Our Favorite Way to Upgrade Mac and Cheese with a Kick

published Jan 18, 2017
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Here’s an instant way to add depth to your boxed mac and cheese. It’s an upgrade that will not only give it a spicy kick, but also sour, umami notes. Yes, I’m talking about kimchi.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Why You Should Add Kimchi to Your Boxed Mac and Cheese

Kimchi is potent stuff, and that’s exactly why we love it in instant mac and cheese. Often the boxed stuff can fall flat — it’s only cheese and milk and starch, after all — and a little lift can really go a long way. The Korean fermented cabbage gives it savory, spicy tang that can only make you want to go in for forkful after forkful. Stir in a little of the jarred stuff that’s easily available at Asian grocers and even Trader Joe’s. If you’re looking for a project, though, you can also make your own kimchi at home.

How to Make Kimchi Mac and Cheese

Cook up a pot of the mac and cheese of your choosing and then pop open a jar of kimchi. Spoon a few small scoops into the pot if you like things a little spicy, or spoon a few large scoops in if you prefer it extra spicy. Gently fold in the kimchi and serve. We’re big fans of this with white cheddar mac and cheese.

Upgrade Mac & Cheese

A box of instant macaroni and cheese is a blank slate for a quick and easy, but more importantly, family-friendly lunch or dinner. With the help of well-loved pantry staples, you can whip up some cheesy mac that’s bigger in flavor, texture, and satisfaction. This series gives you the inspiration to dig through your kitchen and discover single ingredients that will transform your bowl.