Our Most Comforting Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

test kitchen mac and cheese

The creamiest, cheesiest macaroni and cheese recipes are here. We've got everything from stovetop to baked, three-cheese to one-skillet options, including our favorite super-speedy mac and cheese.

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perfect macaroni and cheese
Bryan Gardner

Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and your recipe can be as simple and straightforward or as complicated and fancy as you'd like. The recipes in this collection range from one end to the other, but all of them have two things in common: tender, toothsome pasta and creamy, rich cheese.

If you're looking for a reliable, no-fail, basic (in a good way) mac and cheese, try our classic Macaroni and Cheese, pictured here. This is our founder's easy-to-make version that is guaranteed to please. If you want other options, there's also John Legend's take, which has a gorgeous cheesy crust, as well as the Test Kitchen's Favorite Mac and Cheese, a tried-and-true favorite that relies on three different kinds of cheese: American, cheddar, and Parmesan.

Ready to mix things up? We've got lots of ideas. Our Mushroom-Fontina Macaroni and Cheese matches earthy cremini mushrooms with buttery, nutty Fontina cheese. We also have a Swiss take that features three different Alpine cheeses: Emmentaler, Gruyère, and Raclette. And let's not forget about our Bacon Macaroni and Cheese, which leans on crisp bacon and Gouda for a rich, smoky flavor.

We're not stopping there, though. You'll find recipes that add in roasted bell pepper, mustard powder, and cayenne for a pimiento-inspired taste and a variety of different recipes that incorporate spinach, tomatoes, broccolini, chicken, and more for plenty of flavor. Others cater to dietary restrictions, with both a lightened up version and a gluten-free one on the list. And then there are the ones that happily, deliciously, fly in the face of tradition. Need a quick fix? Cheater's Mac and Cheese has your number; it's ready in minutes. Ready to party? Meet Fried Macaroni-and-Cheese Bites, an unbeatable marriage of mac and cheese and fried finger food.

Simply put, our very best macaroni and cheese recipes prove that this classic comfort food can be enjoyed whenever and however you want.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Mac and Cheese

test kitchen mac and cheese
Armando Rafael

For the ultimate mac and cheese, follow this tried-and-true recipe, which relies on three different kinds of cheese: American, cheddar, and Parmesan. Hot tip: Freeze the cheese for five minutes before grating, as this makes the job easier.

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Mushroom-Fontina Macaroni and Cheese

Mushroom-Fontina Macaroni and Cheese
Christina Holmes

This take on the classic has a lot going for it: You make it in one pot (actually, a skillet), and it includes the addition of earthy mushrooms, which go wonderfully with Fontina's buttery, nutty flavor.

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Baked Mac and Cheese with Broiled Tomatoes

baked macaroni cheese broiled tomatoes
Armando Rafael

If you're of the mind that a little pop of color is welcome in mac and cheese, don't miss this one, which has blistered tomatoes as well as a crunchy panko topping (and three cheeses, just for good measure).

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Swiss-Fondue Mac and Cheese

swiss fondue mac cheese
Armando Rafael

Consider this the après ski version of mac and cheese. Three different Alpine cheeses (Raclette, Gruyère, and Emmentaler) give it a Swiss flair.

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John Legend's Macaroni and Cheese

john legends macaroni and cheese
Andrea Araiza

When musician John Legend visited Martha, he shared his recipe for the classic comfort food and it's one of our most popular. It's great for parties thanks to that beautifully cheesy crust.

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Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Bryan Gardner

Crisp bacon and Gouda impart a rich, smoky flavor to this one-pot mac, which also includes Gruyère and Dijon mustard for a subtle kick.

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Lighter Macaroni and Cheese


Parmesan and extra-sharp cheddar pack a wallop, which means you don't need to use a lot of them; plus, this updated version of mac and cheese also calls for low-fat milk, chicken stock, and olive oil to keep the sauce creamy.

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Pimiento Mac and Cheese

pimiento mac and cheese served in a white casserole dish
Con Poulos

This Southern charmer has loads of character, with flavors inspired by pimiento cheese. Roasted bell pepper, mustard powder, and cayenne add zip. Eggs and sour cream lend richness and heft.

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Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

Andrew Purcell

Gluten-free penne isn't the only swap in this creative recipe. It also has you toss gluten-free crisp puffed-rice cereal, slightly crushed, with melted butter and Parmesan. Sprinkle this mixture on top and bake for a delicious crunch.

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Spinach Mac and Cheese


Spinach takes well to cream, as anyone who's enjoyed creamed spinach knows, so adding it to mac and cheese isn't so far fetched. Stir cut strips of spinach into the sauce just until they wilt.

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Chicken-and-Broccolini Mac and Cheese

David Malosh

This casserole delivers on all fronts: protein, carbs, and vegetables, plus the all-important food group of cheese. You use egg noodles, which meld nicely around the other ingredients.

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Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese

Bryan Gardner

Here's a Southwestern riff on mac and cheese that cranks up the heat with fiery jalapeños and then tempers it with sweet corn kernels. Bonus: You cook the pasta right in the sauce.

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Fried Macaroni-and-Cheese Bites

David Malosh

These little fried morsels are sure to be the hit of any party. Prepare the stovetop macaroni and cheese a few days ahead, so it firms up in the refrigerator and is easier to cut. Then, bread it in panko and fry to perfection.

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Cheater's Mac and Cheese

Cheater's Mac and Cheese recipe
Con Poulos

Need a quick fix? Try this speedy version, where pasta and broccoli are cooked in the same pot, then drained and stirred together with reserved pasta water, cream cheese, butter, and Parmesan for the easiest sauce ever.

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Thomas's Macaroni and Cheese

Thomas Joseph's Mac and Cheese

Have you been searching for the ultimate, ooey-gooey recipe for mac and cheese? Look no further than Culinary Director Thomas Joseph's smooth and satisfying four-cheese masterpiece. Bonus: You can use the cheese sauce on baked potatoes or broccoli, too.

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