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Quintessential Comfort Food
Macaroni and cheese is possibly the quintessential comfort food. Toddlers love it, kids love it, and adults of all ages love it, even if they consider it somewhat of a guilty pleasure. Like all comfort food, mac and cheese is made in a variety of ways that are often passed down in families. Plus it lends itself to doctoring up. Check out these 10 recipes for good eating.
Pictured: One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
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Creamy Cheese and Dijon Mustard
Perfect Macaroni and Cheese: Cheddar and half-and-half make this macaroni and cheese creamy, and Dijon mustard gives it some flavorful bite. The breadcrumb topping gives it tasty crunch texture. Serve this macaroni and cheese as a main dish with a salad or serve it as a side dish.
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Easy Mac and Cheese in the Crockpot
Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Cheese: This basic recipe for macaroni and cheese is adapted for a crockpot. You can start it up, go to work or on errands and come home to a welcoming dinner.
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Easy and Quick
Simple Macaroni and Cheese: This super easy recipe is great for a weeknight. You don't make a sauce, and the entire thing will be ready in about a half an hour -- just long enough to steam some broccoli or green beans, set the table and crack open some wine.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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4-Cheese Mini Penne Bake: Cheddar, Gruyere, havarti and Parmesan cheeses turn this comfort food into a gourmet meal fit for casual company. Penne pasta is a good choice, but you can use macaroni shells or elbows, cavatelli or cavatappi if you prefer.
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Smooth With a Twist
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese: American cheese, though processed, is a great melting cheese, and it really shows its stuff in this recipe, where it teams with cheddar. Buttery croissant crumbs top it all off in a variation from the usual breadcrumbs.
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Hot and Cheesy
Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese: Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs or roasted red peppers plus jalapenos really turn up the heat in this recipe. Adjust the amount of jalapenos you use according to your taste or used mild green chilies instead. With mac and cheese on the hot side, choose a cool side like a green salad or cold sliced tomatoes if they're in season.
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No Sauce Equals a Quick Fix
Macaroni and Cheese Casserole: This uncomplicated macaroni and cheese casserole is held together with a mixture of eggs, milk, and cheese -- there's no sauce to make. It takes only about a half an hour to bake, and it all adds up to a quick mac and cheese fix. Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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Cheese, Bacon and Green Onions
Macaroni and Cheese With Bacon: Cooked crumbled bacon and green onions take this macaroni and cheese recipe to a new level. The green onions go into the cheese sauce, and the bacon is sprinkled over the casserole before the buttered breadcrumb topping is added. If you prefer the bacon throughout, mix the bacon into the cheese sauce and macaroni before you put the mix into the casserole dish.
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Paprika Ups the Ante
Baked Macaroni and Cheese: This easy and basic macaroni and cheese recipe is jazzed up with the addition of paprika and an abundance of cheddar cheese, including for the topping instead of breadcrumbs.
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Meal in a Skillet
Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni: This super quick skillet dish is a made-from-scratch version of boxed mixes -- and so much better. Ground beef and crispy bacon make this mac and cheese a hearty meal. The recipe calls for cheese soup, but you can substitute shredded cheddar or American cheese and a little milk if you prefer to avoid canned ingredients.