Save on Pinterest

75 Ways to Cook Elbow Macaroni

There isn't a pantry staple more versatile than a box of elbow macaroni for meals that are easy, filling and budget-friendly.

1 / 75
Pasta Fagioli SoupTaste of Home

Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband enjoys my version of this dish so much that he doesn’t order it at restaurants anymore. With fresh spinach, pasta and seasoned sausage, this fast-to-fix soup is a meal on its own. —Brenda Thomas, Springfield, Missouri

2 / 75
Skillet Mac & Cheese

Skillet Mac & Cheese

This super creamy mac 'n' cheese is so simple it seems almost too easy! Kids really go for the rich cheese flavor, but I've never met an adult who didn't love it too. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas

3 / 75
Macaroni ColeslawTaste of Home

Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota

4 / 75
Chili MacTaste of Home

Chili Mac

This chili mac has regularly appeared on my family menus for more than 40 years, and it's never failed to please at potlucks and bring-a-dish gatherings. Sometimes I turn it into soup by adding a can of beef broth. —Marie Posavec, Berwyn, Illinois

5 / 75
Hoosier ChiliThe musical "Waitress"

Hoosier Chili

This chili is a little sweeter than other recipes I’ve tasted, but I like it that way. It reminds me of the chili my mom used to make. —Jeanne Boberg, Muncie, Indiana

6 / 75
Chicken and Sausage Stew

Chicken and Sausage Stew

I enjoy cooking for family and friends, but I don't want to break the bank. That's why I frequently rely on delicious one-pot meals like this.—Ernest Foster, Climax, New York

7 / 75
Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese

Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese

Prep once and feed the family twice when you double this chicken mac and cheese and freeze half of it. I created it for the people I love most, using ingredients they love most. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida

8 / 75
Confetti Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Confetti Macaroni Salad

The bits of bright red and green in this easy macaroni salad remind me of fun confetti. The inspiration for the dish came from a recipe I found in a church cookbook when I was a young writer responsible for a newspaper’s food section. —Renee Page, Rochelle, Illinois

9 / 75
Chili Mac Casserole Exps Dsbz17 15634 C01 13 1b 6

Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota

10 / 75
Mac ‘N’ Cheese SoupThe musical "Waitress"

Mac ‘N’ Cheese Soup

“I found this recipe a few years ago and made a few changes to suit our tastes,” says Nancy Daugherty of Cortland, Ohio. “We love this creamy soup. Because it starts with a package of macaroni and cheese, it’s ready in a jiffy.”

11 / 75
Sweet Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida

12 / 75
Baked Macaroni N Cheese PizzaTaste of Home

Baked Macaroni N Cheese Pizza

This mac n cheese pizza combines my kids’ two favorite foods. Experiment with other pizza toppings such as sausage or diced green peppers. —Andrew McDowell, Lake Villa, Illinois

13 / 75
Jalapeno Mac and CheeseTaste of Home

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

Many years ago after I had had knee surgery, a friend brought me a big casserole of mac and cheese along with the recipe. I have fiddled with the recipe over the years, most recently adding jalapenos at the request of my son. What an awesome spicy twist! —Teresa Gustafson, Elkton, Maryland

14 / 75
De-Lightful Tuna CasseroleTaste of Home

De-Lightful Tuna Casserole

This mild, homemade tuna casserole will truly satisfy your family's craving for comfort food without all the fat! —Colleen Willey, Hamburg, New York

15 / 75
Vegan Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Vegan Macaroni Salad

All the classic flavors come through in this vegan macaroni salad, from the pickle relish to the ground mustard. The only thing you’ll be missing is leftovers! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

16 / 75
Company Mac and CheeseTaste of Home

Company Mac and Cheese

This is by far the creamiest, tastiest and most special macaroni and cheese I have ever tried. I’m not usually a fan of the homemade kind, but when a friend served this mac and cheese with cream cheese, I had to have the recipe. Since it’s so little fuss and well received, it’s a terrific potluck dish. —Catherine Odgen, Middlegrove, New York

