what do you add to Macaroni cheese to make it more interesting?

@gfeef01 (538)
January 20, 2011 5:32pm CST
i have always eaten this with just sliced tomato ontop, which is nice but still kind of bland. I don't use a packet mix, so the flavours are fresh, but i want to spice it up a bit and was wondering if the My lot communitiy could inspire me. Thanks in advance
3 people like this
16 responses
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I dont use the box mac & cheese. I add veggies and/or tuna to make it a meal.
1 person likes this
@gfeef01 (538)
26 Jan 11
I'd love to add vegetables. which ones do you recommend?
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
26 Jan 11
I recommend whatever yor favorite is. I love peas so iv added peas before and mixed veggies. Brocolli sounds good.
@gfeef01 (538)
26 Jan 11
PEAS!!!!! oh yes. i've been known to eat a whole bowl of peas with nothing but a drop of butter! great idea. thanks.
• United States
23 Jan 11
I usually add bullion and some green peppers to add color. Yesterday I made it with ground beef, onions, and sweet red peppers. It's different all the time.
1 person likes this
@gfeef01 (538)
26 Jan 11
ooh that sounds so good i think i may have to go make it again!
@Catana (736)
• United States
20 Jan 11
I usually make it with sharp cheddar, but if I have it on hand, I also sprinkle the top with grated Parmeson or Romano cheese. Adding diced ham or crumbled bacon perks it up some. I've thought about sauteeing onions and throwing them in, but I'm usually too lazy for any extra steps. I look at those boxes of mac and cheese mixes and wonder if people know what they're missing if they've never had home-made.
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
oh to be back in the land of decent cheeses! i always start with onions to make the rue sauce?? ham or bacon seems to be commonly added but i've never tried. honestly i only tried a packet once and it was so foul i didn't repeat!
@Catana (736)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I've never made it with a roux. I've seen recipes though. My husband was a southerner and taught me how to make it the "redneck" way. Milk and eggs mixed with the cheese. It hold the macaroni together nicely. You can cut hunks of it and eat it out of your hand.
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
I've never made it with eggs. just onion, flour, milk and cheese. it's so simple. but you can still eat it out of your hands if you are so inclined. I'm so going to look up the egg way! actually bits of hard boiled egg may go nicely. though i'm sure that's not what you mean! Thanks!
@kinjalk (192)
• United States
20 Jan 11
Put some garlic powder, some crushed red pepper and it should work.
@gfeef01 (538)
20 Jan 11
ooh sounds good, i'll give that a try! do you crush the pepper yourself?
@kinjalk (192)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I usually just use crushed red pepper that you can buy.
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
yeah i thought that would be the answer. I'm limited with ingredients where i am now, like it took me 3 supermarkets to find tinned tomato's the other day. But i think i may have seen that so i'll go on the hunt!
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
21 Jan 11
Here in the United States one can buy a box mix called hamburger helper that has you add browned beef. I don't care for box mixes but have made my own by adding the browned beef to my own mac and cheese. I also give the cheese just enough hot sauce to give the dish a bit of zing. We also have a product that combine tomatoes, onions and jalapeƱo peppers. It come from mild to hot. It add a nice touch to mac and cheese.
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
21 Jan 11
You can add tuna too.
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
thanks for the ideas. i don't know if i could use any as i've not seen any box mixes like that round here. Many thanks for joining the discussion though.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
22 Jan 11
You can make you own which will taste better and be healthier too. You can find information and recipes at thrifty fun at http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf114072.tip.html and Hamburger helper in a jar. http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf76381491.tip.html
• United States
22 Jan 11
A sprinkle of sugar in addition to the salt is one of my kids' favorite ways to eat it. And of course you can add crumbled bacon, chili powder, a splash of tomato sauce, or sausage. Pretty much anything goes well with macaroni and cheese.
@gfeef01 (538)
22 Jan 11
thanks. i've never heard of the sugar approach. good to learn new things.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
22 Jan 11
I have a granddaughter that puts catsup on her mac and cheese
21 Jan 11
i have not had macaroni cheese in such a long time. I guess that now you have mentioned it i really should make it as i like to have different things. I also never use a packet mix, i like to make it fresh myself, it tastes a hell of a lot better, the only thing that i really add to mine is ham. I buy some thinly cut ham in and slice and dice some small pieces and just add it, it just gives it that little extra, i like to add quite a bit of pepper also.
