Ah, mac and cheese — it's the ultimate comfort food, pleasing to kids and adults alike.
It can be simple (just cheddar, butter and some elbow pasta) or super-fancy (lobster mac and cheese!) ... and even controversial — remember that bright-green avocado mac Al Roker loved?! However you make it, it's always incredibly satisfying. Classic, old-school macaroni and cheese is delicious. But it's also great when it's dolled up with pulled pork, mustard, peas, mushrooms, cheeses from around the world and other goodies.
Here are 11 ooey, gooey and oh-so-satisfying macaroni and cheese recipes to try on National Macaroni and Cheese Day!
Billy Dec's mac and cheese is perfect for everyone who loves Buffalo chicken wings. It's made with hot sauce, Parmesan, cheddar and Gorgonzola.
Make classic mac and cheese even easier with a slow-cooker ... and even tastier with the addition of smoky, salty bacon.
TODAY Food Tastemaker Alejandra Ramos likes to serve mac and cheese two ways: Stir in all of the toppings or serve the pasta with the toppings on the side so everyone can just make up his or her own perfect bowl.
A blend of cheeses plus prosciutto dress up classic mac and cheese in this Italian-inspired recipe.
Sweet potatoes (rather than an eerily bright mystery powder) give the baked mac and cheese its bright orange color in this recipe from domestic goddess Nigella Lawson.
Food Network's Sunny Anderson has a decadent way to feed a crowd: a casserole that combines mac and cheese with pulled pork. Plus, the pork is prepped in a slow cooker so it's easy-peasy!.
Bring some complexity and depth of flavor to a classic dish with mushrooms, Dijon mustard, thyme and two types of cheese: fontina and Parmesan.
Mix things up and use smoked cheddar or Gouda to give loads of flavor to creamy mac and cheese.
TODAY's Craig Melvin is a big fan of the mac and cheese that his mom makes. "Eggs are the secret ingredient that makes my macaroni and cheese extra special," Betty Melvin told TODAY Food. "They help hold together all the cheese and noodles, plus they make this comforting dish even more creamy and delicious."
Try using mac and cheese leftovers as a filling for spring rolls. It may just become a new cocktail party favorite.
TODAY contributor Joy Bauer lightened up mac and cheese with low-fat dairy and butternut squash, and the creamy dish is still full of flavor and absolutely satisfying.
This article was originally published on Dec. 6, 2016.