Five Spins on Macaroni and Cheese

Does good old fashioned mac and cheese entice memories of your childhood? Now that you are an adult, you can still appreciate the simplicity and creamy cheesiness of macaroni and cheese without forfeiting “sophisticated” flavor. Boosting the flavor of your mac and cheese is a great way to fuse the familiar taste you treasured growing up with the new tastes you have acquired throughout your adulthood. Take a look at the following five recipes that add a real spin to macaroni and cheese.

Turkey Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
1 (16-oz) package uncooked pasta shells
10 slices turkey bacon, cooked until crispy
1 (1 lb) loaf Velveeta, cubed
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add in the pasta shells and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (usually around 10 – 15 minutes). While the pasta is cooking, combine the Velveeta cubes, half and half, and heavy cream in a pot and warm over medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in the paprika and cayenne pepper. Crumble the turkey bacon and add it to the cheese. Drain the pasta and add it to the cheese. Stir well until the pasta is thoroughly coated.

“Fancy” Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:
1 red onion, diced
1 (16-oz) package pasta shells
Pinch of garlic salt
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cans condensed cream of Cheddar cheese soup
2/3 cup shredded Havarti cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Put the onions and pasta shells in a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is fully cooked. Drain and pour the pasta into a casserole dish. Sprinkle a bit of garlic salt, pepper, and salt on the pasta. In a bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar, then add to the pasta. Stir until the butter melts. Add in the cheddar cheese soup, Parmesan and Havarti cheeses, as well as 1/3 cup of the cheddar cheese. Stir until the pasta is fully coated with cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar over the pasta, then bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes. If you want a crispy top, switch the oven over to broil during the last 4 minutes of cooking.

Five-Cheese Bake

Ingredients:
1 (16-oz) package elbow macaroni
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to boil and toss in the macaroni pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the mozzarella, Swiss, Parmesan, and Provolone cheeses. Remove about half a cup of this mixture and set aside for the topping. In another bowl, mix together the sour cream, heavy cream, and ricotta cheese. Season this with Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and parsley. Add the ricotta mixture and the pasta to the bowl containing the other cheeses. Toss lightly, then pour into a greased 9 x 13-in baking dish. Sprinkle the half cup of cheese on top and bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes. Switch the oven setting to broil, then cook for an additional five minutes.

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups macaroni pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
6-oz shredded Velveeta
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream
salt to taste

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to boil, then add the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is fully cooked. Drain and return to pot. Boil or steam the broccoli florets. Add the Cheddar cheese, Velveeta, and cream to the pasta and stir well. Fold in the broccoli and sprinkle with salt.

Chicken and Macaroni

Ingredients:
2 cups macaroni pasta
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (4.5-oz) can sliced mushrooms

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then toss in the macaroni pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is fully cooked. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cheddar cheese, chicken soup, milk, mushrooms, and chicken. Stir well, then spread the mixture evenly in a lightly greased 9 x 13-in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour, or until the top starts to brown.

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