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A few weeks ago, we shared ideas for taking your grilled cheese to the next level. Today, it’s mac and cheese’s turn. It’s one of the nation’s favorite foods, and for a good reason. Ooey, gooey cheese combined with delicious pasta make a comforting dish that can serve as an entree or a side.
As cheese lovers, we certainly know our way around mac and cheese. Read on to find out our top ideas for making it extra special.
1. Combine cheeses
You probably always use the same cheese when you make mac and cheese. Try something different to add new flavors and even more cheesiness. Some of our favorites to add are gruyere, for added nutty flavor, and mozzarella, for that extra melty goodness. You could also try bacon cheese or some of our spicy cheeses like hot habanero cheddar.
2. Add a topping
You might always sprinkle cheese on top, for those cripsy melted edges, but there are other ways to top your mac and cheese. Breadcrumbs, or even crushed up chips, can add another dimension to the dish. Crumbled up bacon will add saltiness and crunch. Toasted pumpkin seeds add a smoky element. Sliced chives or green onions will give your dish freshness. You can be creative with your toppings and find your family’s favorites.
3. Extra ingredients
You might have seen restaurants serving lobster or truffle mac and cheese. These are certainly decadent treats, but you don’t have to splash out to improve your mac and cheese at home. If you want to get more vegetables into your diet, try adding steamed asparagus, roasted squash or pumpkin, spinach or leafy greens. You can even stir pureed cauliflower or broccoli through your sauce to pack in some extra nutrients.
Seafood can work well, but it doesn’t have to be lobster. Crab meat and prawns are excellent stirred into a mac and cheese, but you could also add mussels on top.
Bacon, sausages, chorizo, bologna, and ham can add flavor and texture. You could even add chicken for more protein.
Spices are great for changing the flavor of your mac and cheese. Chilli and herbs are the classics, but horseradish can give it a great kick. You could even stir some pesto in for that Italian flavor!
4. Use sauces and condiments
Hot sauce, BBQ sauce, pickles and ketchup are all great toppings for your mac and cheese. Load up the table with different sauces and everyone can personalize their dish to their taste.
5. Really make the effort with the sauce
You might have never made a cheese sauce before, but it couldn’t be more simple. Trust us! All you’ll need is butter, flour, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper. Once you’ve made a sauce from scratch you won’t go back, and everyone will be clamoring for your recipe.
So, there you have it. Five ways to make your mac and cheese truly sensational. Which one will you try? How do you like to make mac and cheese? Let us know in the comments!