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14 Ways People Make Mac and Cheese Around the World

14 Ways People Make Mac and Cheese Around the World

The classic macaroni and cheese that Americans know and love is made simply with a sharp cheese, usually cheddar, grated and melted over elbow pasta and milk, for a cheesy and creamy texture that is just right.

14 Ways People Make Mac and Cheese Around the World (Slideshow)

Of course, not all macaroni and cheese is made alike. Depending on flavor preferences and who’s making it, there are tons of variations on this classic mac and cheese dish that are enjoyed all over the world. Some recipes go as far back as 1769, around the time when the earliest known recipe for mac and cheese was tested and jotted down in a pasta-lover’s cookbook.

Historians believe macaroni and cheese originated in Northern Europe, later making its way to the rest of the world. It was introduced to America in the 1800s by Thomas Jefferson, who, while visiting France, fell in love with the dish and brought home recipes and a pasta machine. He even served mac and cheese at an 1802 state dinner.

Just as we love it in America, so do people around the world. But macaroni and cheese isn’t made the same in every country. Traditional Egyptian mac and cheese, known as “macaroni béchamel,” calls for ground meat baked between two layers of macaroni and covered in béchamel sauce (a mixture of butter, flour, and milk) and cheese. Käsespätzle, the German version of mac and cheese is traditionally made simply with cheese and caramelized onions.

What Indian people call “desi mac” is made with tomatoes, haldi (turmeric), garlic, dhania (cilantro leaves), and cheese. In Spain, though, cheese isn’t the main ingredient in mac and cheese. The Spanish version is typically made with pork sausage, tomato sauce, and onion and then topped with grated cheese.

No matter the region or the recipe, all mac and cheese is always made with two ingredients: plenty of cheese and pasta. Read on to see how people make macaroni and cheese around the world.

Brazilian Mac and Cheese

Requeijão, a brand of cream cheese spread, is the main ingredient Brazilians use in their mac and cheese to make it an especially creamy dish.

Egyptian Mac and Cheese

Known as “macaroni béchamel,” traditional Egyptian mac and cheese calls for ground meet baked between two layers of macaroni and covered in béchamel sauce (a mixture of butter, flour, and milk) and cheese.

Click here for the Egyptian Macaroni Béchamel recipe

Click here for more of 14 Ways People Make Mac and Cheese Around the World

Haley WIllard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @haleywillrd.

Originally published on April 11, 2014.


Make the Best Mac and Cheese Ever With Top Tips From Home Cooks

Allrecipes home cooks are passionate about creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese. And they're not shy about sharing their secrets for how to make the best.

Here are some of their top tips taken straight from the reviews, covering everything from making a smooth, lump-free cheese sauce to getting a crisp, golden crust on their baked mac and cheese casseroles. Read on to get their tips so you can make your best mac and cheese, too.


Cheesiest Mac and Cheese for a Crowd


No matter the time of year, Mac and Cheese is always a delicious addition to the menu – but especially during the holidays! And it seems like regardless of that gathering, the Mac and Cheese is always the first thing to go. The dish gets scraped clean in no time.

Everybody just loves the deliciousness of perfectly cooked macaroni, swimming in a savory, creamy cheese sauce, with just the perfect amount of toasted cheesy goodness on top! Whew… I’m drooling just typing this.

And everyone loves a little decadence at the holidays… right? Well, I’ve got you covered…

This holiday season, there is no ingredient more creamy or delicious for your family’s favorite holiday recipes than Borden® Cheese. That’s why for my latest creation, I’ve amped up the cheesy and gooey factor of Mac and Cheese by incorporating more cheese AND more sauce by using Borden® Cheese! I’ve also increased the yield so it makes plenty enough to share with the entire family – even though you won’t want to. It makes it perfect for those fun holiday family gatherings!

Seriously, this is ultimate comfort food to the max. Just look at that cheese!

