Traditional meals have always consisted of three items, such as some kind of meat, a vegetable side, and a starchy side. The starchy side is everyone’s favorite if you ask me. What are the starchy sides? Those are the roasted potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, corn, and pasta sides. One of the most popular sides worldwide is mac and cheese. Mac n cheese is absolutely delicious! It is macaroni pasta that has been cooked and smothered with delicious cheese sauce. You can make easy boxed mac and cheese or homemade; but no matter what kind you make, you can always spice it up and make it even better! Believe it or not! You can spice it up by adding things to your mac and cheese to transform it into the main dish too. So, are you wondering how to spice up mac and cheese to transform it? There are several spices and foods you can add! Let’s find out how.
Spices to Add to Mac and Cheese to Make It Even Better
Honestly, I think mac and cheese tastes perfectly good by itself. I can make a meal out of a large bowl of mac and cheese and call it a day; no meat and no veggies, just good ole macaroni and cheese. I can eat the boxed mac and cheese and enjoy it just as much as if I made homemade mac and cheese. Not everyone is as enthusiastic about plain mac and cheese as I am though, so I can understand wanting to spice it up! Let’s discuss some great spices to add to mac and cheese that’ll make it taste even better.
If you like spicy food, then you’re going to want to add some cayenne pepper to your mac and cheese. That’s right! You can make your mac and cheese a spicy side! Cayenne pepper is a great seasoning to add heat to your mac and cheese. You can also add some chili powder to your mac and cheese and give it a little heat and some extra flavor. Chili powder has a mixture of ancho pepper, cumin, garlic, and even oregano; so it will definitely add extra flavor to your mac and cheese. It might not be as spicy as the cayenne pepper, but that doesn’t stop you from adding cayenne on top of the chili powder. You can also make your mac and cheese with some chopped jalapeños too!
If you’re not into spicy food, no worries! You’ve got several options of spices that go great in mac and cheese. You can add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, or paprika to add flavor. Some people even add mustard to it! Whether it is dry mustard or dijon mustard from your fridge, it will add great taste to your cheesy side. It is not uncommon for mustard to be added to mac and cheese, and it won’t be uncommon once you try it!
Transforming Mac and Cheese into Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac
Mac and cheese has been served as a side dish for years, but you can find mac and cheese as the main dish now in some restaurants! Are they just giving you plain macaroni and cheese and calling it a main dish? No! They are transforming the macaroni and cheese by adding vegetables and meat! Instead of serving the meat, veggie, and starch separate; mac and cheese is being transformed as a 3-in-1 meal. The meat, veggie, and side are all in one! It has truly transformed into a delicious whole meal. Want to know one easy way how to spice up mac and cheese to transform it? Let me teach you how to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac!
One of the ways you can transform mac and cheese is by adding chicken, bacon, and ranch seasoning. All you need to do is cook chicken breast and bacon. Chop up the chicken breast into small chunks, and crumble the bacon. You add a ranch seasoning packet when you add the butter to the macaroni, whether you’re making boxed mac and cheese or homemade. If it is homemade, mix in the chicken and bacon before you bake it. If it is boxed, mix in the chicken and bacon after it is finished cooking. Easy peasy! You now know how to transform your mac and cheese to Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac. You can top it with freshly cut tomatoes or onions to fulfill your need for veggies. Either way, it is still a very filling and hearty meal.
Transforming Mac and Cheese into Chili Mac or Buffalo Chicken Ranch Mac
Another way to transform your mac and cheese is by making it into Chili Mac. This one is so easy to make and very filling! All you need to do is brown 1 lb of ground beef in some chili seasoning. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles drained and one can of chili beans drained. Set aside. Cook your macaroni pasta as you usually do whether you doing boxed or homemade. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add the butter and then ground beef and bean mixture. Add cheese and complete the remainder of the steps according to which type of mac and cheese you’re doing. Once it’s done cooking, it is done! Now you’ve got spicy and delicious Chili Mac! I suggest you top it with some sour cream. Just try it!
Another popular transformation is Buffalo Chicken Ranch Mac. To make this, you start making your macaroni pasta. Once cooked and drained, you add butter and a ranch seasoning packet. Mix well. Add a packet of cream cheese per 1 lb of macaroni pasta you make, then add about ¾ cup of buffalo sauce per 1 lb of macaroni. Mix well and add the rest of the ingredients to finish making boxed or homemade mac and cheese. Then, add 1 lb of chopped pre-cooked chicken breast per 1 lb of mac and cheese. If making homemade mac and cheese, mix the chicken into the mix right before you bake it. If you’re making boxed, mix the chicken in right after you’ve finished cooking it. Once it’s done cooking, you’ve got a deliciously creamy and cheese Buffalo Chicken Ranch Mac.
It is a Side That Can Wear Many Hats
Mac and cheese doesn’t cease to amaze me. It has been around satisfying both kids and adults with its cheezy and creamy goodness, simply as a side, for many years. I would have never thought something so delicious could get better. But now we’ve learned just how to spice up mac and cheese to make it taste better and to transform it! Mac and cheese was already amazing, and now it is phenomenal! It can become a full meal that will satisfy the entire family. If you’re in the mood for buffalo wings or a bowl of chili, now know can transform your mac and cheese to satisfy this. If you just want to make it spicy and give it a little kick, you can do this too. There are countless recipes for mac and cheese that transforms it into something else. What you want to transform it to is up to you. Either way, you’re going to love it!