17 / 75
Hawaiian Chicken Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Hawaiian Chicken Macaroni Salad

I usually make this Hawaiian macaroni salad out of leftover chicken. The sweet pineapple complements the crisp celery, green beans and almonds in this flavorful, well-dressed salad. —Margie Dearth, Fremont, Wisconsin

18 / 75
Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese Cornbread SkilletTaste of Home

Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese Cornbread Skillet

My cast-iron skillet is a workhorse in my kitchen. I just love it for cooking and baking. And this cast-iron mac and cheese recipe can be served as a main dish or as a smaller-portion side. —Lisa Keys, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

19 / 75
Skillet TacosTaste of Home

Skillet Tacos

This fast and healthy alternative to traditional tacos has a delicious southwestern flair. The fact that is comes together in just 30 minutes makes it even more irresistible. —Maria Gobel, Greenfield, Wisconsin

20 / 75
Potluck Macaroni and CheeseTaste of Home

Potluck Macaroni and Cheese

You'll always have a winner at the potluck when you bring macaroni and cheese. Here's an extra-rich, creamy version for the slow cooker. —Jennifer Blondek, Chicopee, Massachusetts

21 / 75
Bacon Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana

22 / 75
Vegan Mac and CheeseTaste of Home

Vegan Mac and Cheese

The combination of soaked cashews and nutritional yeast creates a savory sauce for this vegan mac and cheese. The cashews don’t blend up completely smooth, but will have a fine texture even after processing, which helps the sauce cling to the noodles. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

23 / 75
Country Bacon-Beef Mac and CheeseTaste of Home

Country Bacon-Beef Mac and Cheese

Wow. Meaty slow cooker mac and cheese is easy to make, very tasty and kids love it! —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

24 / 75
Minestrone with Turkey

Minestrone with Turkey

I remember my mom making this soup; now I make it for my kids as often as I can. It's a good way to use up leftover vegetables. Sometimes I add a can of rinsed and drained kidney or garbanzo beans. —Angela Goodman, Kaneohe, Hawaii

25 / 75
Cashew Chicken Casserole

Cashew Chicken Casserole

I especially like this dish because I can get it ready the day before I need it. It's easy to whip up with common pantry items, including macaroni, canned soup and saltine crackers. —Julie Ridlon, Solway, Minnesota

26 / 75
Southwestern CasseroleTaste of Home

Southwestern Casserole

I've been making this mild family-pleasing southwest casserole recipe for years. It tastes wonderful, fits nicely into our budget and, best of all, makes a second one to freeze and enjoy later. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

27 / 75
Sicilian Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Sicilian Mac & Cheese

To give our mac and cheese a Sicilian touch, we mix sausage, basil and fennel with three cheeses for an incredibly comforting casserole. —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, California

28 / 75
Dinner in a BagTaste of Home

Dinner in a Bag

I get a head start on this family-pleasing dinner by assembling ready-to-grab pantry kits. I measure dry macaroni and the spice mixture into separate containers, storing them in a paper bag with canned tomatoes. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

29 / 75
Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

This minestrone soup recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon

30 / 75
Easy Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Easy Macaroni Salad

This hearty pasta salad is sure to please appetites of all ages—and it serves a lot of folks! —LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota

31 / 75
Mini Mac & Cheese BitesTaste of Home

Mini Mac & Cheese Bites

Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. Instead, the adults devoured my mini mac and cheese. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New York

32 / 75
Philly-Style Mac and CheeseTaste of Home

Philly-Style Mac and Cheese

My son loves macaroni and cheese, and I’m always looking for ways to sneak in some veggies. This version is a huge hit! —Jennifer Berry, Lexington, Ohio

