I think it is really funny that Mac and Cheese is one of those “kid foods” that my kids still don’t like. The attitude is all don’t want, don’t like, no thanks I’m not hungry when it comes to Mac and Cheese.
This isn’t a post about how I finally found an amazing Mac and Cheese recipe that my picky kids will eat. Nope. This post is about this tasty Southwestern Mac and Cheese recipe that I love and that I eat all by myself.
We have made some serious progress with the dinner time pickiness, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t nights that I crave something no one else will eat. And I’m not stressing about that.
I hope Logan and Madeline will like this Southwestern Mac and Cheese someday, because I think it is really tasty and a fun twist on a classic. I love to make fancy out of the ordinary Mac and Cheese recipes. If I’m the only one eating it, I might as well make it how I like.
3 Steps to Fancy Mac n Cheese
It’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Try these three, simple ways towards creative mac n cheese recipes. Sure we all love the traditional recipe, but it’s fun to mix things up once in a while.
fancy up the cheese
Master a basic cheese sauce and utilize that recipe over and over again, but each time you can experiment with different cheeses. Adjusting and tweaking the flavors to fit your mood at the time.
In this recipe for Baked Gruyere and Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese, Gruyere is accented by Mascarpone and Parmesan Cheese creates a rich, velvety sauce in this recipe. You could dream up infinite cheese combinations for your sauce.
Lacking inspiration? Look up some of your favorites cheeses in The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity to find complimentary combinations.
use different pasta shapes
Embrace your inner child, or appeal to your own children with fun and different pasta shapes. Just because it’s “Macaroni” and Cheese, doesn’t mean you have to actually use macaroni pasta. In fact, I rarely do. I love shells, rotini, penne, wagon wheels and more.
add a few mix-ins
Adding accent meats and vegetables turns mac n cheese into a delicious, one pot meal with lots of flavor and color. I like to add steamed broccoli or chopped spinach to my mac n cheese, but this time I decided to experiment with squash. My two favorite meat mix-ins are ham and bacon. They both go so well with cheesy sauce, but experiment with others as well.
More Mac and Cheese Recipes
- Cheesy Broccoli and Ham Rotini
- Fontina, Spinach and Bacon Shells and Cheese
- Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 463Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 59mgSodium 1100mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 23g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.