Have you heard? Kraft is changing up the formula for their classic macaroni and cheese. Happily, the flavor we grew up with shouldn’t be affected, only the hue (the artificial food coloring responsible for its electric orange color is getting the boot). Being that this blue box favorite will always be one of our go-to comfort foods, we are here to brighten things up with these 10 cheesy recipe hacks. So before you swear off the childhood favorite entirely, check out these totally souped-up, homemade versions that put the plain ol’ store-bought box to shame.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Cupcakes

1. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Cupcakes: These savory cupcakes couldn’t be easier to throw together for your next tailgate. Just bake up a batch of crispy wonton cups, stuff ’em with a mix of spicy chicken and creamy, cheesy mac and get to munching. (via Tablespoon)

Healthified Boxed Mac and Cheese

2. Healthified Boxed Mac and Cheese: The new “healthy” mac gets even healthier with the addition of cottage cheese and broccoli for a filling protein and fiber boost. (via A Duck’s Oven)

Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls

3. Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls: If you want to get all fancy, combine bechamel with leftover mac and upgrade the sauce by melting in a handful of cheddar cheese. Extra flavor FTW! (via No Recipes)

Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese

4. Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese: Panko crust adds a wonderful layer of texture to these outrageous grilled cheese sandos. The contrast of crunchy, chewy and all-around CHEESY elements is positively swoon worthy. (via BS’ In The Kitchen)

Mac and Cheese Pizza

5. Macaroni and Cheese Pizza: Sometimes you just need to indulge carb cravings, and this pasta-on-pizza creation is sure to do the trick. (via The Gunny Sack)

Potato Chip Sliders Stuffed With Mac and Cheese

6. Potato Chip Sliders Stuffed With Mac and Cheese: Sour-cream-and-onion potato chips season these mac-and-cheese-stuffed patties in seconds, making prep an absolute breeze. We imagine barbecue-flavored chips would be equally delish… especially if you cook the sliders on the grill. (via Babble)


7. Taco Macaroni: Just about everything you need for this tasty taco macaroni can be stashed away in the pantry. In other words, it’s a great solution for busy nights and snow days alike. (via Weary Chef)

French Dip Mac and Cheese Smothered Fries

8. French Dip Mac and Cheese Smothered Fries: Go big or go home — we’re pretty sure that’s the motto of these outrageous loaded fries. Leftover shredded beef, bacon and a whole lotta cheese are all invited to the fiesta. (via Dixie Chik Cooks)

Bacon Mac and Cheese Egg Rolls

9. Bacon Mac and Cheese Egg Rolls: You only need four ingredients to make these fun, fried eats. For added indulgence, tuck a slice of avocado into each roll before wrapping. (via Miss in the Kitchen)

Mucho Mac and Cheese Nachos

10. Mucho Mac and Cheese Nachos (Vegan): We couldn’t leave our vegan friends out of the fun, so these homemade mac-and-cheese nachos are especially for them. Dairy not a concern? Feel free to swap in the boxed stuff for a quick and easy alternative. (via Vegan Yack Attack)

How do you feel about this change? What are some of your favorite ways to upgrade boxed mac and cheese? Let’s chat in the comments!