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Doctored Mac and Cheese Recipes Under $10

By: Danielle Zimmerman, Editor, CheapThriftyLiving
Updated March 01, 2018
Doctored Mac and Cheese Recipes Under 10

Mac and cheese is a staple of American childhood. We are a nation of cheese heads (here’s a nod to you, Wisconsin) and consume ungodly amounts of cheese each year, so it’s no surprise that we love this quick dinner idea.

After you’ve mastered the basic steps of making this all-time favorite – boil water, add cheese, stir – you can change things up by adding budget-friendly ingredients. Adding a little meat and flavor takes your mac from basic dinner to total winner. Sometimes, you’re just hungry and you need a little something more! One pot recipes like mac and cheese save the day by filling you up without a lot of extra work. Baked Mac and Cheese is amazing, but sometimes there’s not enough time.

Our doctored mac and cheese recipes will show you how to do just that. We were inspired by everyday comfort foods like tacos, ham and cheese, turkey pot pies, and tuna. These are the perfect recipes to cap off a long day when you don’t want to spend a lot of time or money, but you’re craving a home cooked meal. Best of all? These are truly cheap eats at under $10 per family meal.

Check out these cheesy, easy mac and cheese recipes. Your wallet will thank you.

Note: All of these recipes would do well if, before serving, you combine the ingredients into a small casserole dish and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. For the recipes with breadcrumbs, you could turn the broiler on.

Taco Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients
1 box of regular Kraft macaroni and cheese
1/2 lb. ground beef, lean
1 package taco seasoning

Instructions

  1. Prepare your macaroni and cheese according to the directions on the box.
  2. As you’re preparing your macaroni and cheese, brown your ground beef. After you’re done browning, drain the grease and replace the pan on the stove.
  3. Follow the directions on the back of the taco seasoning packet, combining the seasoning with the ground beef.
  4. Once you’ve finished preparing your macaroni and cheese and the seasoned ground beef is done cooking, combine and serve.

Ham and Cheese Mac Recipe

Ingredients
1 box of regular Kraft macaroni and cheese
~3 oz. ham (deli or thick sliced; leftovers also work well)
1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
Shredded cheddar cheese to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare your macaroni and cheese according to the directions on the box.
  2. Slice your ham into small pieces. We used about 3 ounces, but feel free to prepare as much ham as you’d like.
  3. Once you’ve finished preparing your macaroni and cheese, mix in ham. Then, add bread crumbs (and extra cheese if you’d like) and combine thoroughly. Serve.

Turkey Pot Pie Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients
1 box of regular Kraft macaroni and cheese
~3 oz. turkey (deli or thick sliced; leftovers also work well)
~8 oz. frozen vegetable blend (carrots, peas, green beans), to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare your macaroni and cheese according to the directions on the box.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat your vegetable blend like normal.
  3. While your macaroni and cheese and vegetables are cooking, slice your turkey into small pieces. We used about 3 ounces, but feel free to prepare as much turkey as you’d like.
  4. Once you’ve finished preparing your macaroni and cheese and your vegetable blend is heated through, mix in turkey and vegetable blend. Serve.

Tuna Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients
1 box of white cheddar Kraft macaroni and cheese
2 – 5oz. cans of tuna
~8 oz. frozen peas (use more or less to taste)
1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Prepare your macaroni and cheese according to the directions on the box.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat your peas like normal.
  3. Once you’ve finished preparing your macaroni and cheese and your peas are heated through, combine all ingredients. Serve.

Which mac and cheese recipe would you try?

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I'm convinced that, if there is a heaven, it will be full of mac and cheese. There are some fantastic add-in ideas here and I can't wait to try them!

My boyfriend eats tuna and mac and cheese together, but I can't get past the smell of tuna. It's just not my thing. I would love to try some of the other recipes though!

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