Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Tired of the same old macaroni and cheese? Try some of these variations. You can dovetail it to your preferences...only the sky is the limit. I would suggest 1/4 to 1/2 cup of each "extra" ingredient...how much you add depends on how many people you're feeding. It's a very flexible and forgiving recipe. You may need to add more liquid depending on how many ingredients you add...or double it (another box of macaroni and cheese) depending on how many people you're feeding.
- 1 (7 1/4 ounce) box macaroni & cheese dinner mix
- 1⁄4 cup butter (to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup milk (or alternate, see note A for ideas)
- meat, to taste (see note B for ideas)
- vegetables, to taste (see note C for ideas)
- spices, to taste (see note D for ideas)
- grated cheese, to taste (see note E for ideas)
- Make macaroni and cheese according to box directions except substitute the chosen liquid for the milk.
- Add meat, vegetables, spices and extra cheese to taste.
- If desired, bake in the oven at 325 for 30 minutes. IF baking in the oven, undercook the noodles by a minute or two to prevent overcooking in the oven. If NOT baking in the oven, you may wish to saute the veggies til done.
- Note A: Pick a liquid as part of or in lieu of the milk (tomato sauce, salsa, half & half, chicken broth, beef broth, condensed cream of chicken soup, condensed cream of mushroom soup, condensed tomato soup, etc.).
- Note B: Pick a meat/protein (cooked chopped bacon, chopped cooked ham, canned tuna, chopped cooked chicken, leftover taco meat, cooked (drained) ground beef, sliced pepperoni (cut into quarters), chopped cocktail wienies, sliced hot dogs, leftover refried beans/chili, chopped hardboiled eggs, etc.).
- Note C: Pick a veggie or two (frozen peas, frozen carrots, frozen corn, chopped onion, diced tomatoes, chopped celery, chopped steamed/sauteed broccoli, chopped zucchini, chopped mushrooms, chopped olives, etc.).
- Note D: Pick some spices to taste (chili powder, curry powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano, fresh-cracked pepper, etc.).
- Note E: Pick some extra cheese, grated (cheddar, havarti, swiss, parmesan, monterey jack, colby, velveeta, etc.).
Thanks so much for the inspiration! I made a white cheddar mac and added about half a can of drained diced tomatoes, a tin of anchovies, rinsed, and 4 oz cream cheese. Very tasty, and if I hadn't read this recipe, I wouldn't have been wondering what I had in the pantry that could dress up my plain mac and cheese.
I thought that was really good and so simple to do ! I added the hot dogs and baccon.I also added some frozen corn and some black beans.I did not cook the frozen veggies before I added them to the casserole.But, they were cooked fine by the time the casserole was warmedd through in the oven.
I have done this with left over ham and some extra chedder cheese and a little cayenne pepper. My children love it. Thanks for posting the recipe, always a life saver when you need a quick dinner or lunch.