I love using Borden® Cheese Triple Cheddar Shreds in this recipe because it’s the perfect blend of Mild White, Medium and Sharp Cheddar cheese that make your Mac and Cheese sing! Borden® Cheese is crafted with high-quality, wholesome ingredients from family farms across the country. With guaranteed cheesy goodness in every bite, each serving of Borden® Cheese is also a good source of calcium and contains 6-7 grams of protein, which is an added bonus to the ooey gooey cheesy goodness.

Whether it’s gathering in the kitchen to bake up a festive recipe or sitting around the table to enjoy a meal together, Borden® Cheese is the perfect addition to any family occasion during this heartwarming season!

A few things to keep in mind:

Cook the pasta a minute or two short of what the box recommends. Since we’re going to bake it a bit longer in the oven, it could get mushy if it were cooked all the way through on the stove top.

Starting with ingredients all at room temp will help to keep your sauce from breaking and curdling. Set your cheese and other dairy out for a bit to get it to room temp as a little extra insurance that won’t happen.

Unlike some other potluck-friendly dishes, I wouldn’t recommend making this dish in advance. It is best served fresh, right after being baked.


Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast For Your Weekend Brunch

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.

APPLY NOW

Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!


Roasted Tomato & Sausage Mac & Cheese

If you have roughly 30 minutes to make dinner, this is what you should make. Why? Well the oven does most of the heavy lifting for you. That means you can do so much in your kitchen/around the house/kid wrangling while your appliances work for you. A little prep at the end provides MAXIMUM reward. I employ this roasted sausage & tomato trick whenever possible and you’ll see why!

  • 1 box prepared Annie’s Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar
  • 3 Italian sausages
  • 1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes
  • glug olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • salt & pepper
  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup ovoline mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400F. On a baking sheet, toss sausage, tomatoes & smashed garlic with a glug of olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until sausage is thoroughly cooked. Cut up sausage and stir into prepared mac & cheese with tomatoes, garlic, fresh chopped basil and ovoline mozzarella. Serve immediately.


38 Of The Best Macaroni And Cheese Recipes On Planet Earth

Macaroni and cheese is everything we could want: hot, melted cheese blended in creamy harmony with pasta, one of our all-time favorite comfort foods. Whether your favorite version is classic, jazzed up or lobstered, it’s hard to get enough. But who was responsible for making it popular, anyway?

Thomas Jefferson was an American founding father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States. But one could argue his greatest achievement was helping to popularize macaroni and cheese in the U.S.

After encountering macaroni in France and northern Italy in the late 1700s, Jefferson arranged for a special macaroni extruder to be shipped to his home in Virginia, where he served macaroni to guests at presidential dinners, putting the noodle in the spotlight. There even exists a recipe for macaroni noodles written in Jefferson’s own handwriting.

In honor of this important contribution to American cuisine, let’s make some of our favorite recipes for the dish. We’ve got 38 variations, including some for vegans.


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And it all becomes a top-notch template for adding any number of whatevers or tweaking flavors (of cheeses or seasonings or finishes). I offer four.

The Food Lab’s Ultra-Gooey Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe

From “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science,” J. Kenji Lopez-Alt serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Kosher salt
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot or other hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 pound extra-sharp cheddar, grated (see note)
  • 8 ounces American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 chunks

Place the macaroni in a large saucepan and cover it with salted water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and let stand until the pasta is barely al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the evaporated milk, eggs, hot sauce, and mustard in a bowl until homogeneous. Toss the cheeses with the cornstarch in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Place over low heat, add the butter, and stir until melted. Add the milk mixture and cheese mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture is hot and creamy. Season to taste with salt and more hot sauce. Serve immediately, topping with toasted breadcrumbs if desired.

Note: Use a good melting cheese or combination thereof, like American, cheddar, jack, Fontina, young Swiss, Gruyere, Muenster, young provolone, and/or young Gouda. To reheat the pasta, add a few tablespoons of milk to the pan and cook, stirring gently, over medium-low heat until hot.

For “Everything” mac and cheese: For the final seasoning, add 1/3 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground black pepper, poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds, garlic flakes and onion flakes.

Cauli-pasta mac and cheese: For the pasta, substitute 2 medium heads of cauliflower, broken into small florets and blanched 7 minutes.

