Easy Macaroni and Cheese Meals

Homemade mac and cheese is easier–and faster–than you think. Serve the comfort-food favorite for a main dish with a side salad, and dig in.

  • Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

    Macaroni and cheese is the perfect weeknight meal. We've added meat, special cheeses, and secret ingredients; simply choose the recipe that fits your family!A little multitasking gets this stove-top mac and cheese on the table in under 45 minutes. Hearty tomatoes and crunchy breadcrumbs make it extra comforting.
  • Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese
    Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

    Add the flavor of the Netherlands to this American classic with creamy, nutty Gouda cheese. Make a white sauce with flour and milk and heat until thickened. Then add Gouda and Parmesan cheeses, spinach, and cooked macaroni. Top with breadcrumbs and bake until browned and bubbly.
  • Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

    Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

    Add Mexican-inspired flavor to the traditionally cheesy dish. The secret ingredient in this dish, low-fat cottage cheese, adds extra creaminess without piling on the fat. This is a great dish for those wanting mac and cheese flavor without the over-the-top richness of most versions–the acid in the tomatoes balances the richness of the cheeses.
  • Smokin' Macaroni and Cheese
    Jennifer Davick

    Smokin' Macaroni and Cheese

    Smoky Gouda cheese, cream cheese, and milk make the sauce in this hearty ham-and-cheese recipe extra smooth. Crushed cornflakes, in place of traditional breadcrumbs, add a distinct crunch when mixed with melted butter and ground red pepper.
  • Spicy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

    Spicy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

    Bring some heat to the dinner table with a mac and cheese recipe that calls for Mexican-style cheese and a can of diced tomatoes and green chiles. If your palate prefers all the Tex-Mex flavor without the heat, substitute regular cheese and mild tomatoes and chiles. The recipe calls for penne pasta, but feel free to substitute macaroni.
  • Creamy Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese
    Photo: Beau Gustafson; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

    Mac and cheese doesn't have to be mild–try this version packed with Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, and garlic. The extra flavor brightens the hearty cheese sauce, made with milk, cream cheese, and cheddar. Mix up everything on the stovetop in about 15 minutes while the pasta cooks–no baking required.
  • Ham and Cheese Macaroni Bake with Peas
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Katie Stoddard

    Ham and Cheese Macaroni Bake with Peas

    Serve a baked pasta dish packed with chopped ham, frozen peas, and onion. Toss the peas in while frozen–they'll begin to thaw when mixed with the fresh-cooked pasta and will finish cooking during a 20 minute stint in the oven while the rest of the dish becomes golden brown.
  • Veggie Mac-and-Cheese

    Veggie Mac-and-Cheese

    One great way to add veggies to your diet is to pop them into a delicious cheesy casserole. A serving of this mac and cheese boasts broccoli, squash, carrots, onions, garlic, and red bell peppers. Ricotta cheese adds a creamy thickness that likens this dish to lasagna without the marinara sauce.
  • Macaroni-Mushroom Bake
    Photo: Tina Cornett; Styling: Leslie Byars Simpson

    Macaroni-Mushroom Bake

    You always knew cream of mushroom soup was a go-to ingredient for chicken casseroles, but if you've never tried it in pasta dishes, give it a shot in this super smooth veggie and cheese bake. The preparation couldn't get easier–just combine the pasta, soup, mayonnaise, and veggies, top with cracker crumbs, and bake for 30 minutes. It's the perfect weeknight meal.
  • Macaroni and Four Cheeses
    Randy Mayor

    Macaroni and Four Cheeses

    Four cheeses–Swiss, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and cheddar–star in this hearty dinner dish. Users raved that the milk and cheese sauce was so rich, they didn't notice they were eating a reduced-fat version. It's a winner with kids and adults alike.
  • Stovetop Sausage Mac and Cheese
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Stovetop Sausage Mac and Cheese

    Get dinner on the table in about 20 minutes with this Italian-inspired dish. Combine chicken sausage, flavored with sun-dried tomatoes, with a smooth cheese sauce of cheddar, Monterey Jack, and cream cheese. Onion powder and garlic salt add an extra pop of flavor, while chopped parsley adds bright color.
  • Ultimate Mac 'n' Cheese
    Jim Franco

    Ultimate Mac 'n' Cheese

    Serve up over-the-top flavor with this truly "ultimate" mac and cheese dish. White wine, whipping cream, gouda, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, and cayenne combine to create a super-flavorful main dish. Even the breadcrumb topping steps it up a notch–it's made from crusty sourdough bread.
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