Blog · Eat Smart

The New Mac n’ Cheese


After a long day of classes on a dreary February day in Syracuse, nothing makes my day quite like a steaming plate of macaroni and cheese. This college staple remains popular thanks to Kraft’s Easy Mac.

However, processed versions don’t cut it. Nothing beats making it from scratch and using wholesome ingredients to make a dish truly worth savoring. I found two recipes that offer different takes on this cold weather classic. Once you try them, you’ll never go back to the blue box again!

Guy Fieri’s recipe includes bacon, garlic, shallots and thyme. He uses jack and cheddar cheese instead of your typical Swiss or American. After all of the ingredients are mixed, sprinkle Panko bread crumbs on top and bake for about 20 minutes.

David Reardon’s healthier version uses Greek yogurt, whole-wheat penne and butternut squash. Organic milk, butter and part-skim cheeses are used to reduce fat content. Squash and yogurt are pureed to create a sauce and pasta is later incorporated. Parmesan cheese is sprinkled over the mixture and is baked for 20 minutes.

After sampling these two recipes, Guy Fieri’s recipe definitely stood out. Bacon and garlic added an interesting dynamic to plain, traditional macaroni and cheese. Greek yogurt is an acquired taste and isn’t for everyone. Butternut squash is a little bland and needs other ingredients to enhance its flavor. Both recipes were delicious takes on a classic recipe. If you’re feeling like the next Food Network Star, take a study break and shock your taste buds!