33 / 75
Skillet Beef and MacaroniTaste of Home

Skillet Beef and Macaroni

I found this simple skillet recipe many years ago on a can label. I made some tweaks, and my family loved it. Because it’s so easy to put together, it’s a real timesaver for people with super busy schedules. —Maxine Neuhauser, Arcadia, California

34 / 75
Cashew Chicken Casserole

Cashew Chicken Casserole

I especially like this dish because I can get it ready the day before I need it. It’s easy to whip up with common pantry items, including macaroni, canned soup and saltine crackers. —Julie Ridlon, Solway, Minnesota

35 / 75
Mom's Macaroni and CheeseTaste of Home

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

The wonderful homemade goodness of this creamy Velveeta mac and cheese makes it a staple side dish in my mother's kitchen and in mine as well. It has tender noodles and a crowd-pleasing golden crumb topping. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina

36 / 75
Spinach Beef Macaroni Bake

Spinach Beef Macaroni Bake

This hearty casserole is great for a family reunion or church supper. I've also made half the recipe for family gatherings. It's become a special favorite of my grandson-in-law and great-grandson, who often ask me to serve it when they're visiting. —Lois Lauppe, Lahoma, Oklahoma

37 / 75
Southwestern GoulashTaste of Home

Southwestern Goulash

I had some extra cilantro in the fridge and didn't want to throw it away. Instead, I came up with this delightful and filling family recipe. Everyone just loved it! —Vikki Rebholz, West Chester, Ohio

38 / 75
Turkey Cordon Bleu CasseroleTaste of Home

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole

Impress your holiday visitors with this fancier twist on the traditional casserole. —Kristine Blauert, Wabasha, Minnesota

39 / 75
Potluck Ham and Pasta

Potluck Ham and Pasta

This easy meal-in-one dish is a real crowd-pleaser on chilly nights. Because it bakes in two pans, you could freeze one for later, depending on your needs. It’s creamy, and filling and has a wonderful ham-and-cheese flavor. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania

40 / 75
Veggie Macaroni & CheeseTaste of Home

Veggie Macaroni & Cheese

This creamy mac and cheese definitely doesn't come from a box! Fresh veggies add crunch and color and will leave everyone saying, "More, please!" —Marsha Morril, Harrisburg, Oregon

41 / 75
Quick Chili MacTaste of Home

Quick Chili Mac

This combines chili with one of my favorite pasta dishes. I often serve it for company or potlucks and occasionally add taco seasoning or use beanless chili and add black beans. —Lee Steinmetz, Lansing, Michigan

42 / 75
Pulled Pork ParfaitTaste of Home

Pulled Pork Parfait

I tried a version of this meaty parfait at Miller Park, home of my favorite baseball team, the Brewers. I take it up a notch by layering in corn and creamy mac and cheese, so it truly is a full barbecue meal you can take on the go. —Rachel Seis, Senior Editor, Taste of Home Magazine

43 / 75
Easy Slow-Cooker Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Easy Slow-Cooker Mac & Cheese

My sons always say I'm the best mom in the world when I make this creamy mac-and-cheese perfection. Does it get any better than that? —Heidi Fleek, Hamburg, Pennsylvania

44 / 75
Summer Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Summer Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this summer pasta salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland

45 / 75
Italian Three-Cheese MacaroniTaste of Home

Italian Three-Cheese Macaroni

My husband is a self-proclaimed mac-and-cheese connoisseur and says that this is his favorite version. The Italian seasoning and tomatoes really complement the pasta and cheeses. —Adriane Mummert, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

46 / 75
Baked Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese

Even people who have had their own homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe for years ask for mine when they taste this crumb-topped version. For the best baked mac and cheese, use extra-sharp white cheddar cheese for more flavor. —Shelby Thompson of Dover, Delaware

47 / 75
Slow-Cooked Minestrone SoupTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Minestrone Soup

When this colorful minestrone has about 30 minutes left to cook, I add the macaroni. Then there's time to make some garlic bread and a simple salad. —Kara de la Vega, Santa Rosa, California

