Macaroni and cheese is an old standby and comfort food that never gets old, but it can always benefit from a little excitement. If you’re making the same boxed or old family recipe mac, it may be time for a sprucing-up. The possibilities are really endless — if it tastes good with cheese, it will be good in a big bowl of mac and cheese (everything goes with pasta). According to the Cheese Society, in any given period of 12 weeks, one-third of the American adult population and half of kids will eat mac and cheese at least once. We’re thinking that calls for something new and exciting; that’s where these six recipes come in.
1. Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese
Whereas mac and cheese is the epitome of long, harried day dish when you can’t imagine cooking but don’t want to order out, this mac and cheese is a full meal you can feel good about eating. It’s packed with veggies and protein, but it feels like a cohesive dish rather than someone just dumped a bunch of one dinner into another. Best yet, this recipe from Host the Toast comes together entirely on the stovetop in about 30 minutes.
- ½ pound elbow macaroni
- 2 eggs
- 6 ounces evaporated milk
- 6 ounces enchilada sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 12 ounces shredded American cheese
- 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 6 ounces canned corn
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
- ½ pound chicken breast, boiled and shredded
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, plus extra to top
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and diced, to top
- Chopped tomatoes, to top
Directions: Whisk the enchilada sauce, evaporated milk, eggs, and seasonings to combine. Meanwhile cook chicken in a large pot of simmering, salted water. Remove when cooked through and let cool. Shred.
Increase heat to high to bring pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, then drain. Set same pot over low heat, then add pasta, butter, and corn. Stir to combine, then add enchilada sauce mixture. Add cheeses and stir until creamy. Finally, stir in chiles, chicken, cilantro, and green onion. Serve garnished with avocado, tomato, and more cilantro.