You aren’t human if you don’t like macaroni & cheese, that’s just a fact. Mac & cheese is the first dish you learned how to cook as a kid, and it continues to be everyone’s guilty pleasure as they grow older. Mac & cheese can literally be cooked into everything and anything you could imagine, and making it is relatively simple. As our gift to you, we’ve rounded up our favorite quick and easy recipes for you to get your cheese on.
1. Grilled Mac n Cheese Sandwich
A personal favorite of ours, this masterpiece incorporates mac & cheese with the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
4 slices of bread (for 2 sandwiches)
3 tablespoons of butter, separated
½ cup of cooked macaroni & cheese
4 slices of cheddar cheese
½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Butter one side of each slice of bread and grease the skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons. Lay a slice of bread with the buttered side down on the pan. Add the slices of cheddar cheese and a mound of mac & cheese. Add the second slice of bread with the buttered side up. Flip as you would a regular grilled cheese sandwich until toasted. Makes two sandwiches.
2. Mac & Cheese Biscuits
This one is probably the simplest recipe in this list and can easily be paired with breakfast, lunch or dinner.
1 container (8 count) of Pillsbury Flaky Layers Biscuits
2 cups of prepared mac & cheese
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place each biscuit into a muffin pan and gently push it down, creating a cup shape. Add shredded mozzarella down into the bottom of the biscuit and fill the remainder of each cup with mac & cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let them cool off before you remove them from the pan.
3. Three Cheese Mac & Cheese Pizza
Have you ever had CiCi’s Macaroni Pizza? It’s heavenly, and now you can make it at home. You can add meat or whatever else you want to this masterpiece—it’s all up to you. The beauty is in the creative process.
1 cup of elbow pasta
Flour for rolling pizza dough
1 pound of prepared pizza dough
2 cups (8 ounces) of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tablespoon of cream
Olive oil to taste
1/4 cup of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) of mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 425°F. Boil a pot of water on high and add the elbow macaroni. Reduce heat to medium. While the pasta cooks, roll out the pizza dough and shape into a circle. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and fold over the outer edges of the dough to create a pizza crust. Drain macaroni and return to pot. Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar and cream to the macaroni and mix well. Drizzle olive oil over the pizza dough and evenly spread ricotta onto the base. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and top with the macaroni and cheese mixture, spreading evenly over pizza dough. Top with the remaining 1 cup shredded cheddar. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown, and cheese is thoroughly melted. Makes 6 servings.
4. Pepperoni Mac & Cheese
This is an amped-up version of Mac & Cheese Pizza, sans crust.
1 pound of penne pasta
4 tablespoons of butter
1 diced onion
3 minced cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of milk
2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
3 cups (13 ounces) of mozzarella cheese
1 16-ounce can of tomato sauce
5 ounces of mini pepperoni
Boil a large pot of water and add pasta. Cook to your liking, then drain and set the pasta aside. Melt butter in a pan. Add onions and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and mix for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 more minute. Whisk in the milk until thickened. Add seasoning. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of mozzarella, making sure the cheese melts. Add in tomato sauce and pepperoni and heat until warm. Stir in the pasta. Put everything into a bowl and add the remaining cheese. Makes 6 servings.
5. Queso Mac & Cheese
Have you ever served mac & cheese with your Mexican-style dishes? Now you can!
2 cups (8 ounces) of elbow pasta
2 cups of milk
2 tablespoons of corn starch
3/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
4 slices of chopped bacon
1/2 chopped onion
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) of shredded cheese
1 4-ounce can of green chilis, mild or hot, drained and diced
Heat the oven to 400°F. Boil macaroni, drain and keep warm. In a large mixing bowl, whisk in the milk, cornstarch, cumin, paprika, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, fry the bacon until almost crisp. Add the onion and garlic. Add milk to bacon mixture and cook until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese. Add green chilies and keep stirring until cheese is completely melted. Add macaroni and stir. Pour macaroni into a casserole dish, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 4 servings.
Life tip: If you love mac & cheese, go to www.allthingsmacandcheese.com. It will change your life forever.
Photo by: Michael Shuey