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10 Ultra Tasty Mac & Cheese Recipes You Gotta Try

Who doesn’t love a big dish of creamy macaroni and cheese? And no, we're not talking about the kind that comes with that cheese powder in a box. We're talking about mouth watering casseroles. Take a look at these ten ultra tasty ways to take your mac and cheese to the next level! 

10 Super thick

If you like super thick, dense baked macaroni and cheese, this is the recipe for you!

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz) elbow macaroni

¼ cups butter

¼ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 cups milk

2 cups (8 oz) grated cheddar cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni as package label directs; drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boiling, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer mixture 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese and the macaroni. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart shallow casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

9 Super Creamy

This recipe is ooey, gooey, and dripping with cheese!

Ingredients: 

1 pound elbow macaroni

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack

2 cups half and half or whole milk

1 pound block of original Velveeta brand cheese, cut into small cubes

2 large eggs

½ cup cold unsalted butter

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning, optional

Directions: Butter a 4 quart baking dish and set aside. Boil macaroni according to directions, rinse, set aside, and drain. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together shredded cheeses and set aside.

Pour half and half or milk into a medium saucepan. Add Velveeta and cook over medium low heat until all of the cheese has melted. Remove from the heat and set aside. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk. Scoop out some of the cheese sauce and slowly add that to the egg mixture to temper them, continuously whisking as you had the hot cheese sauce to the eggs. Once the eggs are well tempered, add them to the cheese sauce and whisk until well mixed.

Mix together the salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Layer half of the noodles in the baking pan and season with half of the salt and pepper mixture. Slice thin layers of half of the cold butter and spread them around on top of the noodles. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar/Jack cheese combo over the noodles. Ladle half of the Velveeta cheese sauce over that. 

Repeat the layer of noodles, seasoning, butter, and Velveeta cheese sauce, except reserve remaining cheese for later.Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with remaining shredded cheese, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

8 Spicy Mac&Cheese

Kick your macaroni and cheese up a notch with a little spice!

Ingredients: 

4 cups cooked macaroni or cavatappi

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ to ½ finely diced red onion

Equal amount diced red bell pepper

1 finely diced jalapeno

One 4 oz can chopped green chilies

1 cup frozen corn2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup cream

1 generous cup grated Pepper Jack cheese

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and Pepper

Directions: Boil pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and vegetables over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add in canned chilies and stir around, then turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it to skillet. Pour on cream, add cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. At the end, add 2 tablespoons butter and stir again. Check seasonings and serve.

7 Crock Pot

Fix it and forget it – make your mac and cheese in the crockpot.

Ingredients:

2 cups elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons butter

2 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar

3 eggs

½ cup sour cream

1 (10 ¾ oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup

½ teaspoon salt1 cup whole milk

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions: Boil macaroni in water for six minutes. Drain.In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.In slow cooker, combine cheese mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper. Add the drained macaroni and stir again.

Cook on low for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

6 Fast and Easy

One pan, plain and simple!

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups whole milk

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups dry elbow macaroni

1-2 cups shredded cheddar

½ teaspoon salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a large pot add the milk, butter, and macaroni noodles. Turn the burning on to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce the heat if the milk seems to stick to the bottom of the pan and stir often until the noodles are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and salt until everything is melted.

5 With Chicken

Add some chicken for a filling meal!

Ingredients:

½ (16 oz) package cellentani pasta

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles

1 (8 oz) package pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed

3 cups chopped cooked chicken1 (10 ¾ oz) can cream of chicken soup

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes and green chiles and prepared cheese product; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended. 

Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

4 With Veggies

Sneak in some veggies for extra flavor.

Ingredients:

1½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni

3 cups fresh broccoli florets

2 cups fresh cauliflowerets

3 large carrots, halved and thinly sliced

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup 2% milk

1 cup chicken broth

3 cups (12 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar 

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Cook macaroni according to package directions, adding broccoli, cauliflowerets, carrots and celery during the last 6 minutes. Drain; transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually stir in milk and broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheese, mustard, salt and pepper.

Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to coat. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

3 With Beer

Add some beer to your mac and cheese! Cheers!

Ingredients:

1 package (16 oz) elbow macaroni

¼ cup butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon pepper

2 ½ cups 2% milk

¾ cup amber beer

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

3 cups shredded cheddar, divided

2 cups shredded Fontina

2 tablespoons Parmesan, divided

2 tablespoons minced chives

5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Directions: Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the flour, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in the milk, beer and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Reduce heat. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese, fontina cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese until melted. Add chives.

Drain macaroni; stir into sauce. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through. Top with crumbled bacon. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

2 Restaurant Copycat

Here’s a recipe for Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese!

Ingredients:

1 pound cavatappi pasta

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups half and half

2 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

8 ounces white cheddar, shredded

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded

4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

4 pieces bacon cooked crispy and crumbled

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

Directions: Prepare pasta according to packaged directions. Heat butter and flour in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the roux becomes fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of half and half and stir until sauce thickens. Add 1/2 cup of half and half when the sauce thickens, and then add final 1 cup of half and half and stir until the sauce becomes thick.

Add cheeses to sauce slowly stirring until the cheese is blended. Sprinkle in smoked paprika. Mix pasta and sauce, and pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Top macaroni and cheese with crumbled bacon and Panko bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until Panko bread crumbs begin to brown.

Check out these copycat macaroni and cheese recipes from some of your other favorite restaurants!

Cracker Barrel

Outback Steakhouse

Noodles and Co.

Panera Bread

1  From TV

Photo Credit - lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Try Guy Fieri’s Mac Daddy Mac and Cheese!

Ingredients:

2 shallots, peeled

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 pieces bacon, diced, cooked, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon fat

2 tablespoons flour

4 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound penne pasta, cooked

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place shallots and garlic in a small aluminum foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from foil and chop. 

In a large saute pan, reheat reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Add roasted shallot and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in heavy cream and thyme. Reduce by a third. Stir in cheeses until melted, creamy and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Remove from heat and gently stir in pasta. Place in a 9X13 casserole dish. In a small bowl, mix together diced bacon, bread crumbs, butter and parsley. Top mac and cheese with Panko mixture and bake uncovered at same heat until bubbling and lightly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

Here are some more macaroni and cheese recipes from your favorite TV chefs!

Bobby Flay – Mac and Cheese Carbonara

Rachel Ray – 20 Most Popular Mac and Cheese Recipes

Trisha Yearwood – Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Barefoot Contessa – Grown Up Mac and Cheese

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