With macaroni and cheese holding onto the title of America’s favorite pasta dish, it’s a smart platform for chefs to play with. “We’re seeing this in all manner of formats, from plant-forward versions, a-little-bit-healthier takes to over-the-top indulgent with global spins,” says Yury Krasilovsky, Executive Chef with Barilla America.
Here are a few examples of how to serve up trend-forward profiles while still keeping the promise of soulful, comforting mac and cheese.
Filipino Beef Adobo Mac & Cheese
Toronto Chef Oliver Tan created a richly flavored mac and cheese with slow-cooked beef adobo and blue cheese, garnished with fried garlic and Hawaiian sweet-roll crumbs (see photo above).
Why it works: It delivers indulgent comfort food straight from the pub, with deep blue-cheese flavor and added umami from on-trend Filipino adobo.
Cajun Mac & Cheese Waffles with Southern Fried Chicken
This Cajun-spiced mac and cheese, created by Chef Zoe Adelstein of Providence, R.I., has bits of andouille sausage and red pepper, and is baked in a waffle iron for a unique take.
Why it works: Because chicken and waffles, for starters. It’s also a unique delivery system for mac and cheese, ready for its Instagram moment.
“Eat your veggies” Mac & Cheese
Carrots, butternut squash and Yukon potatoes are puréed into the cheese sauce, which is a mix of cheddar and Parmesan.
Why it works: Stealth-health in action—hidden vegetables for built-in parent approval, with the familiar color and flavor that kids crave.
Visit barillafoodservicerecipes.com for more pasta inspiration.