10 Mac and Cheese Recipes Every Cook Should Know

10 Mac and Cheese Recipes Every Cook Should Know

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Kelli Foster
May 23, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

1. How To Make the Best Macaroni and Cheese on the Stove

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. How To Make the Ultimate Vegan Mac and Cheese

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. Stovetop Pesto Macaroni and Cheese

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.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

5. Skillet Mac and Cheese

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.

(Image credit: Jean Schwarzwalder)

6. Fast and Fancy Spinach-Artichoke Mac and Cheese

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!

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

7. Healthier Veggie Mac & Cheese

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

8. The Ultimate Baked Caprese Mac and Cheese

If you love all things caprese, this is the mac and cheese recipe to keep nearby all summer long.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

9. Creamy Corn Mac and Cheese

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

10. How To Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker

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.

This Veggie-Filled Version Might Be Better Than the Original

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