Almost everyone loves mac and cheese, and a boxed one is the best of all. You get everything – pasta and cheese all in one convenient box which makes short work for mealtime. The only thing you add is water. But what if you wanted to jazz up your boring mac? It can be done…
#1 — Flavor Boost
Having boxed macaroni and cheese on kitchen standby is a great way to make a good meal even if your time is short or your energy low or both, but it can be pretty boring, but have no fear, here are some easy ways to doctor it up for a starring role in your dinner tonight or any night. If we get really creative, you can have this every night with a different twist to make it a new dish, and only you will know how easy it is.
Bacon and cheese are a match made in heaven. Simply stirring in some store bought real bacon bits is good but how about adding pureed chipotle peppers and milk? Then you have Bacon Chipotle Mac and Cheese. How about taking mac and cheese from a side to a full-fledged entrée? Yep, dinner just got even easier!
For a Mexican flare, kick up a Mexican stewed chicken and chilies combo. Prepare mac and cheese according to package directions and add drained green chilies and precooked shredded chicken. Using rotisserie chicken is very handy since most grocery stores have these. Or you could cook a whole chicken in your Crockpot if you prefer. For either option, use two forks to easily shred cooked meat.
Boxed macaroni and cheese can be taken up a notch with some sprinkled simple add-ins. If you love Mexican food, try adding ground beef, a packet of taco spice (or make your own with 2 teaspoons of chili powder, one teaspoon each of cumin, cornstarch, garlic powder, and salt) and one cup of cheddar or Mexican blend cheese. Pour this in a casserole dish and top with taco chips.
#2 –The Unexpected
If you are feeling particularly adventurous go out a mac and cheese limb with these sassy m&c unexpected dishes. How about…
Apple Pie Mac and Cheese? Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. For ten bucks, you can wow your family tonight (LOL). Prepare your mac and cheese as per the box directions. Once it is done stir in one can of apple pie filling and pour into a baking dish lined with one prepared pie crust. Top your concoction with a second pie crust and crimp the edges and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees or until the top crust is brown.
The kids should love this one. There is something fishy about this Nautical Mac and Cheese. As usual, prepare the mac and cheese; then add a can of salad shrimp and Old Bay to taste, dish into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with Goldfish Crackers.
How about a mac and cheese appetizer? Try the Mac and Cheese Artichoke Cheese Dip. For this recipe, we are going to roll out the white cheddar mac and cheese and, after macaroni and cheese are cooked, heat and add one cup of frozen or fresh artichoke dip and mix well. Serve with bread, tortilla chips or crackers.
Macaroni and cheese, instead of being relegated to the dorm room, after school snack or the kids table it is making its way up to the big table as a staple of dinnertime.