When we’re not quite up for cooking but don’t want to spend big money on takeout, our lazy meal of choice is typically boxed macaroni and cheese. It’s a classic comfort food that never disappoints, and with carbohydrates, fat, and even some protein, more filling than other low-effort options. That said, the powdered cheese that most brands use can be a bit bland, and we typically like to include a few veggies in our meals whenever possible. Fortunately, we’ve found a few ways to doctor up boxed mac & cheese so that it’s more delicious and nutritious but still quick and easy to prepare.
Add More Cheese
If you’re a serious cheese lover and the powdered mix doesn’t quite cut it, you can easily enhance the cheesiness of your mac by adding a bit of your own. Try a heavy handful of grated cheddar or ¼ of a block of cream cheese, stirring them into your prepared pasta along with the included cheese powder and a splash of milk.
Eat Your Greens
Tossing in a few veggies is a great way to amp up the nutrition and make your mac and cheese a more well-rounded meal. Place a steamer basket with some chopped broccoli florets above your pasta while it cooks to soften them up, then stir them into your prepared pasta along with the cheese. For a bit of extra protein, add ½ cup of frozen peas, stirring gently to heat through.
Spice Things Up
Add a few shakes of your favorite spices to your mac and cheese to enhance its flavor and give it a little kick. Play around with options like garlic, onion, and paprika powder until you find a combination you enjoy, or try a dash of hot sauce if you can handle the heat. Top it all with some panko breadcrumbs for a satisfying crunch.