Hey there, mac and cheese lovers! Did you know that nearly 50% of Americans indulge in a comforting bowl of box mac and cheese at least once a month?
If you’re like me, you may sometimes find the standard version a bit lacking in flavor. But fear not! I’ve got you covered with 10 simple and delicious ways to elevate your mac and cheese game.
So, let’s dive in and discover how to make that cheesy goodness taste even better.
Add Extra Cheese
One way to make box mac and cheese taste better is to add extra cheese to it. When I make box mac and cheese, I always feel like it needs a little something extra to take it to the next level.
That’s when I reach for some additional cheese. I like to shred some cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese and sprinkle it on top of the mac and cheese while it’s still hot. The extra cheese adds a creamy and gooey texture that enhances the flavor of the dish.
As the cheese melts, it creates a deliciously cheesy crust on top. It’s a simple trick, but it makes a world of difference in transforming basic box mac and cheese into a more indulgent and satisfying meal.
Mix in Bacon Bits
To enhance the flavor of your box mac and cheese, try mixing in some bacon bits. Trust me, it’s a game-changer!
The smoky, salty taste of the bacon pairs perfectly with the creamy, cheesy goodness of the mac and cheese. I simply cook up some bacon until it’s crispy, then crumble it into small bits.
Then, I sprinkle the bacon bits on top of the mac and cheese before serving. The result is absolutely delicious! The bacon adds an extra layer of flavor and texture that takes the dish to a whole new level.
It’s like a gourmet twist on a classic comfort food. So next time you’re making box mac and cheese, don’t forget to add some bacon bits for a mouthwatering experience.
Incorporate Roasted Vegetables
Incorporating roasted vegetables into your mac and cheese creates a delicious and nutritious twist on this classic comfort food. I love adding a variety of veggies to my mac and cheese to give it some extra flavor and texture.
The roasting process brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables and adds a nice charred flavor. I usually roast a combination of broccoli, cauliflower, and red bell peppers. After roasting them in the oven until they are tender and slightly caramelized, I mix them into my prepared mac and cheese.
The result is a creamy and cheesy dish with bursts of roasted vegetable goodness in every bite. Not only does it make the mac and cheese taste amazing, but it also adds a serving of vegetables to the meal. It’s a win-win!
Spice It up With Hot Sauce
Spice up your mac and cheese with a drizzle of hot sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
I absolutely love adding hot sauce to my mac and cheese because it takes the dish to a whole new level.
The creamy and cheesy macaroni pairs perfectly with the spicy and tangy hot sauce. It adds a delicious heat that enhances the overall taste.
I usually opt for a classic hot sauce like Tabasco or Sriracha, but you can experiment with different flavors depending on your preference.
Just a small drizzle is enough to give your mac and cheese that fiery punch.
Trust me, once you try it, you won’t want to have mac and cheese without hot sauce ever again.
Use Different Types of Cheese
Try experimenting with various types of cheese to create a unique and flavorful twist on your mac and cheese. I love using different cheeses because it adds so much depth and complexity to the dish.
Cheddar is a classic choice that provides a rich and creamy flavor. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some Monterey Jack for a milder and slightly tangy taste.
Another option is Gouda, which adds a smoky and nutty flavor that pairs well with the creaminess of mac and cheese. And if you’re a fan of a little heat, sprinkle in some pepper jack cheese for a spicy kick.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to cheese, so don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with your mac and cheese!
Top With Bread Crumbs and Bake
For a deliciously crispy topping, sprinkle bread crumbs over your mac and cheese before baking it in the oven. Trust me, it takes your box mac and cheese to a whole new level.
I love the way the bread crumbs add a satisfying crunch to every bite. It’s such a simple step but it makes a world of difference.
When the mac and cheese comes out of the oven, the bread crumbs are golden brown and perfectly crispy. It’s like having a homemade breadcrumb crust on top of your creamy mac and cheese.
Plus, it adds texture and depth to the dish, making it even more enjoyable to eat.
So next time you make mac and cheese, don’t forget to top it with bread crumbs and bake it. You won’t be disappointed!
Stir in Cooked Ground Beef or Sausage
When you’re craving a heartier meal, amp up your mac and cheese by stirring in some cooked ground beef or sausage for a savory twist.
I love adding a protein like ground beef or sausage to my mac and cheese because it takes the dish to a whole new level. The richness and flavor of the meat complement the creamy cheese sauce perfectly.
To do this, simply cook the ground beef or sausage in a separate pan until browned and fully cooked. Then, drain any excess grease and mix it into your prepared mac and cheese.
The result is a delicious and satisfying meal that will leave you wanting more. So next time you’re in the mood for some mac and cheese, don’t be afraid to experiment and add some cooked ground beef or sausage for an extra tasty treat.
Mix in Caramelized Onions
To elevate your mac and cheese, add a depth of flavor by mixing in some caramelized onions. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.
The sweetness of the onions adds a delicious contrast to the creamy and cheesy mac and cheese. Plus, the caramelized onions bring a rich and savory element that takes this classic dish to a whole new level.
It’s simple to do too. Just thinly slice an onion and cook it low and slow in a bit of butter or oil until it becomes golden brown and caramelized. Then, mix it into your mac and cheese right before serving.
The result is a mouthwatering combination of flavors that will have everyone asking for seconds. Give it a try and thank me later!
Add a Splash of Truffle Oil
Adding a splash of truffle oil to your mac and cheese gives it an extra layer of richness and a hint of earthy flavor. It’s a simple yet luxurious way to elevate the taste of this classic comfort food.
I love how the truffle oil adds a touch of sophistication to an otherwise ordinary dish. As soon as you drizzle it over the creamy mac and cheese, you’re greeted with a delightful aroma that instantly makes your mouth water.
The truffle oil also imparts a subtle earthy taste that complements the cheesy goodness perfectly. It’s like taking a bite of pure indulgence.
So the next time you’re making mac and cheese, don’t forget to add that splash of truffle oil. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
Garnish With Fresh Herbs
Garnishing your mac and cheese with fresh herbs adds a burst of flavor and a pop of color to the dish. I love adding a handful of chopped parsley or basil to my mac and cheese just before serving.
The vibrant green color of the herbs instantly brightens up the dish and makes it look more appetizing. Not only does it add visual appeal, but the fresh herbs also bring a fresh and fragrant taste to the creamy mac and cheese.
The earthiness of the parsley or the sweet aroma of the basil complements the richness of the cheese sauce perfectly. It’s a simple yet effective way to elevate the flavor of your mac and cheese and impress your guests.
So there you have it, folks! These 10 ways to make box mac and cheese taste better are absolute game-changers!
With just a few simple additions and tweaks, you can transform a basic mac and cheese into a culinary masterpiece.
From extra cheese to caramelized onions, the possibilities are endless.
Your taste buds will be dancing with joy as you indulge in the gooey, cheesy goodness.
Trust me, you won’t be able to resist going back for seconds (or thirds!).
Don’t settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary mac and cheese!
Ben, a culinary enthusiast and owner of RelishedRecipes.com, shares his passion for food and cooking through delectable recipes and valuable tips. Ben delights in exploring international cuisines and inspiring home cooks on their culinary journeys.