A home-cooked meal doesn’t have to take hours! Sometimes starting with a little helper in the kitchen is the perfect way to get something tasty on the table. Tonight, let’s start dinner with a box of mac ‘n cheese, dressed up into something fantastic.
To get you inspired, here are eight of my favorite boxed mac n’ cheese recipes that add a little extra “oomph!” to this classic, kid-friendly dinnertime dish!
Sprinkle in some savings: Kraft coupons
1. One-Pot Queso Chili Mac
If your family is anything like mine, serving unfamiliar foods is enough to cause a coup. Though I try to work in a few fancy eats every week, we end up wasting weird combinations. So, I try to stick to the classics at least three times weekly. That way, everyone arrives at the dinner table excited to eat and we waste less food, because the meals I make are family favorites.
All of that said, as a mama who loves food, I get bored of the same-old. So am always looking for fun ways to upgrade the faves. And this dish delivers, big time.
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Kid-favorite mac and cheese gets a tasty twist with the addition of chili and tomatoes, cream cheese turns this chili mac into a creamy queso. And a sprinkling of cheddar melts it full of cheesy goodness.
Serve as you would chili, in giant bowls with giant spoons, or topped with your favorite fixin’s. We love diced tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro to finish ours off with extra fresh, zesty flavor.
One-Pot Queso Chili Mac
Yield: 6 servings
Cost: Approximately $7 total ($1.16 per serving)
• 2 (6-ounce) boxes mac and cheese
• 1 (15-ounce) can chili
• 8 ounces cream cheese
• 1 (15-ounce) jar crushed or diced tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
• 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
• 3 cups water
1. Place all ingredients into a large pot (including the cheese packets from the mac and cheese). Stir well.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring every 1-2 minutes, to keep pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
3. Cook for 7-9 minutes, or just until pasta is tender. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!
If desired, garnish with tomatoes, cilantro and green onions. Avocado is also delicious.
Source: Baked by Rachel
2. Mac n’ Cheese Cups with Broccoli & Bacon
Mix up a little fun with these handheld mac ‘n cheese cups! They have broccoli and bacon scattered throughout to give them a boost of protein and veggies.
Source: Melanie Makes
3. Turkey Mac & Cheese Stir Fry
Talk about a creative dinner idea! This stir fry recipe starts with something the kids already love — mac and cheese — and adds in some new flavors to keep everyone happy.
Source: The Weary Chef
4. Southwest Mac n’ Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes
As summer comes into season, it’s always nice to find creative new ways to get them on the dinner table. This recipe for Mac n’ Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes is packed with flavor from the chili powder and black beans.
Source: Inside Bru Crew Life
5. Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese
Firing up the grill might not always be feasible, but this cheeseburger mac is here to satisfy! It’s packed with hamburger meat, ranch, and bacon, so you know this casserole is going to be a hit with the whole family.
Source: Around My Family Table
6. Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
One of my favorite ways to enjoy macaroni and cheese is with a hefty drizzle of hot sauce over top. This recipe takes that up a notch with the addition of spicy chicken, blue cheese, and bits of celery.
Source: Country Cleaver
7. Roasted Poblano-Bacon Mac n’ Cheese Hot Dogs
It’s like all of your childhood favorites in one! A soft hot dog roll, a grilled dog, and a pile of gooey mac and cheese. The bacon sprinkles and roasted poblano take these dogs to a whole new level.
Add some savings into the mix with Oscar Mayer® hot dog coupons!
10 Easy Frozen Food Recipes to Make Dinner a BreezeSource: Crazy Adventures in Parenting
8. Bacon-Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese
I might pretend like I’m making this Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese for the kids, but the truth is it looks like an amazing dinner for the whole family! Of course, bacon makes everything better.Budget Bites / 8 Boxed Mac n’ Cheese Recipes That Are On Another Level