How To Spice Up Mac And Cheese

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It Is A Side That Can Wear Many Hats

Things to Spice Up Mac & Cheese : Mac & Cheese Recipes

Mac and cheese doesnt cease to amaze me. It has been around satisfying both kids and adults with its cheezy and creamy goodness, simply as a side, for many years. I would have never thought something so delicious could get better. But now weve learned just how to spice up mac and cheese to make it taste better and to transform it! Mac and cheese was already amazing, and now it is phenomenal! It can become a full meal that will satisfy the entire family. If youre in the mood for buffalo wings or a bowl of chili, now know can transform your mac and cheese to satisfy this. If you just want to make it spicy and give it a little kick, you can do this too. There are countless recipes for mac and cheese that transforms it into something else. What you want to transform it to is up to you. Either way, youre going to love it!

Apple Pie Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Cook one box of regular macaroni and cheese. Mix in 1 can of apple pie filling. Line the inside of a small casserole dish with 1 pie crust. Fill it with the goods. Top with the other pie crust . Crimp those crusts together to seal, and bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden.

Break The Bank: Add 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar to the filling for $3 more.

Replace Half Of The Butter With American Cheese

My third trick is to replace half of the butter with two or three slices of American cheese. The difference is incredible!

The instructions say to use four tablespoons of butter . Were only going to use two, plus some American cheese.

I get my American cheese sliced really thick, so two of my slices would be equal to about three slices of packaged stuff. But hey, go ahead and throw in a fourth if you want. It will just be even creamier and cheesier!

Can you use all of the butter the instructions call for, plus the American cheese? Sure, but I actually like it better this way. It gets a little too greasy with all that butter added to the extra cheese.

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Kraft Mac And Cheese Is Whats For Dinner

Macaroni and cheese will always be a very popular side at dinner time. It will forever remain in the hearts of every child who would rather eat mac and cheese than their veggies.

Kraft mac and cheese can be cooked and ready to eat within minutes making dinner a breeze. Now, you know how to spice up Kraft mac and cheese to give it bold flavors and you know how to make it healthier.

You can trade your side of mac and cheese for an entire meal of mac and cheese, by transforming it into an entree. You wont ever get bored with kraft mac and cheese! There are countless ways to transform your mac and cheese into a meal, and now you now two very delicious ways to do it. It is easy to cook, easy to spice up, and easy to transform.

That is why Kraft mac and cheese is very often whats for dinner.

Breakfast Mac & Cheese With Fried Egg

How to Spice Up Mac and Cheese to Transform It!

This is exactly what I want to eat after a night of indulging in spirits. But, Id gladly eat this on a Monday night when I really just want comfort with little effort. Breakfast for dinner? Yes, please. In this recipe, breakfast sausage is combined with chopped poblano peppers, garlic and onion. A fried egg finishes it off with a BANG. That runny yolk mixed in with the shells? Im definitely a fan.

  • 1 box prepared Annies Organic Shells & Real Aged Cheddar
  • a glug of olive oil
  • 1 medium poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cooked breakfast sausage links, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • hot sauce

In a medium skillet, saute poblano pepper and onion with a glug of olive oil over medium-high heat until mixture softens and develops a light char, about 5-6 minutes. Season mixture with salt & pepper and stir in breakfast sausage and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another minute. Remove mixture from pan, wipe pan down and fry an egg with a little bit of olive oil. Stir sausage poblano mixture into prepared Mac & Cheese and top with a fried egg and hot sauce. Serve immediately.

Also Check: How To Make Cheese Sauce

Transforming Mac And Cheese Into Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac

Mac and cheese has been served as a side dish for years, but you can find mac and cheese as the main dish now in some restaurants! Are they just giving you plain macaroni and cheese and calling it a main dish? No! They are transforming the macaroni and cheese by adding vegetables and meat! Instead of serving the meat, veggie, and starch separate mac and cheese is being transformed as a 3-in-1 meal. The meat, veggie, and side are all in one! It has truly transformed into a delicious whole meal. Want to know one easy way how to spice up mac and cheese to transform it? Let me teach you how to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac!

One of the ways you can transform mac and cheese is by adding chicken, bacon, and ranch seasoning. All you need to do is cook chicken breast and bacon. Chop up the chicken breast into small chunks, and crumble the bacon. You add a ranch seasoning packet when you add the butter to the macaroni, whether youre making boxed mac and cheese or homemade. If it is homemade, mix in the chicken and bacon before you bake it. If it is boxed, mix in the chicken and bacon after it is finished cooking. Easy peasy! You now know how to transform your mac and cheese to Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac. You can top it with freshly cut tomatoes or onions to fulfill your need for veggies. Either way, it is still a very filling and hearty meal.