Italian mac and cheese: For the grated cheddar, substitute 1 pound of aged Asiago for the American cheese, substitute 8 ounces high-moisture fontina or mozzarella top servings with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Baked mac and cheese: Butter a 2-quart baking dish or casserole and add the finished recipe to it, topping the whole with a mix of 3/4 cup panko crumbs, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.


How to Make Mac And Cheese

It's simple and easy to make homemade baked mac and cheese. If you haven't tried it at home then here is the quick steps that you can follow to make best mac and cheese in your kitchen. Here is the step by step process to make it but I recommend you to watch recipe video to follow the quick steps.

  1. Boil elbow macaroni in hot water for about 8 minutes.
  2. After 8 minutes, drain the water and rinse macaroni with tap water to avoid cluttering.
  3. Cheese Sauce Preparation: In a pan, add butter and let it melt for few seconds.
  4. Add flour and quickly stir until it forms a thick paste.
  5. Add milk and make a thick sauce.
  6. Now season with salt, peppers, and garlic powder.
  7. Add cream cheese and make the thick cheese sauce.
  8. Now add boiled macaroni and mix well.
  9. Set the macaroni in a baking dish.
  10. Topped with mozzarella cheese.
  11. In a separate bowl, add panko breadcrumbs and butter and mix well.
  12. Make a layer of butter panko at the top of macaroni and cheese.
  13. Bake at 220c and 428F for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  14. Take it out and enjoy!

Creamy Broccoli Mac & Cheese

If you’re trying to sneak some veggies into your children’s’ diets during lockdown or quarantine and they’re not a fan of broccoli and cheese soup, make the next best thing: creamy broccoli mac and cheese! Or, you might even view this as a macaroni and cheese soup depending on how creamy or watery you prefer to make it.

If you’re getting groceries delivered to your house, make sure to order fresh broccoli florets, onions, condensed cheddar cheese soup, milk, and macaroni. If you’d like, you can add in some ham or chicken to bulk up the protein for hungry eaters.

You’ll simply cook the macaroni until it’s tender. Then, you’ll cook the broccoli and onions separately. Try using 1 cup of broccoli florets and half of the chopped onion for this recipe. Once they’re cooked, add them to the macaroni and then slowly stir in the cheddar cheese soup mix. And, voila! It’s that easy to make one of the tastiest mac and cheese recipes around.


50 Mac and Cheese Recipes

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk. Add the bay leaf, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in 2 cups cheddar and the gruyere. Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Butter a 2-quart baking dish add the pasta mixture and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake 15 minutes.

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Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

2. Butternut–Blue Cheese: Peel and cube 1 small butternut squash roast at 425 degrees F until tender, about 20 minutes. Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, using 2 1/2 cups cheddar in the sauce and replacing the gruyere with 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese add the squash. Top with 1/4 cup each cheddar and blue cheese and broil until melted. (Do not bake.)

3. Italian: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, replacing the cheddar in the sauce and on top with fontina. Top with 1/4 cup each panko and grated Parmesan before baking.

4. Beer and Brat: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, replacing 1 cup of the milk with pilsner beer. Add 3 browned sliced bratwurst increase the cheddar on top to 1 cup.

5. Kielbasa: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, replacing the cheddar in the sauce and on top with horseradish cheddar. Add 12 ounces browned diced kielbasa top with 1 cup crushed pretzels before baking.

6. Truffle: Sauté 1 pound sliced mushrooms in olive oil until browned. Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, replacing the cheddar in the sauce with 2 cups grated truffle cheese. Add the mushrooms top with 1/4 cup gruyere instead of the cheddar.

7. Onion Lovers': Cook 2 sliced large onions in butter until golden brown, 15 minutes. Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, adding the onions and 1 bunch chopped scallions. Bake, then sprinkle with canned fried onions.

8. Lobster: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, using all cheddar add 12 ounces chopped cooked lobster. Top with the cheese and a mix of 1/2 cup panko, 1/4 cup chopped chives and 1 tablespoon melted butter broil until golden. (Do not bake.)

