Get the basic recipe for a pot of creamy classic mac and cheese down, and you've opened up a world of possibilities for yourself. This perennial comfort food loves a remix. Give it a twist by swapping the cheddar for another cheese (or four!), cook it up like a classic dip, load it with veggies, or lean on herby pesto for a pop of summer.
Here are 10 essential mac and cheese recipes every home cook should get to know.
Consider this your holy grail of classic stovetop mac and cheese. Even though it skips the roux, this sauce cooks up thick with an ultra-creamy texture. If you prefer a slightly thinner sauce for mac and cheese, stir in about 1/4 cup more milk.
What if I told you that you could have a rich and creamy bowl of mac and cheese while also packing in over a pound of cauliflower? This recipe does just that, thanks to a base of cheesy cauliflower sauce.
This recipe might not actually contain any cheese, but it still has that luxe, ultra-creamy sauce you crave and totally scratches that mac and cheese itch.
Adding a few spoonfuls of bright, herby pesto is my favorite fast and fancy trick for instantly making a pot of classic stovetop mac and cheese even better. Sharp white cheddar works best for this recipe, and while basil pesto is a classic choice, any variety will work.
Here's how to do mac and cheese in the middle of the week. The whole thing comes together in a big cast iron skillet, and finishes in the oven to get a good crisp on the breadcrumb topping.
This is definitely an instance of when two really good foods are better together than they are on their own. It involves four (yes, four!) kinds of cheese and a super-luxe sauce, and it's easy enough to pull off on a weeknight. Promise!
Classic mac and cheese gets a makeover from a nutritionist, and the result is something to feel really good about. This lightened-up version goes heavy on the veggies, and blends Greek yogurt and goat cheese for a creamy, protein-rich sauce.
If you love all things caprese, this is the mac and cheese recipe to keep nearby all summer long.
This recipe epitomizes summer comfort food. Expect lots of fresh corn and herbs, salty crumbles of feta, plus red pepper flakes for a punch of heat.
This mac and cheese does double duty, pleasing both camps of mac and cheese lovers. Served right away, the result is creamy and scoopable. But if you set the slow cooker to warm, the noodles soak up the sauce for a texture more akin to a baked, casserole-style mac and cheese.