People Share Their Best Cooking Hacks To Elevate Basic Mac And Cheese

Knowable

Macaroni and cheese is a timeless institution. Whether it traces its origins to the pastas of Italy or the epicenter of Goulash in modern-day Hungary, it is now here.

It is here, it is everywhere, all ages adore it, and--most importantly--it's full of opportunity.


A recent Reddit thread asked for input from the creative minds of the internet's far reaches. Noodle artists came from far and wide to offer their artistic visions for the basic mac and cheese canvas.

The list came together to offer a wonderful menu of new options for the future of your mac and cheese making. Various meats, spices, preparation methods, and oddball ingredients were all covered.

The thread was an illustration of crowd-sourcing at its finest.

Redditor_2017 asked, "What do you add to enhance Mac and Cheese?"

Necessity Drives Innovation

"Picky eaters in my house have caused much experimentation with this already wonderful meal."

"Some upgrades:"

  1. "Any protein. Sausages, tuna, turkey, and so on."
  2. "Try adding small amount of other cheeses to the mixing step. Velveeta for cheap. Parmesean for flavor and texture. Try Gouda for smoky. Sure, you could just add more cheddar (mild for additional cheesy flavor, medium for subtle uptick, sharp for a lot more cheesy bang)."
  3. "Hot sauce. There are endless flavor variations here."
  4. "I've heard cream corn is good to add, but I'm not that crazy."

Fats and Lipids, Baby

"Bacon and a little tiny bit of truffle oil."

"My friends and I had a mac'n'cheese competition night a few years back. We all made our own versions of loaded mac'n'cheese and everyone + significant others voted on their favorite. These were my favorite additions."

"PS most of the people in my friend group are at least slightly lactose-intolerant, but we persevered."

-- nwcoconut

Covers All the Bases

"I like to combine smoked Gouda + old sharp cheddar + mozzarella. You get the strong flavor, melted stringy cheese goodness and some smoked flavor that is always welcomed." -- moy-moi

"I like sharp cheddar, Parmesan, and goat cheese, plus I replace the butter with mascarpone. Sometimes I add some fresh, finely chopped rosemary, too." -- Rubinev

Trifecta

"Bacon, garlic salt and cayenne pepper." -- GrilledStuffedDragon

"Can interchange bacon with chicken and jalapeño or any peppers will do. The college meal would be hot dogs" -- Shi**yLiftingTips

"garlic salt and pepper automatically make any dish better. it is known" -- Pyrle

Mustard From Out of Nowhere

"Gruyere, paprika, cayenne, ground mustard." -- 01kaj10

"I made this exact mixture the first time I made homemade Mac and cheese. It's delicious. I just threw it all together without any recipe thinking 'this might be good.' "

"If I make boxed Mac and cheese now I always throw in some smoked paprika and fresh ground pepper. It tastes so much better." -- pocketchange2247

"Yes. Also English mustard and mustard seeds. I put mustard seeds in way too many foods" -- Lonelysock2

Ideal Leftover Collaboration

"Mac n cheese and baked brown beans are DELICIOUS together. Nothing fancy, just Kraft and Bush's"

"I also love when the stars align and I have leftover mac n cheese AND leftover taco meat. They are so good mixed together!"

-- peon2

Protein Boosts

"Chorizo is the best addition I've come across so far, a friend suggested it a little while back and it's quickly become my favorite enhancement!"

"Tuna has also been pretty good, I'll usually put in a can and it mixes in pretty well."

-- Anjodu

The Right Tools

"Well I'm not sure if this is going to count, but instead of using a stove I use my pellet smoker. If you have a smoker I 100% encourage you to try this!" -- BlueCollarComedyTour

"I will for sure be giving this a try." -- Thechaser45

"Bro, do you smoke?" -- Genocide_Fan

Very Enthusiastic About Bread Crumbs

"BREAD CRUMBS" -- picklesupreme

"Onion powder works pretty well too, plus some freshly grated cheese (as opposed to pre packaged grated cheese)" -- picklesupreme

"Hol' up" -- Crumbs04

All the Food Groups

"Peas. Because peas are awesome and I can lie to myself about now unhealthy my meal really is" -- SaltyChickenDip

"Oh my gosh all the indulgent answers had kind of shamed me out of saying this! So I'm glad there's someone else out there!" -- Manatee3232

"I came here to find somebody else commenting 'peas.' Peas and tuna all the way." -- Niles4Me

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