The 1 Ingredient I’m Adding to Boxed Mac and Cheese From Now On

Thanks to my fellow Walmart shoppers.



There’s no denying that boxed macaroni and cheese is among the best comfort foods. Not only is it inexpensive and easy to make, but it’s buttery, cheesy, and channels comforting memories of childhood meals. There are many ways to upgrade boxed mac and cheese and I recently stumbled on a series of TikToks featuring Walmart's smoked gouda mac and cheese.

The Walmart Mac and Cheese Upgrade That Has the Internet Talking

“There’s this girl that I follow, Bella’s Bites, and she makes this super-cheesy mac and cheese with veggies in it,” TikTok user @talibrianna explains as she eats her own version of the dish. “Every time I see her eat it, I’m like I want that right now.”

As a lover of macaroni and cheese, that's exactly how I felt. Once I saw videos paying tribute to @bellas.bites' two-ingredient mac and cheese, I wanted to try it, too. Bella’s recipe looked fairly simple: While the noodles are boiling, add frozen mixed veggies to the water. Drain, toss in a pan with butter, and add the packet of cheese sauce, some extra cheese, and black pepper. The foodie TikToker frequently posts videos of her eating this macaroni and cheese dish along with proteins like chicken wings or sausage and it looks absolutely delicious in every video.

Bella tells Allrecipes she started sharing her meals on TikTok because food is a “universal love language” that “brings people together and tastes different in different places.” An added benefit to seeing so many TikTokers try her ultimate boxed mac and cheese hack? “People trying something new because they saw me eat it makes me so happy,” she says.

How to Make the Viral Walmart Mac and Cheese



While Walmart's Great Value smoked gouda variety is Bella’s go-to for this dish, she says her add-ins will boost any kind of boxed mac dinner. “I think you should make your food how you most enjoy it,” she says. “If there’s a version of mac and cheese you like better than the one I use, then use that—I’m sure it’s just as good.”

For Bella, the smoked gouda dinner kit just tastes the best. “Mac and cheese is, and always has been, a comfort food for me,” she explains. “I tried the Great Value brand because the box looked fancy and it instantly became my favorite.”

She also feels the dish is a great way to get in some extra veggies in an unexpected way. “I love vegetables, but don’t always consider them when thinking about comfort food, so I decided to incorporate them into the meal by just adding them into the cheesy goodness,” she says. “I don’t know about you, but I’d take cheese-covered veggies over plain ones any day.”

The creator's biggest tip for enjoying her version of boxed mac at home? “Eat it while it’s nice and hot,” she says. “The creamier, the better, in my opinion.”

And, when choosing a protein to serve with the pasta dish, Bella has a clear favorite. “You can’t go wrong with a good chicken wing and mac and cheese pair,” she says. “That’s definitely my favorite.”

I Tried the Recipe, and Here's What I Thought

I tried Bella’s mac and cheese recipe in my own kitchen and was blown away by the crunchy bursts of flavor brought to the dish by the mixed vegetables. Adding a bit of shredded cheese and butter made the classic dinner even more creamy, and the black pepper added the perfect pop of seasoning. I served my upgraded mac and cheese dinner in bowls with a few chicken nuggets on the side.

@bellas.bites Mac and Cheese Recipe


  • 1 box macaroni and cheese (Bella prefers Walmart’s Great Value Artisan Crafted Smoked Gouda variety)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 handful frozen mixed veggies

  • 1 handful shredded cheese (whatever variety you prefer)

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. Add pasta noodles from the boxed macaroni and cheese to the boiling water.

  3. About halfway through the noodle cooking time, add a handful of frozen mixed veggies and allow them to cook with the pasta for the remaining time.

  4. Drain the vegetable-noodle mixture and return to the pot with the butter.

  5. After stirring the butter until melted and mixed into the pasta and vegetables, add the cheese sauce packet and combine. (You can also add a splash of milk.)

  6. Add black pepper and shredded cheese to the mixture and stir until combined.

Read the original article on All Recipes.