@gfeef01 (538)
26 Jan 11
I know about the ham but oddly i've never tried adding pepper, i presume you mean ground black pepper? i'm not the biggest pepper fan, but i can see it working well here.
26 Jan 11
Yes, sorry i should have said ground black pepper. I love to add quite a bit of wafer thin ham to it. Just to give it that extra bit of seasoning and a bit of a different taste i also add the black pepper, i am normally not a big lover of pepper but it does go well with the meal. Hope you try it and enjoy it, let me know what you think.
@Hatley (164672)
• Garden Grove, California
25 Jan 11
hi how about the dish I found one time when I was cooking for myseof and id not have quite as much mac abd cheese as I wanted but had maybe two thirds of a serving of good chili so I mixed it with the mac and cheeese adding some garlic and some chopped sweet green peppers and some minced fresh onion and it was so good. the chili pepped up the mac and cheese and the macaroni smoothed out any over spicyness of the chili . I never eat hot spiced chili mine is always the milder version anyway I called my dish chiliMac.
@gfeef01 (538)
26 Jan 11
totally new idea. i love Mylot for these. thanks i have some chilli in the freezer and i'll give it a shot, though i tend to make the chilli quite spicy so it may come out a little different!
• United States
21 Jan 11
I saw this sandwich that a traveling food vendor sells loads of. Take the macaroni and spread in in a 1" layer in a pan. Set it in the fridge and let it chill a touch. Toast pieces of Texas toast available in any store and butter generously. Cut a slab of macaroni the size of the bread, put it on the bread. Add barbeque (available ready made in the stores), top with caramelized onions and the other slice of buttered toast. It is probably a heart attack in a sandwich, but, oh my, it looked so good and people were looking up on the Internet where his stops would so they could get one of these sandwiches, so it must be good.
@gfeef01 (538)
26 Jan 11
Heart attack in a very good sandwich though. i wonder if i'd like pasta inside bread.... onother one for a day i'm feeling brave i think!
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
21 Jan 11
I just add a little cayenne pepper powder to my pasta and it usually does the trick. It's either that or a little fresh or dried parsley. Adding a few herbs to the dish according to your taste makes it extra special. Or since you don't use the packet mix, try other type of cheeses and see if that will spice up your mac and cheese.
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
thanks. I think spices seem to be a popular choice here so i'll try that next time. i love parsley so i'll definitely give that one a try!
• United States
21 Jan 11
Mmmm. Mac and cheese is awesome. Sometimes I add hotdogs that are cut up. You can also add cream of mushroom soup and canned tuna. It is delicious!
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
never heard the canned tuna thing. thanks for the input!
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I don't usually add too much to it...but I use it for a base for making many dishes. One I used to do when the kids were little was to make the mac and cheese then put it in a 9x13 cake pan. I baked the mac and cheese for a while then topped it like we would a pizza.....I made it alot when the kids had a sleep over!
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
i'll have to give that a go one day i'm feeling very thin and brave! I love it neat too but i always feel like i need something more to make it into a meal.
@maezee (31961)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I like the ground pepper idea that the first person had. I've also known people who eat it with ketchup, which seems kind of crazy. You could experiment around with things like cilantro, spices, etc to make it interesting. I've also heard of people putting in cut-up hot dogs. Not sure if that's your piece of cake, but I thought I would throw it out there.
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
I've heard of hot dogs too! it sounds kind of crazy but i can see it working. i'm a little cautious about the spices thing as i made myself sick once with a bad combination or spices and milk. but as i usually bake mine then i'm sure it would be ok!
@owlwings (39077)
• Cambridge, England
21 Jan 11
There are some good variations here: http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/2471756.aspx
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
Thanks for that. I wasn't looking for a recipie as much but it's good to see some out there! i like that it's an individual thing and i loev m,aking it in cold weather like this!
@yoniarnon (1081)
• Israel
20 Jan 11
Ohh great idea, it sound very tasty, now i wanna eat that... I think you can add on it some cream and Mushrooms..
@gfeef01 (538)
21 Jan 11
mushrooms are in the fridge but i wasn't sure, perhaps i'll rethink. thanks for the suggestion. sadly i don't get fresh cream here at the moment so that's out, but as it's made with butter and milk anyway i'm happy to let thet one slide.
• United States
24 Jan 11
I have added diced ham to my mac and cheese before and it's pretty good. I've also added hamburger meat to my mac and cheese to make kinda like a homeade hamburger helper type of thing. And it's pretty good too.