48 / 75
Mexi-Mac Skillet

Mexi-Mac Skillet

This is the yummiest, quickest recipe I have. There’s no need to precook the macaroni. Everything comes together in one smart skillet. —Maurane Ramsey, Fort Wayne, Indiana

49 / 75
BLT Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

BLT Macaroni Salad

A friend served this BLT pasta salad, and I just had to get the recipe. My husband loves BLT sandwiches, so this has become a favorite of his. It's nice to serve on hot and humid days, which we frequently get during summer here in Virginia. —Mrs. Hamilton Myers Jr., Charlottesville, Virginia

50 / 75
Judy's Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Judy's Macaroni Salad

After finding this vintage macaroni salad recipe years ago, I tweaked the flavor and bumped up the pickles. Tuck this dill pickle pasta salad inside your picnic basket. —Elizabeth Kirchgatter, Maysville, Kentucky

51 / 75
Bean Counter ChowderTaste of Home

Bean Counter Chowder

This hearty chowder is one of our favorite vegetarian dishes. Loaded with beans, noodles and bright herbs, it's so comforting on a chilly day. —Vivian Haen, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

52 / 75
Spicy GoulashTaste of Home

Spicy Goulash

Ground cumin, chili powder and a can of Mexican diced tomatoes jazz up my goulash recipe. Even the elbow macaroni is prepared in the slow cooker. —Melissa Polk, West Lafayette, Indiana

53 / 75
Makeover Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' CheeseTaste of Home

Makeover Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' Cheese

This recipe is a clear example of comfort food at its finest; it's rich, hearty and extra cheesy. And because it's made in the slow cooker, it's also extremely easy. —Shelby Molina, Whitewater, Wisconsin

54 / 75
My Mother's Mac and CheeseTaste of Home

My Mother's Mac and Cheese

I remember my mother sending me to the store for 15 cents worth of cheese. The butcher would cut off a slice from a gigantic wheel covered with a wax-coated cloth. Mother would then blend that cheese into this tasty dish. Today, the memory of her cooking is like food for my soul. —Phyllis Burkland, Portland, Oregon

55 / 75
Makeover Creamy Macaroni and CheeseTaste of Home

Makeover Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

With its creamy consistency and two different cheeses, this entree captures the essence of comfort food. But here's the kicker: it's been slimmed down for you so you can enjoy it without over indulging. —Darcie Zerniak, Ontario, New York

56 / 75
Cheeseburger Skillet DinnerTaste of Home

Cheeseburger Skillet Dinner

This skillet dinner is doubly quick. The leftovers-if there are any-can be reheated to make a second meal as tasty as the first. —Karen Grimes, Stephens City, Virginia

57 / 75
Quick Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Quick Macaroni Salad

You can’t go wrong with this time-tested winner. Here it is pared down for two.—Carma Blosser, Livermore, Colorado

58 / 75
Meatless Chili MacTaste of Home

Meatless Chili Mac

I came across this recipe in a newspaper years ago and it’s been a hit at our house ever since. It’s fast and flavorful, and it appeals to all ages. — Cindy Ragan, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

59 / 75
Asparagus Tuna Noodle CasseroleTaste of Home

Asparagus Tuna Noodle Casserole

I updated a traditional tuna casserole using fresh asparagus and asparagus soup. This is so different and so delicious. Use frozen asparagus when fresh is not in season. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

60 / 75
Best Ever Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Best Ever Mac & Cheese

To make this amazing mac, I make a sauce loaded with three different cheeses to toss with the noodles. When baked, it's gooey goodness with a crunchy topping that...don't get me started! —Beth Jacobson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

61 / 75
Bacon Macaroni SaladTaste of Home

Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana

62 / 75
Over-the-Top Mac 'n' CheeseTaste of Home

Over-the-Top Mac 'n' Cheese

This delicious dish is the ultimate comfort food. A blend of five cheeses, it makes a beautiful entree or a special side. I served it at our Thanksgiving dinner, and it received rave reviews. —Connie L McDowell, Greenwood, Delaware

