Today, July 14, we celebrate the majesty of macaroni and cheese, one of America's most beloved dishes.
The dish, we can all agree, has come a long way since its initial rise in popularity. First, Thomas Jefferson likely brought back a pasta machine from Italy in the late 1700s, according to Clifford A. Wright. Later, in 1937, came the first blue box of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Today, the cheesy noodles are served everywhere, as a main course on kids' menus and as an indulgent side dish at upscale steakhouses.
Recipes for the culinary staple have also evolved from employing the traditional elbow noodle and cheddar cheese to incorporating ingredients like chilis and smoked meats.
Check out these enticingly gooey recipes, ranging from tame to wild, to find your perfect National Mac and Cheese Day party dish.
1. Gouda Mac and Cheese with Peaches and Prosciutto
This sweet and smokey mac and cheese gets a lot of its creaminess from Greek yogurt, so you can feel pretty healthy while you're carb loading tonight.
2. Easy Beer Mac and Cheese
The only thing better than the boozy mac is the bread-crumb crust on top. The chef also suggests adding bacon, and we don't take issue with that.
3. Lobster & Shrimp Mac and Cheese
When I die, bury me inside the shellfish, butter, cheese and pasta store.
4. Four-Cheese Caprese Mac and Cheese
Four types of cheese, pesto and fresh heirloom tomatoes? Sign us UP.
5. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Purely cheese, spice and everything nice.
6. Truffle Mac and Cheese
It's a holiday. Go on and treat yourself to a pan of this restaurant-quality cheese fest.
7. One-Pot Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese
Your favorite dip in mac-and-cheese form. Run, don't walk, to the kitchen. Now.
8. Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
We're not saying it's totally necessary to take something beautiful and fry it, but we're also not saying it's a bad idea.
9. Greek-Style Mac and Cheese
Bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to your mac with feta cheese, Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
10. The Best Homemade Mac and Cheese
Sometimes, you just can't mess with a classic. The keys to success in this recipe are good pasta and the right cheeses. Drooling.