20 Fancy Mac and Cheese Recipes
Forget the blue box, these fancy mac and cheese recipes are worthy of company coming over for dinner. Infused with decadent ingredients like lobster, truffle oil, and specialty cheeses, each of these macaroni and cheese dishes takes the concept of pasta and sauce to the next level. Make a batch of either stovetop or baked fancy mac and cheese and you'll have a dinner that's equal parts comfort food and wow-worthy.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
A rotisserie chicken makes quick work of this meal, but it's no less impressive. Each bite of macaroni is infused with spicy hot sauce and gorgonzola cheese, the perfect recreation of a buffalo wing dipped in blue cheese sauce.
Wisconsin Five-Cheese Bake
Mozzarella, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, and ricotta cheeses all combine to create this irresistible macaroni bake. Reviewer Katie D says, "I am a cheese fanatic and boy does this hit the spot! It turns out great every time!"
Lobster Mac and Cheese
This dish is described by recipe creator Ange as, "High class meets down home." Rich mac and cheese — made with Cheddar, Gruyere, and Romano — combines with lobster meat and is baked to golden brown perfection.
Four-Cheese Truffled Macaroni and Cheese
While an abundance of cheeses makes this an already stand out mac and cheese dish, a small drizzle of truffle oil takes it to a different level. Want even more decadence? Finish the recipe with a sprinkling of truffle salt over the top.
Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
This macaroni and cheese recipe kicks off with a standard sauce that begins with a buttery roux, but it's given a fancy twist when smoky Gouda steps in to replace traditional Cheddar. "Absolutely excellent, even my fussy 3 and 5 years kids loved it," says CHENNECHI. "Also very easy to make."
South-of-the-Border Mac and Cheese
This Cheddar-based macaroni is amped up with spicy green chiles, diced tomatoes, and fresh green onions. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or guacamole to keep with the south-of-the-border theme.
Shrimp Mac and Cheese
Bite-size shrimp are a fancy addition to this irresistible mac and cheese recipe. A sprinkle of Cajun seasoning gives each bite a subtle kick.
Smoky Four Cheese Macaroni Bake
"This rich macaroni and cheese combines the savory flavors of Swiss, Monterey Jack, sharp Cheddar, and Parmesan cheeses along with sautéed garlic and onion to make a creamy sauce to die for," says recipe creator eshel. A small dash of liquid smoke takes it over the edge, adding a deep savoriness to the whole dish.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
Pumpkin may sound like an odd addition to macaroni and cheese, but once pureed, pumpkin creates a luxuriously rich sauce. A few dashes of black pepper, dry mustard, and nutmeg create a unique flavor that will have you coming back for more.
Garlic Chicken Mac and Cheese
This recipe transforms macaroni and cheese into an impressive and delicious meal. Pasta and chopped chicken breast are mixed into a garlicky sauce, all covered in a buttery cracker layer and baked until perfectly crisp on the top.
Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Onions
The sweetness of caramelized onions is balanced out with salty bacon in this wow-worthy mac and cheese. "It's a kids' favorite, and adults like it too," says creator Ben S. "My recipe is simple and almost as quick as the boxed variety."
Overnight Macaroni and Cheese Gratin
Just calling it gratin gives it instant fancy cred. Rich Gruyere cheese is melted down with milk and heavy cream to create a delicious sauce that's different from your standard mac and cheese.
Mock Sou Boreg (Armenian Macaroni and Cheese)
The Armenian version of macaroni and cheese combines egg noodles with Monterey Jack cheese, cottage cheese, and whipped eggs for a light and fluffy texture. Parsley adds a burst of fresh flavor and a nice contrasting color to finish off the dish.
Creole Shrimp Mac and Cheese
Fresh shrimp, Cajun seasoning, and Creole mustard make this a stand out recipe. "The best mac and cheese I’ve had in a long, long time," says France C. "If you’re looking for something different than plain old mac and cheese, look no further. This tastes like something you’d get in a fancy restaurant."
Macaroni and Cheese with Sausage, Peppers and Onions
Turn macaroni and cheese into an all-in-one fancy meal by adding herbaceous Italian sausage, sweet red bell peppers, and bold onions. The meal will be picture perfect when served with a sprinkling of fresh basil on top.
This unique recipe transforms the beloved Reuben sandwich into an impressive macaroni and cheese dish. Pasta is coated in a dressed up cheese sauce — featuring spicy brown mustard, Gouda, chevre, and blue cheeses — then mixed with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing for a flavorful meal.
Lobster-Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
Smoky bacon, rich lobster, and a melty cheese sauce make this a real stand-out macaroni dish. Recipe creator Kit0331 describes it as "a lovely dish you can serve on a busy weeknight or at your next dinner party."
Baked Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
Is it really mac and cheese if you switch out the noodles? We'll leave the debate up to you, while enjoying a bowl of this rich and creamy gnocchi, a tender pasta dumpling made from potatoes.
Baked Tomato Mac 'n Cheese
"This delicious macaroni and cheese recipe will have you making mac 'n' cheese from scratch instead of from a box forever," says creator Diana71. Canned diced tomatoes and salsa verde add bold flavor to the dish.
Chef John's Lobster Mac and Cheese
This mac and cheese is infused with extra seafood flavor thanks to Chef John's special technique of boiling the lobster shell alongside the pasta. "Even without the lobster it's the best mac and cheese recipe I've ever tried. Not too heavy not boring but still comforting," says reviewer herlandian.