Macaroni and cheese is the epitome of comfort food, and rightly so - it combines gooey cheese, savory pasta, and whatever other ingredients you like into one amazing, comforting dish that tastes like home. We’ve put together this list of the top six macaroni and cheese recipes that combine your favorite comfort food with other outstanding ingredients to create an amazing and flavorful one-dish meal.

Classic Baked Mac and Cheese

Kitchen classics: This baked mac and cheese recipe is the ultimate comfort food!
A delicious classic baked mac and cheese from Rachel Cooks

This classic baked mac and cheese is the epitome of simple culinary perfection. Sure, you could add other ingredients, but there’s no need. This classic mac is perfect just the way it is.

Bacon Mac and Cheese Cups

Homeowners' favorites: Using bacon as cups for your mac and cheese is a brilliant and delicious idea!
These bacon-wrapped mac and cheese bites are a fantastic idea from Chowhound!

This dish is out of this world. By using bacon to form a cup for the mac and cheese, these bacon wrapped mac and cheese cups combine bacon and mac and cheese into a one-handed culinary extravaganza. It also manages to avoid being overly salty, meaning you can eat 3 or 4 of these without issue (though you may want to pace yourself).

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Interior kitchen tips: These bacon-wrapped mac and cheese bites are a fantastic idea from Chowhound!
A fancy and delicious plate of lobster mac and cheese from Oprah

For a while, nearly every upscale restaurant had lobster mac and cheese on the menu. This made many home cooks intimidated enough to shy away from making it, and that’s a shame. Lobster mac and cheese is super easy to make and tastes like it comes from an upscale restaurant...but it’s made in your own kitchen and enjoyed in the comfort of your home.

BBQ Mac and Cheese

Combining BBQ and mac and cheese together creates a delicious American meal!
A hearty BBQ mac and cheese recipe from My Recipes

There’s nothing more American than mac and cheese, except perhaps for barbecue. This dish combines the two into a perfect union of American cuisines. Savory, rich, and complex, this is a filling dish that you’ll have second helpings of regardless of how full you are.

Spicy Roasted Veggie Mac And Cheese

Home kitchen tips: Add roasted (or grilled) veggies to your mac and cheese for an extra bit of flavor, texture, and to make it seem healthier!
Give your mac and cheese a veggie makeover with this delicious recipe from The Comfort of Cooking

Yes, the name of the dish has “roasted veggies” in it, but you could just as easily grill the veggies on your deck to add a slight taste of char to the dish. This spicy veggie mac and cheese is an innovative take on the old classic. It also introduces some freshness to the dish, which is certainly always a welcome addition. This version of mac and cheese is so good, you don’t need to serve any sides with it.

Fried Mac And Cheese Bites

Dining room delights: Baked mac and cheese bites are a great way to enjoy mac and cheese without a fork!
These delicious fried mac and cheese bites from Eat Something New will make your mouth water!

Combining the cheesy goodness of mac and cheese with the crunch of a fried breadcrumb shell, these fried mac and cheese bites are essentially little pieces of heaven. Simple to make and hard to resist, these little balls of happiness are the perfect appetizer for an informal get together with close friends and family. They’d also be more than adequate as a main course, especially if served with a fresh garden salad to offset some of the heaviness.

These six mac and cheese recipes are only the tip of the mac and cheese iceberg. Your creativity is the only limit, so play around with these recipes and make them your own. If you do, please share the results with us! As always, we wish you happy eating and safe and happy summer.

Join the conversation