Top 11 Main Dish Macaroni and Cheese Combinations

Mac and Chee Variations

The Spruce Eats / Brianna Gilmartin

Looking to take your classic, homemade macaroni and cheese to the next level? This collection of delectable macaroni and cheese variations will not disappoint. These simple twists on America's favorite side transform the dish to a hearty main course. Here's your chance to explore some new flavor combinations and choose from a variety of protein and vegetable additions. If you're not sure what to serve with mac and cheese, turn it into the main attraction with these tasty recipes.

  • 01 of 11

    Sloppy Joe Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

    Sloppy Joe Macaroni and Cheese
    Diana Rattray

    This genius combination is sure to please the kids. The ground beef filling goes perfectly with the deliciously gooey macaroni and cheese to make a flavorful casserole. Swap the beef for ground turkey if desired.

  • 02 of 11

    Macaroni and Cheese With Andouille Sausage

    Mac and Cheese

    JeffKearney/Getty Images 

    Spicy andouille sausage, Cajun seasonings, and peppers and onions give this scrumptious macaroni and cheese its incredible smoky flavor and a bit of heat. Make the recipe with macaroni or other pasta shapes. If you don't have access to good smoked andouille sausage, try this recipe with another variety of smoked sausage. Chorizo or a spicy turkey or chicken sausage would be excellent as well. For milder sausage, add a little cayenne pepper to the dish for more heat.

  • 03 of 11

    Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese

    Macaroni and Cheese With Pulled Pork
    Diana Rattray

    Pulled pork macaroni and cheese consists of two comfort foods in one dish. You can use homemade leftover pulled pork or store-bought, including leftovers from your favorite barbecue restaurant. Add a little extra barbecue sauce to the pork before baking and serve this dish with coleslaw for a filling meal.

  • 04 of 11

    Macaroni and Cheese With Bacon

    Bacon mac and cheese

    The Spruce

    Smoky cooked bacon jazzes up this macaroni and cheese bake. The bacon crumbles are sprinkled over the top of the mac and cheese along with buttery breadcrumbs. Add blanched broccoli or wilted spinach to bulk it up and serve as a main dish or a side dish.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Lobster Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

    Lobster Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Treat yourself by making lobster mac and cheese. This dish is too special to be a side dish and is satisfying enough to be a main. It's a good way to use frozen lobster meat or leftover lobster from a previous feast.

  • 06 of 11

    Chicken Pasta Casserole With Cheddar Cheese and Bacon

    Chicken Pasta Casserole With Cheddar and Bacon
    Diana Rattray

    Chicken pasta casserole is really just a fancy mac and cheese. It's a fabulous combination of flavors, from the cheddar and American cheeses to the bacon, chicken, and peas. Use elbow macaroni or mini penne pasta in this dish.

  • 07 of 11

    Taco Cheeseburger Macaroni

    Taco Macaroni and Cheese with Ground Beef
    Diana Rattray

    Taco cheeseburger macaroni might remind you of a certain boxed dinner but with the addition of taco spices. It's super easy, using cheddar cheese soup as the creamy base, and will be a hit with the whole family.

  • 08 of 11

    Vegetarian Southwest Macaroni and Cheese

    Vegetarian Southwest Macaroni and Cheese

    The Spruce 

    This extra quick and easy Southwestern macaroni and cheese combines boxed mac and cheese, black beans, corn, tofu, and store-bought salsa for a complete meal. It'll satisfy meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Ham

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Ham

    Diana Rattray

    You can't go wrong with this hearty macaroni and cheese with ham and green onions. The casserole is made with a satisfyingly cheesy sauce with more cheese sprinkled over the top. It's finished with a delicious buttered breadcrumb topping. Add a cup of frozen peas for color if desired.

  • 10 of 11

    Macaroni and Cheese With Sausage

    Macaroni and Cheese With Sausage
    Diana Rattray

    This macaroni and cheese is a tasty combination of browned spicy or Italian sausage, bell peppers, sliced grape tomatoes, and cheesy macaroni. The dish is prepared with a mixture of cheddar and American cheese, but any good mixture of melting cheese can be substituted.

  • 11 of 11

    Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese

    Tex-Mex Style Macaroni and Cheese
    Diana Rattray

    The Tex-Mex flavors of ground beef, bell pepper, tomatoes, and corn come together in this easy mac and cheese dish. The skillet dish is made with a prepared macaroni and cheese dinner, making it super quick and convenient for a busy family.