Student Recipe: Mac Hacks

Lisa Clair '21, Life and Style Editor

Boxed Mac N Cheese has been and always will be a staple on the “college student food pyramid”. It is easy and quick to make, reminds us of our childhood, and is a really great comfort food after a stressful day. But what if you are already tired of plain easy-mac fresh out of the microwave? Using foods that are easily accessible to college aged students, here are five hacks to liven up your favorite lunch, dinner, or late-night snack. Enjoy!

  1. Sausage and Baby Spinach: As your pasta is heating up, start heating up pre-cooked sausages. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the boiling water from the pan, add back in the pasta, and mix in a few handfuls of baby spinach. Add the cheese sauce according to box directions and stir in the sausage. (Source: Jolene M. Bouchon, The Today Show)
  2. Mac N Cheese, but make it muffin bites: Preheat and oven to 350 degrees F. On the stovetop, make boxed Mac N Cheese as the box directs. Crush some Cheez-Its in a plastic bag, grease a muffin pan and sprinkle the bottom of each muffin-space with the Cheez-It crumble. Add your mac to the muffin pan, top with more smashed Cheez-Its and (if you have some) shredded cheese, and bake until golden brown. Once cooked, pop out each muffin bite with a fork and serve warm. (Source: Libby Rasmussen, Libby Living Colorfully)
  3. Giving your Mac N Cheese a Southwestern edge: Make your boxed Mac N Cheese as instructed on the box. Once the Mac N Cheese is put together, mix in salsa, black beans, shredded Mexican cheese and black beans. (Source: Abby Reisner, Tasting Table)
  4. Broccoli and Ham: This mac-hack is not only easy to make, but turns your favorite comfort food into a well-rounded meal, complete with both a protein and a vegetable. Add 2 cups of broccoli florets to your pasta as it is boiling. Drain the pasta and broccoli, make the cheese sauce according to box directions, then add back in the pasta as well as some sliced ham. Mix and enjoy! (Source: Jolene M. Bouchon, The Today Show)
  5. Mac N Cheese for Breakfast (!!): Now you can turn your leftover Mac-N Cheese from last night into a delicious breakfast that will stick with you throughout the day! Heat up the Mac N Cheese from last night (or make a new batch following box directions) and add potatoes and sausage/chorizo. If you are feeling especially fancy, fry an egg and lay it on top of your mac. Serve warm and enjoy! (Source: Abby Reisner, Tasting Table)