9. Smoked Mozzarella: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, adding 1/2 cup each sliced roasted red peppers and diced smoked mozzarella. Top with the cheddar and broil until melted. (Do not bake.)

10. Bacon: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese add 8 slices crumbled cooked bacon before baking.

11. Bacon-Chipotle: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, reducing the cheddar in the sauce to 1 cup and replacing the gruyere with 2 cups chipotle cheddar add 2 tablespoons chopped chipotles in adobo sauce and 8 slices crumbled cooked bacon. Top with the cheese and a mix of 1/2 cup panko and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika before baking.

12. Classic Stovetop: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, adding just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce. Skip step 3.

13. French-Style Stovetop: Make Classic Baked Mac and Cheese, cooking 2 chopped garlic cloves in the butter, replacing the cheddar in the sauce with 8 ounces brie (rind removed) and adding just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce stir 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard into the sauce. Skip step 3.

14. American Mac and Cheese:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mild yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced processed cheese, such as Velveeta
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat whisk in the flour, mustard powder and cayenne and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in the evaporated milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheeses, then the pasta and just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce. Season with salt and black pepper.

15. Barbecue-Style: Make American Mac and Cheese stir in 1 cup warm prepared pulled pork. Sprinkle with crushed barbecue potato chips.

16. Hot Dog: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce add 4 sliced hot dogs. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and top with a mix of 1/4 cup cheddar, 2 tablespoons panko and a pinch of mustard powder bake at 400 degrees F, 15 minutes.

17. Pimiento: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce add 1/2 cup pimientos and 1/4 cup sour cream. Transfer to a buttered baking dish top with crushed butter crackers. Bake at 375 degrees F, 15 minutes.

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Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

18. Broccoli and Havarti: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding 2 cups broccoli florets to the pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking and replacing the cheddar with havarti.

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Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

19. Ham and Pea: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding 1 cup frozen peas to the pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Stir in 1 cup chopped ham

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Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

20. Andouille: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning with the flour. Stir in 6 ounces browned diced andouille sausage, 1/3 cup chopped Peppadew peppers and 1 sliced scallion.

21. Roasted Pepper and Chipotle: Purée 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers, 1 small chipotle in adobo sauce and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. Make American Mac and Cheese stir in the pepper purée and 2 sliced scallions.

22. Cheeseburger: Brown 1/2 pound ground beef with 1/4 cup each ketchup, chopped onion and chopped pickles. Make American Mac and Cheese, adding all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Transfer half of the pasta mixture to a buttered baking dish top with the beef mixture, then the remaining pasta mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar and bake at 400 degrees F, 15 minutes.

23. Spinach-Artichoke: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce stir in one 6-ounce jar chopped marinated artichoke hearts and 2 cups chopped baby spinach. Transfer to a buttered baking dish. Mix 2 tablespoons each panko, grated Parmesan and chopped parsley sprinkle on top. Bake at 400 degrees F, 15 minutes.

24. Wisconsin-Style: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard and all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Transfer to a buttered baking dish top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese curds and broil until melted.

25. Chili-Chip: Make American Mac and Cheese, adding all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Transfer to a buttered baking dish top with 1 cup chili and 1/4 cup each crushed tortilla chips and grated pepper jack cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F, 15 minutes.

26. Light: Make American Mac and Cheese, using multigrain pasta and reduced-fat cheddar and replacing the evaporated milk with 2% milk.

27. Alfredo Mac and Cheese:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces penne or other short pasta
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, rub a large skillet with the smashed garlic clove, then discard the garlic. Add the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add the cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until reduced by about one-third, 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan.

Add the pasta and just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper and top with more Parmesan.

28. Sun-Dried Tomato: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese stir in 4 ounces goat cheese, 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a handful of chopped basil.

29. Creamy Vegetable: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese stir in 2 cups cooked mixed vegetables and 2 tablespoons each mascarpone and chopped parsley.

30. Four-Cheese: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, cooking 1 minced shallot in the butter stir in 1/4 cup each shredded mozzarella, shredded asiago and diced taleggio cheese. Top with chopped parsley.

31. Pesto: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese stir in 2 tablespoons pesto and a handful of chopped basil.

