Macaroni and cheese is one of the most perfect foods - and I’d say that no matter where I worked. The cheesy, creamy, buttery flavors, plus the gooey, melty texture, is sure to please any palette. While classic macaroni and cheese is always a good choice, it makes a great base to customize with your favorite add-ins. Start with Midwest Macaroni & Cheese as your main recipe. What you add to make it your own depends only on your creativity!
Pasta: Do you always make mac and cheese with elbow macaroni? Mix it up by using rings, tortellini, gemelli, rotini, cavatelli, farfalle, radiatore and gnocchi. These novel shapes add a little visual interest to the overall dish.
Veggies: Chances are your favorite veggie will translate well when covered with melty cheese sauce. Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, kale, squash, caramelized onions and mushrooms are just a start. Chop up your choice of veggies (about 1 cup) and stir into the macaroni and cheese.
Meat: Turning macaroni and cheese into a hearty main dish is as easy as adding some protein, especially if you’ve already stirred in some vegetables. Ham and chicken are classic extras, but thinking outside the box will lead you down some delicious paths. Cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, pepperoni, salami, pulled pork, and bacon create unique flavors. Just like with the veggies, add about 1 heaping cup of meat to the pasta before serving.
If you’re stuck because there are too many tempting choices, try some of our recipes for inspiration! Bacon & Tomato Macaroni & Cheese, Southwestern Macaroni & Cheese and Cheeseburger Mac are all great jumping off points before venturing out on your own.
Macaroni and cheese, one of dinnertime’s most perfect combinations, is as easy as it is tasty. Mixing in your favorite additions will keep it fresh and keep your family asking for more, plus it’s a great way to explore your creative side in the kitchen! What are your favorite mac and cheese add-ins?