63 / 75
Broccoli Mac & Cheese BakeTaste of Home

Broccoli Mac & Cheese Bake

My husband made a version of this casserole for me on our first date. Over the 11 years we’ve been married, we’ve made several changes to the ingredients and now it’s even better than the original. —Lisa DeMarsh, Mount Solon, Virginia

64 / 75
Beefy Noodle CasseroleTaste of Home

Beefy Noodle Casserole

When life calls for a potluck dish or family event, we stir up a batch of beef and noodles. That’s our cheesy, bubbly comfort food. —Susan Lavery, McKinney, TX

65 / 75
Slow-Cooker Mac and CheeseTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese

What could be more comforting (or easy!) than a Crock-Pot mac and cheese? Nothing! This classic casserole is a rich and cheesy meatless main dish, and I've never met anyone who didn't ask for second helpings of the cheesy slow cooker dish. —Bernice Glascoe, Roxboro, North Carolina

66 / 75
Chicken Florentine CasseroleTaste of Home

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Creamy and comforting, this chicken and spinach bake is sure to be a hit at dinnertime. The toasty bread crumb topping delivers a bit of a crunch. —Dori Jackson, Gulf Breeze, Florida

67 / 75
Homey Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Homey Mac & Cheese

I also call this "my grandson's mac and cheese." Zachary has been to Iraq and Afghanistan with both the Marines and Navy, and I've been privileged to make his favorite casserole for him for over 20 years. —Alice Beardsell, Osprey, Florida

68 / 75
stovetop macaroni and cheeseTaste of Home

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

When I was a girl, Mama used Texas longhorn cheese in this recipe. After it melted all over the macaroni, I loved to dig in and see how many strings of cheese would follow my spoonful. —Imogene Hutton, Brownwood, Texas

69 / 75
Macaroni and Cheese Soup

Macaroni and Cheese Soup

I have worked in the food service industry for too many years to count and have made this one-of-a-kind soup at many different jobs. It's always been a big hit. —Emma Head, Sunrise Beach, Missouri

70 / 75
Salami & Provolone Pasta SaladTaste of Home

Salami & Provolone Pasta Salad

Everyone needs a perfect pasta salad that’s easy to make, especially on busy nights when your family wants a dish that’s fast, light and cool. This is just the thing. —Jill Donley, Warsaw, Indiana

71 / 75
Makeover Creamy Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

Makeover Creamy Mac & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese just may be king of the comfort foods. This sensational version is bubbling with creamy goodness—but is lighter on calories. —April Taylor, Holcomb, Kansas

72 / 75
Turkey Chili with PastaTaste of Home

Turkey Chili with Pasta

Some may call it witches’ stew, but we think this hearty chili is the ultimate comfort food. It’s a perfect warmer on chilly autumn nights. —Pat Schmeling, Germantown, Wisconsin

73 / 75
Buttermilk Mac 'n' CheeseTaste of Home

Buttermilk Mac 'n' Cheese

Once you taste this version of an all-time favorite comfort food, you may never make the regular kind again. It's my most-requested recipe. —Donna Fancher, Lawrence, Indiana

74 / 75
Pepperoni MacaroniTaste of Home

Pepperoni Macaroni

An everyday pasta bake gets jazzed up with pepperoni, sausage and olives. Because it can be assembled ahead of time and baked right before serving, it’s my handy go-to when I need something on the fly. —Marlene Mohr, Cincinnati, Ohio

75 / 75
PastitsioTaste of Home

Pastitsio

Guests always seem to gobble up this authentic Greek beef and pasta casserole. The creamy white sauce is delicious. —Amanda Briggs, Greenfield, Wisconsin

 

Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."

Popular Videos