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Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

32. Garlic and Herb: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, cooking 1 minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon each chopped basil, parsley, chives and thyme in the butter.

33. Vodka Sauce: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, cooking 1 minced shallot, a pinch of red pepper flakes and 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in the butter add 1/4 cup vodka and simmer until partially evaporated before adding the cream. Stir in 2 tablespoons each mascarpone and chopped basil.

34. Walnut–Blue Cheese: Toast 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1 tablespoon chopped sage in 1/2 tablespoon butter. Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, adding 1/4 cup soft blue cheese with the Parmesan. Top with the walnut mixture.

35. Pancetta and Pea: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, adding 1/2 cup frozen peas to the pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking cook 2 ounces chopped sliced pancetta in the butter before adding the cream. Top with chopped parsley.

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Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

36. Mini Spanish: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, stirring in 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme, 1/2 cup browned diced dried chorizo, 1/2 cup grated manchego and 1 beaten egg with the pasta add all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Divide among 4 to 6 small ramekins. Top with sliced tomato or piquillo peppers and more manchego. Broil until golden.

37. Tortellini: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, using one 9-ounce package tortellini and only 1 cup cream. Stir in 1/2 cup marinara sauce and a handful of chopped basil add all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Transfer to a buttered baking dish. Top with 1/4 cup each ricotta and shredded mozzarella. Broil until golden.

38. Mushroom and Leek: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, using 2 tablespoons butter cook 1 sliced leek, 3 cups sliced mushrooms and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme in the butter. Add 1/2 cup grated havarti with the Parmesan and add all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Transfer to a buttered baking dish. Top with 1/2 cup havarti and broil until golden.

39. Chicken-Sage: Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, cooking 2 tablespoons chopped sage in the butter. Add all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce stir in 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken. Transfer to a buttered baking dish. Top with 1 cup grated comté cheese broil until golden.

40. Upside-Down: Cook 6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon in butter in a large cast-iron skillet, turning, until browned arrange in an even layer in the skillet. Make Alfredo Mac and Cheese, using egg noodles add 1/2 cup farmer’s cheese and 2 beaten eggs with the Parmesan, and add all of the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Pour the pasta mixture into the skillet and bake at 375 degrees F, 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then invert onto a plate.

41. Custard-Style Mac and Cheese:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces small pasta shells or other small pasta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 cups grated mild yellow cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and toss with the butter until melted.

Whisk the eggs, evaporated milk, cheese, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, 2 minutes, adding just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce.

42. Tuna and Veggie: Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, stirring in 1 can drained tuna and 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen peas and carrots with the pasta.

43. Philly Cheesesteak: Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, replacing 1 cup of the cheddar with provolone. Meanwhile, sauté 1 sliced onion and 2 sliced bell peppers in vegetable oil stir in 1/2 pound shredded sliced roast beef. Spoon over the mac and cheese.

44. Queso: Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, replacing 1 cup of the cheddar with 4 ounces cream cheese stir in 2/3 cup salsa. Top with crushed corn chips.

45. Ham and Corn: Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, replacing 1 cup of the cheddar with 4 ounces cream cheese. Stir in 5 ounces diced ham and 1 can creamed corn. Top with chopped scallions.

46. Sourdough–Goat Cheese: Toast 2 cups fresh sourdough breadcrumbs in 1/2 stick butter add salt, pepper and chopped parsley to taste. Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, replacing half of the cheddar with monterey jack. Top with 2 ounces goat cheese and the toasted breadcrumbs.

47. Deli-Style: Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, replacing the cheddar with 1 1/2 cups each grated Swiss cheese and caraway havarti. Top with crushed bagel chips.

48. Gluten-Free: Toast 1/3 cup crushed gluten-free crisp rice cereal and 1 tablespoon chopped herbs in 1 tablespoon butter stir in 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, using gluten-free pasta. Top with the toasted cereal mixture.

49. Baked Mini Macs: Make Custard-Style Mac and Cheese, using 3 eggs. Divide among 12 buttered muffin cups. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar and bake at 400 degrees F until golden and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes.