Mac and Cheese Recipe Ideas

Make every kind of mac and cheese imaginable with these ideas from Food Network Magazine.
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Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Classic Baked Mac and Cheese (No. 1)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk. Add the bay leaf, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in 2 cups cheddar and the gruyere. Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Butter a 2-quart baking dish; add the pasta mixture and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake 15 minutes.

Butternut–Blue Cheese (No. 2)

Peel and cube 1 small butternut squash; roast at 425 degrees F until tender, about 20 minutes. Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, using 2 1/2 cups cheddar in the sauce and replacing the gruyere with 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese; add the squash. Top with 1/4 cup each cheddar and blue cheese and broil until melted. (Do not bake.)

Broccoli and Havarti (No. 18)

Make American Mac and Cheese, adding 2 cups broccoli florets to the pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking and replacing the cheddar with havarti.

Ham and Pea (No. 19)

Make American Mac and Cheese, adding 1 cup frozen peas to the pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Stir in 1 cup chopped ham.

Andouille (No. 20)

Make American Mac and Cheese, adding 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning with the flour. Stir in 6 ounces browned diced andouille sausage, 1/3 cup chopped Peppadew peppers and 1 sliced scallion.

Garlic and Herb (No. 32)

Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, cooking 1 minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon each chopped basil, parsley, chives and thyme in the butter.

Mini Spanish (No. 36)

Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, stirring in 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme, 1/2 cup browned diced dried chorizo, 1/2 cup grated manchego and 1 beaten egg with the pasta; add all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Divide among 4 to 6 small ramekins. Top with sliced tomato or piquillo peppers and more manchego. Broil until golden.

Southern Greens (No. 50)

Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese; stir in 2 cups cooked chopped collard greens, and hot sauce to taste. Top with crushed butter crackers.