1. Bacon (but not just bacon!)


Photo courtesy of www.blisstree.com

Even though most of us are firm believers that everyone is a fan of bacon, upgrading your mac and cheese with just bacon isn’t exactly a novel idea. Instead, add a bit of chopped green onions as well into the mix for a bit of freshness alongside the cheesy and meaty dish.

2. Schmancy Cheese


Photo courtesy of VermontFarmstead.com

Cheddar and Swiss are pretty run-of-the-mill choices for a mac and cheese dish, but why not indulge in a bit of Gorgonzola, Gruyere or Red Windsor? These cheeses are all unique in their own way and add such a different flavor to the noodles that it’ll hard to be go back to your standard cheddar.

3. Butternut Squash


Photo by Alex Tom

If you’re not a fan of peeling and cutting your own butternut squash, tons of stores (like Trader Joe’s!) will sell them peeled and pre-cut for you. Then, it’ just a matter of throwing it into your favorite dish and enjoying their mild, sweet flavor. Plus, adding vegetables to mac and cheese makes it seem a little less sinful to be eating half a pound of cheese.

4. Gratin-ify


Photo by Hannah Lin

A gratin is essentially a dish covered in breadcrumbs, then topped with cheese, then set to broil or bake in the oven. How else could you make mac and cheese better? Adding a crispy breadcrumb topping and even more cheese could only be good news.

5. On Fries


By Alia Wilhelm

The thing about fries is that it’s hard to make them taste worse, but adding the melty cheese from your mac and cheese will mimic an amazing platter of cheese fries, and that would just be too hard to pass up. Just save this dish for a special occasion, because it’s tough to justify carbs and carbs drenched in cheese without making a trip to the gym first.