My Favorite Macaroni & Cheeses
Macaroni and cheese is one of the most popular dishes in America. Kids love it, adults love it. Macaroni and cheese is of English origin, consisting of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce, usually cheddar. People also can include, in homemade versions, bacon (or any kind of meat), bread crumbs, and vegetables.
Mac and cheese, as it's commonly called in the US, is one of my absolute favorite dishes. I can eat it by itself or as a side. I'm flexible like that.
This Hub is about my 10 favorite mac and cheeses. 6 of them you can enjoy at home, 3 are restaurant choices, and 1 is a secret recipe of a friend.
At Home: #6 Velveeta Shells and Cheese
My #6 pick for macaroni and cheese you can make at home is Velveeta Shells & Cheese. It's easy to cook - just boil the noodles, drain, squeeze the cheese sauce over the noodles, and stir. Voilà! There you have it! They're nice and cheesy!
I like these because you just add the cheese sauce, whereas with the traditional blue box mac & cheese, you add the powder, milk, and butter. It's really easy for those times when you don't have any milk or butter. And yes, that has happened to me.
At Home #5: Kraft Deluxe Four Cheese
My #5 pick for macaroni and cheese you can make at home is Kraft Deluxe Four Cheese.
It's another one that just boil the noodles, drain, add the cheese sauce, and stir. But this cheese sauce has four different cheeses! Colby, Parmesan, Cheddar, and Asiago are the four cheeses that make up the cheese sauce for the Kraft Deluxe Four Cheese. I like this one because it's different than regular macaroni & cheeses that just have the one cheese in them. And also because of it's convenience of having the cheese sauce.
The Deluxe form, "with the powdered processed cheese replaced with a prepared processed cheese spread that comes in a foil pouch. This allows the cheese to be applied directly to the cooked pasta without additional preparation or ingredients. The pasta is also different; elbow macaroni replaces the thin, straight macaroni supplied as part of the original recipe."
At Home #4: Kraft Deluxe White Cheddar & Bacon
My #5 pick for macaroni and cheese you can make at home is Kraft Deluxe White Cheddar & Bacon.
This is kind of a different mac & cheese. The cheese sauce in this one is white cheddar cheese, compared to the yellow cheddar cheese that is in most sauce packets. It also comes with a second packet of bacon bits that you can sprinkle into the mac & cheese while you are stirring it all together.
I like the fact that the cheese is different. It's a change from the normal. Plus bacon bits! Bacon in mac & cheese is awesome!
At Home #3: Kraft Shapes
My #3 choice for macaroni and cheese you can make at home is Kraft Shapes: Spongebob.
This mac & cheese is like the original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the aspect that it is the powder that you add milk and butter (or margarine) to. I prefer butter but that's just me.
And who doesn't love Spongebob?
The Kraft Shapes are different from the regular straight noodle original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I don't know how but they are. I love eating the shapes every now and then. I'm a big kid, what can I say?
At Home #2: Stouffer's
My #2 choice for macaroni & cheese you can make at home is Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese.
The Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese is the odd one out on this list, in a way. This one is frozen. There is no work for you to do whatsoever other than to cut a slit in the film and put it in the microwave.
Yes, it's that easy.
I love the taste of Stouffer's. It's the best frozen macaroni and cheese I have found. It comes in various sizes - single serve, family size, and a "jumbo" size. It also comes as a side with a cod fish filet and they are awesome together.
At Home #1: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Original
My #1 choice for macaroni & cheese that you can make at home is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Original.
Yes, it's the most simple macaroni and cheese there is but it's my favorite.
The product was first produced in 1937 by the company who is now know as Kraft Foods.It consists of a straight noodle and the cheese powder that you add milk and butter (or margarine) to and mix together.
I have been eating this for basically all my life. I HAVE to have the Kraft brand, all the store brands or off brands WILL NOT do. My husband buys the Wal-Mart brand for him and I buy the "good stuff" for me. We're weird like that. I also know how to make it in the microwave and if I'm making it for just me, that's generally what I do. Yes, I eat it as a dish on it's own. What can I say? It's that good.
Restaurant Choice #3: Panera
My #3 choice for restaurant macaroni & cheese is Panera Bread.
The macaroni & cheese that you get at Panera Bread consists of shell noodles and a cheese blend that contains Colby & white Cheddar cheese. Full ingredients and nutritional info can be found on their website.
I like their macaroni & cheese because it is different than other restaurants as they chose cheeses different from the usual. You can get it as an option on their "You Pick 2" menu choice, as it's own entree, or in a bread bowl.
Restaurant Choice #2: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
My #2 choice for restaurant macaroni & cheese is Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
I always get the same thing at Cracker Barrel - chicken and dumplings with 3 sides and the sides consist of extra dumplings, applesauce (or baked apples, depending on my mood), and macaroni & cheese. I'm not lying, this is literally what I get EVERY.TIME.
Their macaroni & cheese is a baked version but it's not dry like mac & cheese can sometimes get when baking. It still has a "wetness" to it. I love it mixed with the dumplings.
And yes, I live in the South if you couldn't tell.
Restaurant Choice #1: Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
My #1 choice for restaurant macaroni & cheese is Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.
This is my number one choice because it is the best that I have found. It is a seafood mac & cheese (the seafood depends on the time of the year, usually) and it is AWESOME! The noodles change sometimes as well, but hey, I don't mind. And it's a HUGE portion! They do not skimp on anything! I highly recommend this dish to anybody that is going to eat at Margaritaville.
Unfortunately for me, the closest Margaritaville is about 4 hours away, in Myrtle Beach, SC. But I guarantee you that every time I do get to go to the beach, we ALWAYS eat there. I am a huge Jimmy Buffett fan to begin with (just call me a Parrothead) so I am in paradise when I am there.
Secret Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
This macaroni and cheese you can't get just anywhere. This is Georgie Lowery's top secret recipe!
This has honestly got to be my favorite mac & cheese. It's homemade and wonderful. Unfortunately, I don't get to have it anymore because Georgie moved to Texas, and as I said, it's a secret recipe so I don't know how to make it. I miss it a lot! She used to make it for me as "payment" for whatever (usually taking her to the grocery store or the doctors office) and I would not turn it down! We would also add bacon to it every once in a while to make it extra awesome. (No, the bacon isn't a secret ingredient! It is just an optional one.) This macaroni and cheese is so ooey and gooey...it would just ooze with cheese. And it was baked, as you can see. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
I really wish that Georgie would give me the recipe but some things you've got to keep secret!