The mass shooting events that have occurred over the last two weeks have left us gutted. While are trying to process our own grief, anger and overwhelming emotions, many of us are also talking to our kids about the tragedies to help them process their fear and anxiety. And all the while, we are trying to hold it all together and feed our families every single day. This is the week that you are 100% allowed to serve all the comfort food you need, which I why I am sharing these recipes for macaroni and cheese again. Because sometimes a warm bowl of cheesy goodness can start to help the healing from the inside out.

While I am fully supportive of the grocery store kit because it soooo easy to make if you want to get your kids in the kitchen with you and spend sometime together making the real deal, these decadent mac and cheese recipes are where it’s at. With ingredients like truffles, lobster, and gnocchi, these recipes take our favorite comfort food dish to a whole new level.

Related: Another free download we wish we didn’t need: A Kids Book About School Shootings

To start off, let’s get a handle on homemade mac and cheese basics. If you’ve never made the stuff from scratch or you’re just worried that it won’t turn out well, start by checking out these 5 mistakes to avoid when making mac and cheese from our friends at The Kitchn. These super helpful tips will help you achieve mac and cheesy nirvana. (Yes, there is such a place. I’ve been there and it’s as good as it sounds.)

 -This post has been updated for 2022 –

Easy dinner tonight: Classic Baked Mac and Cheese | I Heart Eating
With some basics under your belt, you can jump right into simple decadence with this super fast and easy Creamy Instant Mac and Cheese from Family Fresh Meals.  In less than 15 minutes this Mac and Cheese is not only a great weeknight meal, it’s a fast after school snack when your kids hit the door and may need to just sit on the couch for a while with a bowl of cheesy comfort.


Holy moly, this Butternut Squash and Beer Mac and Cheese looks amazing! | Brooklyn Suppers
Whoa! The seriously upgraded flavors of this Butternut Squash and Beer Mac and Cheese at Brooklyn Supper might make this a new favorite in my house. It has a lot of tang from the white pepper and IPA, and the addition of butternut squash makes it extra smooth and creamy. Beyond delicious.

Related: Five more weeknight comfort food recipes

Easy, decadent Bacon and Gnocchi Mac & Cheese. Yessss! | Fox Valley Foodie
This Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with Bacon at Fox Valley Foodie proves that mac and cheese doesn’t always have to be made with macaroni noodles – so I guess this recipe would be called “gnoch and cheese”? And also bacon is also known as instant comfort right?

Related: Classic Italian American recipes: The ultimate comfort food.

Decadent Mac and Cheese Recipes: Vegan Green Chili Mac ‘n’ Cheese from Minimalist Baker

Vegan mac and cheese? Yes, it exists! We found this recipe for  Vegan Green Chili Mac ‘n’ Cheese at Minimalist Baker and are seriously impressed with the decadent creaminess she yields from cashews. Plus, a load of Mexican spices and chilis give this one some kick that even non-vegans will love.

Take mac & cheese to a new level with Spicy Bacon, Mushroom and Truffles Mac & Cheese, which can be made gluten-free too! | Bless Her Heart Y'all
This gluten-free recipe for Spicy Bacon, Mushroom, and Truffle Oil Mac and Cheese at Bless Her Heart Y’all takes mac and cheese to a whole other level. Of course, you can tweak the “spicy” part however you want and even go with not-gluten-free pasta if you prefer. Any way you dish it up, this one looks so over-the-top good.

Decadent Mac and Cheese recipes: Cheesy Shrimp and Lobster Penne from Kitchen Joy
This Shrimp and Lobster Mac and Cheese at Kitchen Joy shows you how to make decadent lobster mac and cheese you may find at a fancy restaurant. If lobster is a not accessible or too spendy, just skip it. It’s still a very soul-filling meal. This one is seriously rich though—a little goes a long way.

Related: How to cook with frozen shrimp, plus 8 kid-friendly, super-fast shrimp dinner recipes.

Homemade mac and cheese in the microwave? Yes, it's possible and so much better than the stuff from a box | The Kitchn
I know that we’re supposed to be talking decadent mac and cheese recipes, but how could I round up a bunch of recipes without giving you a realistic, decadent-by-comparison box alternative that you can whip up any night of the week? I couldn’t, which is why I have to include this handy guide on how to make mac and cheese in the microwave at The Kitchn.

Top Image: Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash