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Comfort Food: Mac and Cheese

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Mac and Cheese!

 
I’ve been meaning to do something here to celebrate the new (well, not so new now) Comfort Food category over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks. It’s loaded with goodies like fried round steak and potatoes au gratin, but for today, I want to focus on one of the most beloved comfort foods of all time: macaroni and cheese.

Seriously. What can be more comforting than spoonfuls—or forkfuls, if that’s your weapon of choice—of pasta bathed in creamy cheese? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.

Let’s start with a few classic versions. This is mac and cheese 101, the basic combination of regular pasta and cheese. Done in the oven or on the stove, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Mac and Cheese! (Classic)Clockwise from left: Creamy Stovetop Mac ‘n’ Cheese from lizzygoesdutch, Ree’s Macaroni and Cheese, and Oh So Good Macaroni and Cheese from Emily.

 
 
 
You know we’re just getting started here. Let’s take the classic version, throw in some special cheese or a little something extra for a crunchy top, and start mixing things up a bit.

That’s because we can’t help ourselves. It’s what we do here.
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Mac and Cheese! (Special)Clockwise from top left: Easy Peasy Baked Mac and Cheesy from Not A Leaf, Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese from A Cozy Kitchen, Spicy Baked Mac & Cheese from sweet anna’s, and Creamy & Crunchy Mac and Cheese from pammy.

 
 
 
Ready to raise the stakes a bit higher? Let’s throw in some vegetables and sneak in a little extra nutrition, whether it’s Swiss chard or mushrooms or butternut squash.

It’s a great way to get picky eaters to add some greens to their diet, too.
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Mac and Cheese! (With Vegetables)Clockwise from top left: Truffle Mac and Cheese from Not A Leaf, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese from in sock monkey slippers, Swiss Chard & Sun-Dried Tomato Skillet Mac from Natalie (Perrys’ Plate), and Island Macaroni and Cheese from Global Table Adventure.

 
 
 
And now, because we’ve blown that door wide open, let’s take that simple mac and cheese and add in some bacon. Or chicken. Or maybe some ground meat and roasted vegetables. Sprinkle some extra spice in there, and you’ve got yourself a seriously loaded, jacked up, ain’t-your-traditional-no-more mac and cheese.

It’s like comfort food that’s been pumping iron and doing P90X.

I have no idea what I just said.
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Mac and Cheese! (With Meat)Clockwise from top left: Ree’s Fancy Macaroni, Bacon & Butternut Skillet Mac from Natalie (Perrys’ Plate), Deliciously Healthy Mac and Cheese from bonniethebaker, Chicken Mac and Cheese from HowSweetEats, Mac-N-Cheese from Sheila Johnson, and Jalapeno-Bacon Macaroni and Cheese from cicadagirl.

 
 
 
And there you have it! A quick roundup of some wonderful macaroni and cheese recipes that you can find here in Tasty Kitchen. Aside from being absolutely delicious, the great thing about this classic comfort food is that just about everyone loves it, kids and grown ups alike. It also makes a wonderful packed lunch for school or work, and you’ll be kissed repeatedly and followed around if you bring a pan of creamy, cheesy comfort to a party.

 
How about you? Do you have a favorite mac and cheese variation? Do you like to experiment with different ingredients or do you feel that nothing beats the classic version? Let us know!

 
 

61 Comments

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Avatar of Lark (SparkyLarky)

Lark (SparkyLarky) on 1.26.2011

I just cant seem to make up my mind as which one to make first!

I am really thinking of hosting a Mac and Cheese Girl’s Night Out!

Mindy T. on 10.14.2010

Everything about Tasty Kitchen is great! The pictures are awesome and anything pumpkin is my favorite!!

Linda on 10.14.2010

I wish you could see the reviews earlier rather than being the reviewer.

Claudia on 10.14.2010

I can tell you what I love about the Tasty Kitchen site — the fabulous pictures. I’m never attracted to a cookbook without pictures and I guess that transfers over to this site. I love your giveaways, too, and hope this entry will be lucky.

Chana Johnston on 10.14.2010

My favorite dessert is French Silk Pie; the chocolatier the better! I don’t know much about Tasty Kitchen’s “old version,” but I love websites that have variations of recipes, like links to others like it or with different ingredient substitutes…