Macaroni and cheese is a classic family dish, and it’s a warm, hearty favorite year-round. Although it's traditionally been a side dish and daycare staple, these variations add rich, diverse ingredients to take mac and cheese from the lunchroom to your table, fit for entertaining or family dinner around the table. Find ways to take your mac and cheese to the next level with these fun recipes!
Lobster Mac and Cheese - The Ultimate Upgrade
Hosting friends and family and looking for the ultimate upgraded comfort food? Lobster Mac and Cheese is here to save the day. Combining tender lobster meat with a blend of three white cheeses and crumbled bacon, this recipe takes macaroni from kid-friendly to host-worthy.
There are lots of variations to this recipe, but we like this version from Amy in the Kitchen best.
Caprese Mac and Cheese - Like an Italian Escape
If you love all things caprese, you can now add this flavorful Italian mac and cheese variation to the list of caprese dishes you love. Soft mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil make this mac and cheese next-level and suitable in every setting.
Our favorite version is this one-pot version from Half Baked Harvest.
Zucchini Mac and Cheese - On the Healthy Side
Looking for the perfect rich and delicious macaroni and cheese for those tough guests with dietary restrictions? This recipe checks every box; it's nut-free, gluten-free, egg-free and works for those who are vegan, vegetarian, whole 30, or keto. Sun-dried tomatoes take it from bland to bold.
We like this recipe from Food Faith Fitness best!
Fried Mac and Cheese Balls - Late-Night Indulgence
Fried macaroni and cheese - made famous by TGI Friday's - makes the perfect appetizer, party food, or late night snack. It's a little more labor-intensive than traditional mac and cheese, but fun to make and worth every step.
Ready to give it a shot? We recommend this Crispy Crispy and Cheesy recipe from Take Two Tapas.
Barbeque Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese - Fit for the South
Rich, homemade macaroni and cheese topped with shredded pork and drizzled with sweet barbeque sauce has comfort food written all over it! Even better? Kids love this recipe just as much as grown-ups, making it a win-win recipe for family gatherings or weeknight dinners.
We like Nutmeg Nanny's take on this mac & cheese variation, found here.
Pizza Mac and Cheese - A Tale of Two Classics
Creative, unexpected, and family-friendly, pizza mac and cheese will be the star of the show. Traditional pizza toppings like mozzarella, pepperoni, red pepper flakes, and tomato sauce compliment classic mac and cheese flavors and make for a mouth-watering, indulgent dish. As an added bonus, this recipe is as easy as it gets!
We like this one from Delish if you're ready to take a stab at it.
Breakfast Mac and Cheese - A Morning Rendition
Looking for mac and cheese that works for breakfast or brunch? We've got you covered with breakfast mac and cheese, an early-bird twist on this classic dish. This recipe incorporates traditional pasta with sausage, peppers, onions, and eggs for a filling, family-friendly breakfast.
There are quite a few variations, but we like this one from Spicy Southern Kitchen.
Taco Mac and Cheese - South of the Border
Love all things rich and delicious? This Mexican version of macaroni and cheese is about as good as it gets. The perfect addition to any potluck, this variation combines all things taco with rich, cheesy pasta for a home run that's good now or later.
We love this recipe because of the broiled, bubbly cheese on top.
Roasted Veggie Mac and Cheese - Crispy and Delicious
Roasted broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and cauliflower take this mac and cheese dish from frumpy to fancy! What we love most about this variation of a traditional family dinner is its presentation - it's colorful and bubbly and has the flavors to match.
Here's the recipe we like the most if you're ready to try it out!
Philly Mac and Cheese - A Serendipitous Twist
If you love philly pizza or philly sandwiches, you can't go wrong with philly mac and cheese. Flavorful cheese, fresh sirloin steak, peppers, and onions make this macaroni good (and the crispy pretzel crumbs on top make it next-level!).
Want to give it a shot? Try this recipe from The Beach House Kitchen.
At our Vista Springs communities, we plan to try new comfort foods all winter long in hopes of staying warm, enjoying the nostalgia that accompanies our favorite flavors, and maybe even entertaining our loved ones around the table.