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A lot of stories claim that mac and cheese was created by Thomas Jefferson, Marco Polo or the cooks of China. My favorite theory? An Italian housewife invented it to introduce non-Italian Americans to macaroni. —Stephanie Sorbie, Glendale, Arizona
People compare my version of mac'n'cheese to their grandma's macaroni and cheese...not knowing it starts out with a purchase box mix. Ham and broccoli add flavor and color. It brings raves at our church socials.—Janet Twigg, Campbellford, Ontario
We took advantage of the leftover Cheddar Cheese Sauce to prepare this comforting casserole from reader Phyllis Schmalz. The Kansas City, Kansas cook coats macaroni, ham and chopped onion with the creamy mixture before popping the much-loved combination into the oven to bake.
"I do most of the cooking for our family of eight," writes teenager Tiffanie Froese of Athena, Oregon. "Here is a hearty main dish that's a family favorite. It's a breeze to fix with boxed macaroni and cheese mix, and it tastes delicious."
It's a snap to stir together this zesty macaroni and cheese dish, thanks to the Mexican-seasoned process cheese sauce. "If your family prefers a little less zip, use the original flavor for equally satisfying results," adds Sandy Buchanan of Lake Alfred, Florida.
"Our two grandsons love macaroni and cheese," writes Perlene Hoekema of Lynden, Washington. "When they're hungry, I can have this tasty variation - with little sausages that are just their size - ready in about 20 minutes."
This recipe, shared by Lois McAtee of Oceanside, California, shows you can watch your diet and still enjoy down-home country cooking. "The herbs make it different from other macaroni and cheese recipes," she notes.