Turkey Day mac and cheese is so much better with these ingredient combinations.
Thanksgiving is a holiday when most people look forward to planning a menu early. You may start dreaming about favorite dishes over a month in advance—searching for the right dish, finding twists on traditional favorites and craving all the fall flavors. There are important decisions about potatoes, ham, turkey and fresh cranberry sauce recipes, choosing between cooking methods like the Instant Pot or the stovetop, as well as figuring out which kind of Thanksgiving mac and cheese you will serve.
Related: 20 Lightened-Up Thanksgiving Sides
Planning the Perfect Thanksgiving Menu
Thanksgiving menus are all about balance and indulgence—a mixture of healthy foods, comfort foods and traditional foods and how many people will be enjoying the delicious creations. A heaping spoonful of vegetables should be offset with a creamy bite of macaroni and cheese. Consider expanding your vision of what that macaroni and cheese could look like. There are so many great takes on this classic recipe and it's worth exploring the versions to prepare for your Thanksgiving spread.
Related: 21 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dishes
What To Put in Mac and Cheese
There are many ways to enjoy homemade Thanksgiving mac and cheese side dishes with a variety of ingredient combinations. Go all in with Bacon and Spicy Jalapeño Mac and Cheese or add apple and sausage slices to your baked mac and cheese to pay homage to the beautiful fall weather. If you prefer an easy, no-boil method, we have a recipe for you! Take into account some health needs too, and make keto mac and cheese or vegan mac and cheese, tweaking an original while still indulging. Adding extra ingredients to your mac will make the dish more hearty. Ham and turkey are happy to share the spotlight and allow other dishes to shine—especially when it comes to gourmet macaroni and cheese.
Don't let Thanksgiving pass by without sharing a delicious dish that does not come from a box or appear gelatinous in nature. Whether you put your Instant Pot to use, cook on the stovetop or bake your mac and cheese in the oven, there are so many delicious ways to fulfill your craving for this perfect comforting dish. Your guests will be excited to dive in and you will likely not have leftovers to move around the fridge like a jigsaw puzzle.