Skillet Macaroni and Cheese
What's better than a one-pot meal? Though the idea behind this recipe is common—boiled pasta mixed into a bechamel sauce and baked—the execution here is dead on, and one pot makes it super simple. It comes out of the oven brown and bubbling, with a subtle sharpness from the cheddar, nuttiness from the Gruyère, and a wonderful savory roundness from the Parmesan/Pecorino tag team.
Truffled Macaroni Gratin
This dish starts off like all macaroni and cheese, with a roux. But it's what goes into the roux that makes it something to celebrate: truffle butter! Once the roux is thick and creamy, an equally decadent selection of cheeses gets added to the mix, including cheddar, Gruyère, and brie. This might not be the mac 'n cheese of your childhood, but we think you'll find it just as satisfying!
Macaroni and Cheese Carbonara
For another more sophisticated take on the classic, try this recipe from Bobby Flay's Throwdown. It incorporates pancetta, thyme, parsley, and garlic for a robust, flavorful macaroni and cheese-meets-pasta carbonara. The judges on Throwdown loved this recipe so much they declared it winner over famous mac and cheese of Delilah's in Philadelphia.
Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
If you're looking for a macaroni and cheese that takes a slightly healthier route, try this version from Mark Bittman. The idea is this: puréed cauliflower becomes a replacement for butter-and-flour roux. It's not exactly the same as the classic mac 'n cheese (there's no replacement for butter!), but you might be able to trick your kids into eating their vegetables.
Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese
Love mac 'n cheese but can't eat the gluten? Look no further! This version has adapted the original recipe for a mac 'n cheese that's so creamy and delicious you wouldn't know it's totally gluten-free. The dish uses sweet rice flour in the roux and gluten-free pasta.
Southwest Mac and Cheese With a Cornbread Crust
It's not real baked mac and cheese without the breadcrumb topping! This Southwest-inspired version uses cornbread crumbs as a topping, and then layers the macaroni with three types of peppers. You've got something a little sweet, something with a little heat, and a whole lot of cheesy goodness.
Stovetop Chipotle Mac and Cheese
Here's another version of kicked-up mac and cheese, this time with some smoky chipotle purée mixed in. This surprisingly simple dish can be made right on your stove top—perfect for these hot summer days when you don't want to crank up the oven. Hot and spicy mac and cheese without the heat in the kitchen? Yes, please!