The Ultimate Way To Upgrade And Transform Frozen Mac And Cheese

Closeup of mac and cheese
Closeup of mac and cheese - Olgamiltsova/Getty Images

Mac and cheese is simple and delicious, but quite frankly, it can be a little boring, especially if you've gotten sick of the same-old plain box mixes or frozen dinners over and over again. But if there's still a pack of frozen mac and cheese in your freezer, you're already halfway to a twist on this dinnertime classic that'll have you excited to eat it again.

Combine frozen mac and cheese and some storebought (or homemade) pizza dough, and you get mac and cheese sticks: A hot pocket-like mix of warm mac and cheese baked into a crisp pizza dough crust. Between the crunch from the bread and the soft cheesiness of the mac and cheese, this meal is a delicious, fresh take on comfort food and easy to put together whether you're looking for a weeknight meal or a quick snack. Use a sharp knife to slice frozen mac and cheese into strips, wrap the frozen mac in the uncooked pizza dough, coat in olive oil or butter, and bake. (A little sprinkling of parmesan on the outside also goes a long way!)

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Can You Use Boxed Or Fresh Mac And Cheese?

Mac and cheese sticks
Mac and cheese sticks - Instagram

If you don't have boxed frozen mac and cheese but still want to make this recipe, don't worry — it's perfectly possible to do so simply by freezing your cooked homemade or box-made mac ahead of time. Any flavor of mac and cheese will work for this recipe.

Freezing mac and cheese is simple, but there are a few considerations before shoving your storage container into the icebox and calling it a day. Let your mac completely cool after cooking it. Don't go directly from pot to freezer; you'll risk damaging your container and causing pesky ice crystals to grow on the food, potentially affecting its texture when reheating.

Additionally, use a wide square or rectangle-shaped, freezer-safe container to store the mac for best results. This will make it easier to slice into the strips you need when it's time to stuff the pizza dough.

Other Frozen Mac And Cheese Upgrades

Mac and cheese with toppings
Mac and cheese with toppings - Marie Sonmez Photography/Shutterstock

If mac and cheese sticks don't appeal to you, but you're still looking for a way to finish off that leftover box of frozen mac, there are plenty of other ways to doctor up a plain container with add-ins.

Adding precooked meat such as ham, rotisserie chicken, bacon, or even sliced pepperoni can be an excellent way to not only improve the flavor of a boxed mac and cheese meal but also to make the dish more filling. The same can be said for adding chopped veggies; we recommend sliced, precooked vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, caramelized onions, or greens such as spinach or green onion.

If you want a little extra texture and flavor, try removing the frozen meal from your oven early and topping the partially cooked mac and cheese with a mix of breadcrumbs, butter, and parmesan. Then bake for a few extra minutes for that crispy layer of crunch.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.