Banish the Box! 25 Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes
Categories: Food

Banish the Box! 25 Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes

You might have grown up eating mac and cheese from the blue box, but now that you’re older it’s time to ditch the almost-instant stuff (complete with day-glow cheese) for a more sophisticated version. Here’s the secret: Mac and cheese is so easy to make. Not to mention the fact that the variations are almost endless. We had a tough time choosing, but we found 25 of our favorites to get you started. Now banish that blue box!

1. Roasted Summer Vegetable Mac and Cheese: Take advantage of those last summer veggies with this deliciously crispy mac and cheese recipe. All those veggies make it health food in our book. (via How Sweet It Is)

2. Big-Hearted Macaroni & Cheese with Artichokes: Artichoke hearts give the perfect salty, briny tang to a mac and cheese recipe. What can we say? We heart it. (via TheKitchn)

3. Easiest Baked Macaroni and Cheese: We love recipes with surprising ingredients, and this mac and cheese does not disappoint. The key to it’s creamy goodness? Cottage cheese! Who knew? (via Smitten Kitchen)

4. Baked Macaroni: We’d make this mac and cheese solely on the basis that it’s baked in a cast iron skillet. Comfort food to the max! (via A Beautiful Mess)

5. Basil Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese: Have a significant other, friend, or child who refuses to eat Brussels sprouts? This is an easy way to sneak it into a meal. (via Brit + Co.)

6. Sweet Peas and Shells Alfredo: Let’s be honest, alfredo is just another name for mac and cheese. It might be a bit classier, but it’s basically the same thing. (via Shutterbean)

7. Vegan Mac and Cheese: If you’re sensitive to dairy, but can’t give up on this dish, try this version. We promise you won’t miss the milk! (via Love & Lemons)

8. Sweet Potato Gnocchi Mac and Blue Cheese: We can’t wait to try this extreme twist on classic mac and cheese. We’re betting the sweet potato and blue cheese pair perfectly. (via Naturally Ella)

9. Mac and Cheese Muffins: This is the all-time best way to serve mac and cheese to a crowd. No messy baking dish, just individual portions that guests can serve themselves. (via Brit + Co.)

10. Easy Beer Mac and Cheese: Yes, you read that right—beer in mac and cheese. We’re guessing this is going to be a game day favorite all through football season. (via How Sweet It Is)

11. Lightly Cheddared Spinach Ricotta Mac and Cheese: If you don’t like heavy mac and cheese try this version made mostly with ricotta, and just a sprinkling of cheddar on top. (via Food 52)

12. Lobster & Shrimp Mac and Cheese: The buttery lobster and shrimp make this version incredibly decadent. (via Table for Two Blog)

13. Truffled Three Cheese Mac and Cheese: Something about adding truffle oil makes a basic mac and cheese recipe seem more grown up. Making it with whole wheat pasta, doesn’t hurt either. (via Turntable Kitchen)

14. Spicy Macaroni and Cheese: Along with a host of veggies, chili powder gives this cheesy recipe an extra kick. (via Kurry Leaves)

15.Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower: Another veggie that’s easy to disguise in mac and cheese? Cauliflower! When it’s baked it has almost the same consistency as the noodles. (via Shutterbean)

16. Microwave Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese: Short on time? Whip up this easy, delicious recipe in your microwave. We’d even serve it for a dinner party. Your guests will have no idea the oven stayed off. (via Brit + Co.)

17. Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon: It wouldn’t be fall without the addition of pumpkin to every single recipe, ever. Luckily, this pumpkin mac and cheese is good enough to enjoy year round. (via Lauren’s Latest)

18. Bacon & Pea Mac and Cheese: Adding bacon and peas to your favorite mac and cheese recipe makes it a full meal instantly. Well, maybe you need a side salad, too. (via The Kitchy Kitchen)

19. Mac and Cheese with Pesto, Prosciutto, and Peas: Or if you want to go even fancier, add prosciutto and pesto for an Italian take on mac and cheese night. (via Big Girls Small Kitchen)

20. Smoky Bacon Mac and Cheese: Clearly we can’t get enough bacon. Can you blame us? (via Food 52)

21. Creamy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese: If you want a fall flavor, but pumpkin isn’t your thing, try this butternut squash version. It’s just as tasty and just as…orange. (via Always Order Dessert)

22. Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Balls: A bit more labor intensive than the macaroni muffins, these mac and cheese balls are worth it for the crispy fried exterior. Oh, right, and they have bacon. (via Kirbie’s Cravings)

23. Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese: This recipe has that distinct funky tang that could only come from blue cheese. It might not be for everyone, but we love it.(via How Sweet It Is)

24. Mediterranean Mac and Cheese: Adding in chickpeas and onions gives this recipe a Mediterranean flair. You can also use Israeli or pearl couscous instead of elbow macaroni. (via Food 52)

25. One-Bowl Microwave Macaroni and Cheese: If you still believe the box is best, but want to give up all the processed ingredients, make this microwave recipe. It’s healthier so you don’t have to feel bad eating it. (via TheKitchn)

What’s your favorite mac and cheese upgrade? Tell us in the comments!