Cheese Purist

At its core, mac and cheese is simply pasta in a cheesy sauce. A base of béchamel or roux uses flour as a stabilizer to hold all that cheese together. We recommend a buttery bread crumb topping for a crunchy contrast. 

Classic Macaroni and Cheese is a given crowd pleaser. Keep it simple. Make a béchamel, bake it in a casserole dish, and broil with bread crumbs. Or, forego the oven altogether and make Simple Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese. American cheese is the meltiest, thanks to its processing, and this recipe proves it has a place in macaroni and cheese. If you want a creamy bowl of mac that stays emulsified even as it cools, look no further.

Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Classic Macaroni and Cheese

For the Person with a “Grown-Up” Palette

Up the flavor ante on macaroni and cheese beyond cheddar. Use a slow cooker for a sauce that will stay warm if you’re entertaining. Slow-Cooker Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese With Comté and Porcini is essentially an umami-rich fondue with suspended noodles. Give it a try for an epic weeknight treat. 

For the Person Who Thinks Everything Is Better with Bacon

Sure, you could have macaroni and cheese, but why not add some meaty goodness? Our Chili Mac is a beefy, tomatoey confection that is full of flavor and topped with even more cheese. 

For the Veggie-Lover

We’ve done far more with this macaroni and cheese than simply adding Swiss chard. In our Swiss Chard Macaroni and Cheese, whole-wheat pasta provides a lovely chew and a combo of Parmesan, cream cheese, and Gruyère create a rich backdrop for the gently wilted greens.

Our recipe for Skillet Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Garlic helps you put that bag of frozen broccoli kicking around in your freezer to good use. Mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes add a touch of heat to this silky smooth mac dish.

Swiss Chard Macaroni and Cheese
 Swiss Chard Macaroni and Cheese
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For the Person Who Wants More Heat

Warning: This one is for the spice fans. Though our Skillet Spicy Macaroni and Cheese is simple to make, it tastes anything but. With a little hot sauce, a few chipotle peppers, and a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, you’ll be shocked by just how much spice we packed into this one-skillet wonder.

For the Person Who Craves Variety

Are you always combining interesting flavors? You can fearlessly add ham and peas to your next batch of mac. Using our tasty skillet macaroni method as a base, we were able to load up the flavors, from kielbasa and mustard to broccoli and garlic. Customize as you please!

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For the Person Who Thinks There Is Never Enough Cheese

Is there such a thing as too much cheese? Doubtful. We put it to the test with a Creamy Baked Four-Cheese Pasta. We packed fontina, Gorgonzola, pecorino, and Parmesan into a single 13 by 9-inch baking dish. And that’s not all. From this ultimate cheesy base, you can add prosciutto and peas, tomatoes, chicken…whatever you desire.

For Your Plant-Based Friend

Don’t worry, there is a macaroni and “cheese” for you too. 

With the power of nutritional yeast, make Vegan Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese featuring a garlicky, cheesy cream sauce without any cheese at all. Top with our Vegan Parmesan Substitute for a nutty finish. 

Vegan Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese
Vegan Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese

For the Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese Fan

Even if your diet calls for gluten-free dishes, mac and cheese is still accessible. We used cornstarch instead of flour (substituted on a 1:2 ratio) to make a Gluten-Free Baked Macaroni and Cheese that’s just as smooth and creamy. 

Or, cut out the roux altogther and use evaporated milk instead. It contains less than half the water of fresh milk, resulting in the ultimate gluten-free macaroni and cheese

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