This roundup of mac and cheese recipes is perfect to celebrate this year’s National Mac and Cheese Day in the best way possible—with piles and piles of loaded, cheesy, macaroni-filled incredibleness.


A cast-iron skillet filled with pumpkin macaroni and cheese.
David Leite
1 of 12

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

This pumpkin macaroni and cheese is easy and creamy and rich. What else would you expect from a skillet full of pasta, Cheddar, pumpkin, bacon, and sage? Comfort food at its most indulgent with a smidgen of conscience-appeasing healthfulness.
A hand using a wooden spoon to lift a scoop of macaroni and cheese with zucchini out of a cast iron pot.
Molly Krebs
2 of 12

Macaroni and Cheese with Zucchini

This indulgently creamy, macaroni and cheese with zucchini has three types of cheese and just the right amount of crunch from the garlicky brown butter bread crumbs. It's likely no one will even notice the vegetables that are hidden in there.
A person scooping a spoonful of mac and cheese with beer from a casserole dish.
Charlotte Hu
3 of 12

Mac and Cheese with Beer

This beer-infused mac 'n' cheese is the ultimate weeknight comfort food. Serve any leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg.
3-ingredient macaroni and cheese--elbow macaroni, cream, Cheddar cheese--in a yellow casserole with a wooden spoon.
Suech & Beck
4 of 12

3 Ingredient Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and cheese doesn’t get any easier than this 3 ingredient macaroni and cheese. The 3 ingredients? Elbow macaroni, heavy cream, and Cheddar cheese. And it takes just 20 minutes.
A grey ceramic bowl filled with baked mac and cheese with bread crumbs
Carl Tremblay
5 of 12

Baked Mac and Cheese with Bread Crumbs

This baked macaroni and cheese boasts all the cheesy goodness of the usual American classic but with the spectacular addition of crunchy, buttery crumbs on top as well as the bonus points that it can be prepared in advance. What’s not to love?!
A grey plate half-filled with mac and cheese canapes, with a few resting beside the plate
Steve Legato
6 of 12

Mac and Cheese Canapés

These mac and cheese canapes, essentially baked mac and cheese bites, are made from macaroni and sharp Cheddar cheese and baked in mini-muffin tins. Perfect finger food for kids and adults. Cocktail party, anyone?
Skillet mac and cheese in a grey bowl with a spoon, garnished with extra shredded cheese.
Beatriz Da Costa
7 of 12

Skillet Mac and Cheese

This skillet mac and cheese is fast, easy, uses only one dish, and requires very little stovetop fussing. The pasta cooks in a creamy milk sauce in the oven, and then two (or more!) types of cheese are stirred in at the end.
A brown bowl filled with gluten-free macaroni and cheese sprinkled with pepper on a wooden table with a fork resting beside the bowl.
Lauren Volo
8 of 12

Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese

This gluten-free macaroni and cheese, made with gluten-free pasta, Cheddar, and goat cheese is easy to make and is every bit as good as the real deal.
Blue casserole of spicy macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs on top and sliced of jalapeno peppers.
Angie Mosier
9 of 12

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese

What can you do that’s new to mac and cheese? What about adding 1.) red pepper flakes, 2.) hot sauce, 3.) cayenne pepper, and 4.) jalepeño pepper? This spicy macaroni and cheese is creamy, rich, and spicy.
A dish of macaroni au gratin on a white paper napkin on a white plate with a stack of plates beside it.
Johnny Autry
10 of 12

Macaroni Au Gratin

This macaroni au gratin is no ordinary macaroni and cheese. Not at all. It’s still pasta in cheese sauce but blanketed with a layer of ooey, gooey blend of three cheeses. Easy and on the table in less than an hour.
A cast iron skillet filled with baked macaroni and cheese.
Johnson Rauhoff
11 of 12

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This baked macaroni and cheese recipe is the best and easy to make. The bread crumbs on top and creamy comfort food underneath are proof that homemade tastes infinitely better than that store-bought stuff in the blue box. Here’s how to make it.
A metal scoop holding a portion of bacon and Cheddar macaroni and cheese.
Ellen Silverman
12 of 12

Bacon and Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

This bacon and Cheddar macaroni and cheese is proof that bacon makes everything better…though the creamy Cheddar sauce that smothers the fusili pasta is pretty special, too.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. JBY&Me…I absolutely LOVE-LOVE your Macaroni Au Gratin! I now have to make it regularly for our three grandsons. They want it instead of cupcakes for their birthday! Ha! Okay by me…. ! Thank you for sharing your lovely recipe(s) with us.

    1. You’re welcome, Grammasue. That’s adorable that your grandsons love it so much, although I think I’d take it over cupcakes, too!