Mac and cheese is one of those dishes that only gets better with age. Whether you're five or 65, we can all appreciate the warm, gooey goodness of cheesy noodles on a cold winter's day (or any day, really). While there's plenty to love about the classic recipe, it can also be fun to try a new twist with some gourmet mac and cheese ideas.
Here are seven adult mac and cheese recipes to spice up dinnertime as the temperatures drop, from incorporating spicy Italian sausage to adding a Latin — and vegan! — kick.
Though Brussels sprouts are famously disliked by many kids, we think they just haven't had them in the right dish — and what could be better than mixing them with bacon and mac and cheese? The white cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce age it up a bit while Birds Eye® Steamfresh® premium Brussels sprouts cut out some prep time. Bake it in cast iron serving dishes to add extra flavor and give it a rustic look.
The second of our gourmet mac and cheese ideas takes advantage of a multicooker’s convenience to easily cook the hot Italian pork sausage, pasta, tomatoes, and butter all in one dish before stirring in the cream and cheese. The sausage gives the pasta a hearty kick, while Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano add herbs and flavor. Complement the sausage's spice with fontina, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Asiago cheese for a full-bodied taste that the whole family will love — while you'll love the simplicity of pressure cooking.
If you've taken to seeing mac and cheese as a too-delicious-to-be-healthy treat for rare occasions, think again. Reunite your taste buds with all the flavor of their childhood, but fewer of the less-than-healthy add-ins. This mac and cheese recipe combines the nutrients of whole grain pasta with roasted vegetables and a sauce made from cheddar and Parmesan cheeses for a taste that's both bold and better for you.
These Mac and Cheese Bites are easy, adorable, and oh-so-appetizing. Serve them for a children's party or let the adults in on the fun by offering them as an appetizer or side. After making a simple stovetop version of mac and cheese, simply spray a muffin tin with PAM® avocado oil no-stick cooking spray, coat it with breadcrumbs, add the mac and cheese, and bake until the cups are crispy. We won't blame you if you can't eat just one!
While all mac and cheese is Italian at heart, this version inspired by the island of Capri in particular is one of our favorite adult mac and cheese recipes. It is cooked entirely in the oven and uses Hunt's® diced tomatoes, pesto, and mozzarella cheese for that classic caprese taste. Breadcrumbs give the dish some extra texture, and you can get a head start on the dishes (or dessert!) as it all bakes together.
If you thought you had to give up mac and cheese as a vegan, think again. Head south of the border with this queso-style mac and cheese. It all comes together with the help of cashew or almond milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, cashews, Ro*Tel® diced tomatoes, onion, and an array of flavorful spices. Be sure to mix it well to coat every piece. By the time you're done, you'll never believe the rich, creamy dish you're enjoying is dairy-free!
When you can't choose between pizza and pasta, this dish has you covered. Bake the casserole with macaroni, sharp cheddar and American cheeses, and tomatoes. Then top your creation with mozzarella, veggies, and pepperoni — just like your favorite pizza pie! The only thing better than one comfort food? Two of them together.