The One Jarred Ingredient You Need For Next Level Boxed Mac And Cheese

bowls of mac and cheese
bowls of mac and cheese - Burwellphotography/Getty Images

It's okay to admit it — you've likely turned up your nose to Cheez Whiz at some point in time. We tend to see this bright yellow, drippy condiment as a topping for hot dogs, nachos, and of course, Philly cheesesteaks. So when we're trying to make a tasty, homemade meal, these jars aren't typically the first choice we're reaching for. When it comes to boxed mac and cheese, however, Cheez Whiz is a criminally misunderstood ingredient, and there's plenty of reasons you'll want to incorporate it into your next batch.

First of all, let's clear up this common misconception: We're not talking about the cans of cheese you spray like whipped cream. We're talking about jarred Cheez Whiz, which has a runny, dip-like consistency that makes it perfect for dipping, spreading, and stirring into your boxed mac and cheese. There's no need to wait for any blocks or crumbles to melt, and the consistency of the condiment blends perfectly into (and helps thicken) a creamy, gooey sauce. It's meant to be heated, as it's often used as a queso substitute or a dip when mixed with salsa. And with its savory flavor reminiscent of cheddar, jarred Cheez Whiz will bring much more cheesy goodness to the powder packet in your box.

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It's Easy To Get Cheezy

Jars of Cheez Whiz
Jars of Cheez Whiz - JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock

Cheez Whiz is already a fully formed product, so it's easy to add to your boxed mac and cheese. After you've boiled and drained your pasta, make your sauce like normal according to package instructions, which usually involve stirring a powder with milk and butter. Then microwave the Cheez Whiz (in a separate container from the jar), pausing to stir every 30 seconds, before adding it to the sauce. For a simpler option, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small pot on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently until the Cheez Whiz warms up with everything else.

Since you already have some savory flavor from the boxed powder, starting with ½ cup of Cheez Whiz should be plenty. If you try your sauce and want to up the ante even more, stir it in by the spoonful and taste as you go until you're satisfied. This jarred condiment draws on hints of Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and mustard, so feel free to add more of these ingredients to amplify the flavors. Or, go the opposite route and provide some balance with spicy, sour kimchi; crunchy breadcrumbs; or fresh, steamed broccoli. And if that mention of combining Cheez Whiz with salsa got you excited, stir a scoop into your dish for a Mexican twist.

Read the original article on Tasting Table