This mac and cheese recipe comes courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa. It's a nice twist on a classic dish.
Gloriously gooey mac and cheese is one of our favorite comfort foods. Easy to make and even easier to eat, it's a combination of everything that's good - hearty, satisfying pasta and richly flavored cheese (in this case, a tasty combination of Gruyere and Cheddar).
Say goodbye to the box
If your previous experiences of mac and cheese have only been the boxed variety, then this recipe will show you just what you've been missing. Homemade mac and cheese
is streets ahead of the boxed variety in terms of flavor and texture - and the great thing is that it's easy to customize to taste just the way you like it.
Bring on the veggies
Try stirring chopped broccoli florets into the mixture before pouring it into the baking dish. Another (sneaky) option is to add pureed vegetables instead. Butternut squash, carrots or pumpkin work well, bringing not just some extra flavor and vitamins to the dish, but a lovely, rich color too!
Make a meal of it
You can transform your mac and cheese into a complete meal by adding chopped, cooked meat
along with the veggies. Chicken works well, but you can try any meat your family enjoys. Or why not try fish? Salmon is great, so too are shellfish like lobster and shrimp!
Change up your cheeses!
You can experiment with different combinations, but we recommend using blue cheese only sparingly. And remember that mozzarella will change the texture, giving a stringier result!
Adding a secret ingredient to the sauce will really elevate your dish and make your mac and cheese unique. Try stirring in homemade pesto, white wine, hot sauce, or even beer. Yum!
Those little extras
Other additions could include
Your favorite herbs and spices
Why not add an extra layer of flavor and texture to your dish with a tasty topping?
How to store mac and cheese
In the unlikely event that you have any leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Make sure you cool them properly first, then cover the dish before refrigerating.
Mac and cheese
also freezes well, for up to 2 months. You might want to think about separating it into portions before freezing it, which makes it easy to grab just what you need for a quick meal.
Tip: To help preserve the creamy texture of your mac and cheese once it's reheated, try stirring in more milk before you refrigerate it.