Add More Richness To Boxed Mac And Cheese With Browned Butter

Bowl of mac and cheese
Bowl of mac and cheese - Pamela_d_mcadams/Getty Images

Boxed mac and cheese is delicious and comforting when simply cooked according to the instructions on the side of the package, but the nostalgic food can certainly benefit from other ingredients. There are many ways to upgrade boxed macaroni and cheese, like incorporating shredded cheese for extra cheesiness, but to really put an adult spin on the childhood favorite with richer flavor, add browned butter to the pot too.

Some popular brands call for using butter anyway because it adds flavor and creaminess to the cheese sauce — so it only makes sense to make the butter itself taste better. And if your favorite brand calls for both butter and milk, skip the milk and double the butter in your next batch. When you brown butter, it enhances the flavors and brings out nutty and mildly sweet notes that will give a richer flavor to anything, including boxed macaroni and cheese. Use unsalted butter for the best results, because you'll have more control over salt levels; salted butter is easier to burn, anyway.

Read more: 30 Popular Frozen Pizzas, Ranked Worst To Best

Combine Brown Butter With Heavy Cream And Herbs For Next-Level Boxed Mac And Cheese

Brown butter in pan
Brown butter in pan - Candice Bell/Shutterstock

If you haven't browned butter before, it's not extremely difficult but it does require a little patience. Some boxed mac and cheese instructions call for 4 tablespoons of butter, so start with that or double it if you want to skip the milk. To brown butter without burning it, place it in a pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until you see a golden-brown color and smell a nutty aroma. Don't be tempted to turn up the heat or it will burn. Combine the brown butter according to the package, most likely with the powdered cheese and any other mix-ins before you toss in the pasta.

A handful of other ingredients pair well with brown butter and elevate mac and cheese too. For anyone who prefers to combine butter and milk, try heavy cream instead for richer flavors. Fresh herbs like sage or chives will add herbiness to the rich and indulgent taste of the brown butter. The final, and ultimate, mac and cheese upgrade is to top it with freshly-grated cheese. Go with sharp cheddar, gruyere, Gouda, or parmesan for additional nuttiness. And you'll obviously want the best boxed macaroni and cheese to spruce up with brown butter, so consider our ranking of instant mac and cheese brands before you get started.

Read the original article on Tasting Table