Carbonara Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Boil the pasta from 1 box white cheddar mac. Cook 4 ounces of cubed pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Whisk together 2 eggs and the cheese packet. Drain pasta, return to pot. Add pancetta and all its rendered fat. Pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the sauce thickens. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Shell Out: Whisk ¼ cup grated pecorino romano into the eggs along with the cheese packet for $4.

Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Cheese To Put On A Charcuterie Board

Shrimp Fajita Mac & Cheese

Ill take a bowl of this at Shrimp Fajita Mac & Cheese least once a week. Please and thank you. Creamy Mac & Cheese gets smash-banged with shrimp fajitas! The cumin in the shrimp really adds a nice flavor to the mac & cheese. Then again, put sautéed onions on anything and Im into it.

  • 1 box prepared Annies Organic Shells & Real Aged Cheddar
  • 16 medium cooked shrimp, tail off
  • ½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ avocado, cut into chunks
  • fresh lime juice, for serving
  • cilantro. for serving
  • hot sauce, for serving

In a medium skillet, saute onions peppers with olive oil and cumin over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Peppers and onions should be soft at this point. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir shrimp fajita mixture into prepared Mac & Cheese. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, hot sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve immediately.

Marinated Artichokes + Roasted Garlic + Sauted Spinach

Here’s How To Spice Up Mac & Cheese

Spinach and artichoke dip is “Old Reliable” at any party I host it’s never the first thing that comes to my mind to make, but if it’s there, I can count on there never being any leftovers. Here’s how to bring the party vibes to your grilled cheese: Drain and chop a handful marinated artichokes, sauté a small heap of baby spinach with minced garlic and olive oil, and add ’em both in to your cooked mac.

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Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan From Taste Of Home

Chicken nuggets are great with cheese and pasta, and this recipe makes it super simple by using chicken nuggets and layering in a casserole style. This is amazing if youre craving chicken parmesan but dont have the time for a complicated dish.

This recipe was created with frozen meatballs, which work great with boxed macaroni and cheese. They add meaty flavor and protein, and take it up a notch to something special.

Tips And Tricks For How To Make Kraft Mac And Cheese Better

  • Cook the noodles for 2 minutes less than what is stated on the box.
  • Add milk to the cooking water .
  • Add more butter than the recipe calls for.
  • Youll want to melt some extra cheese with the butter before adding the cheese packet.
  • Adding some parmesan cheese will add even more flavor.
  • If you like garlic, then you cant go wrong by adding a little garlic powder.
  • A tiny dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce is the ticket.
  • Heres what the USDA has to say about mac and cheese, in case you wanted to know,.

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Hack #: Canned Tuna + Frozen Peas + Shredded Cheese + Breadcrumbs

Try this modified take on a classic tuna noodle casserole. This dish works well with any white cheddar mac base. Boil pasta according to package directions. Halfway through cooking, add in 1/2 cup of frozen peas. Drain pasta and peas and make sauce as directed. Mix pasta, peas and sauce, along with as much or as little drained canned tuna as you like, then put it into an oven-proof casserole dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese and breadcrumbs on top, then broil for three to five minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Can You Use Water Instead Of Milk In Macaroni And Cheese

10 Creative Ways to Spice Up Your Mac &  Cheese

That really depends. The answer is yes, you CAN, however the question should be SHOULD I, in which the answer is no. If you are hungry and have nothing else, then of course, use water. Youll want to add MORE butter if you are doing this AND A slice or two of American Sandwich Cheese as well.

However, if you have cream, milk, evaporated milk in the can, dehydrated milk or any other likely substitute then you should use that instead.

Recommended Reading: Does Aged Cheese Have Lactose

Kimchi + Bacon + Chopped Scallions

We have to thank cook and food writer Caroline Choe for introducing us to this sublime, Korean-inspired combination. Ever since she dreamed up her recipe for Kimchi Macaroni & Cheese, her family, friends, and co-workers haven’t been able to get enough of itand there’s no reason it can’t work for boxed mac and cheeses . The key is to sauté the kimchi to cut down the acidity before mixing it into the cheesy macaroni, along with crispy bacon bits, and garnishing with chopped scallions.

How Do You Make Boxed White Cheddar Mac And Cheese Better

How to Improve Boxed Mac and Cheese Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. Finely Chopped White Onion and Buttery Herbed Breadcrumbs. The Hot Sauce of Your Choice. Taco-Seasoned Ground Beef and Sour Cream. Chopped Fresh Tomatoes and Peas with Tuna. Steamed Broccoli, Extra Cheddar, and Diced Ham.More items

Also Check: What Kind Of Cheese On Keto Diet

Adding Seasonings & Enhancing The Flavor:

Now for the most exciting parthow can you enhance the flavor and really spice this Kraft mac and cheese up!?

1. Make it Spicy

Try adding hot sauces like Sriracha, Franks Hot, or Tabasco. Fresh Jalapeños, chili oil, or chili flakes can also be great options to give it a little heat.

2. Add herbs and Italian seasonings. Try any variation of thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, oregano, or parsley.

3. Put in some sautéed garlic. You can never go wrong with lots of garlic.

4. Add truffle oil or any kind of truffle seasoning. This automatically makes anything more gourmet.

5. Mix in pesto or tomato sauce. This adds another flavor and makes it even saucier.

6. Crack in a fresh egg. This is a very classic Italian move to enhance the flavor.

You cant go wrong with any of these options to spice up Kraft Mac and Cheese. Follow any of these easy steps to turn a family favorite dish into something gourmet.and have fun with it!

Check out Kraft mac and cheese Deluxe to see which variations of flavors are already being sold.

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Transforming Mac And Cheese Into Chili Mac Or Buffalo Chicken Ranch Mac

How To Spice Up Your Mac And Cheese

Another way to transform your mac and cheese is by making it into Chili Mac. This one is so easy to make and very filling! All you need to do is brown 1 lb of ground beef in some chili seasoning. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles drained and one can of chili beans drained. Set aside. Cook your macaroni pasta as you usually do whether you doing boxed or homemade. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add the butter and then ground beef and bean mixture. Add cheese and complete the remainder of the steps according to which type of mac and cheese youre doing. Once its done cooking, it is done! Now youve got spicy and delicious Chili Mac! I suggest you top it with some sour cream. Just try it!

Another popular transformation is Buffalo Chicken Ranch Mac. To make this, you start making your macaroni pasta. Once cooked and drained, you add butter and a ranch seasoning packet. Mix well. Add a packet of cream cheese per 1 lb of macaroni pasta you make, then add about ¾ cup of buffalo sauce per 1 lb of macaroni. Mix well and add the rest of the ingredients to finish making boxed or homemade mac and cheese. Then, add 1 lb of chopped pre-cooked chicken breast per 1 lb of mac and cheese. If making homemade mac and cheese, mix the chicken into the mix right before you bake it. If youre making boxed, mix the chicken in right after youve finished cooking it. Once its done cooking, youve got a deliciously creamy and cheese Buffalo Chicken Ranch Mac.

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Pesto Pea And Crispy Pancetta Mac & Cheese

This was my husbands second favorite. Im surprised because its filled with the color GREEN! Frozen peas get cooked with the shells, pancetta browns on the stove.pesto rounds out the flavor and bridges the gap between salty pancetta and sweet peas. Im glad to have this trick in my arsenal.

  • 1 box prepared Annies Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar
  • 4 oz. diced pancetta
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Cook shells & cheddar according to package and in the last 3 minutes of cooking time, place the frozen peas in the boiling water with the shells. While shells & peas cook, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook pancetta until crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Drain shells and peas, prepare the shells & cheddar according to package and stir in pancetta, and pesto. Top shells with freshly grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

Barbecue Chicken From Kraft

Macaroni and cheese goes so well with barbecue. Its the perfect combination reallysavory, sweet, smoky and cheesy! Use shredded chicken and barbeque sauce to really amp up this combination. Also try this dish with pork as well. You can also turn it into the ultimate dinner platter.

So, if youre faced with an empty fridge and no idea what to fix for dinner, check your pantry. With a box of macaroni and cheese and a can or two of extras youll enjoy a delicious, simple meal tonight that wont derail your grocery budget.

Whats your favorite way to upgrade your basic mac and cheese recipe? Is there an add-in you use to take your boxed meal to the next level? Share your own mac hacks in the comments!

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Easy Hacks To Upgrade Trader Joe’s Frozen Mac N’ Cheese Into Culinary Wizardry

Haters gonna hate, but Trader Joe’s frozen mac n’ cheese is pretty great.

It’s been the official frozen mac n’ cheese of HuffPost Taste ever since it cleaned up at a Taste Test back in March of 2013. It’s simply the closest you can get to restaurant-quality mac n’ cheese from a freezer. If you want to spend $2.99 and almost no time at all on dinner or a comfort food side dish, you could do a lot worse.

That said, you can also do better. A lot better, actually — and with just a tiny bit of effort. You just have to use Trader Joe’s mac n’ cheese as a platform for other, more exciting ingredients. I’ve come up with four easy ways to upgrade Trader Joe’s from serviceable to legitimately amazing. So good that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to serve any of the resulting mac n’ cheeses at a dinner party, and you wouldn’t blink if you were served them in a high-end restaurant.

I’ve arranged from easiest and most basic to most difficult and unusual each is labeled with a corresponding Beyonce song. But they all start the same way: by cooking the Trader Joe’s mac n’ cheese as per the instructions on the back of the box — five-to-six minutes in the microwave, then a minute of rest. Here’s what you’ll get after you do that:

Why? A crust of browned cheddar and breadcrumbs elevates Trader Joe’s mac n’ cheese from decent to exquisite and indulgent.

Why? Spinach-artichoke dip and mac n’ cheese are two of the greatest uses of melted cheese in the world. They belong together.

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