The Impressive Way To Serve Mac And Cheese At A Dinner Party

Creamy, gooey, and cheesy — mac and cheese ticks all the boxes for warm, hearty comfort food. And if you're a mac and cheese lover, you're probably not alone since the dish even has its own holiday to be celebrated by many fans on July 14, according to Forbes

Perhaps the reason for the pasta's popularity is its versatility — mac and cheese can be made in many ways, from a casserole dish in your oven to a store-bought box with powdered cheese on the stove. If the latter sounds unappetizing, don't knock it until you try it. Instant mac and cheese can be pretty delicious, with Annie's Homegrown, Kraft, and Trader Joe's being some of our favorite brands.

But if you'd rather stick to homemade, there are many ways to jazz up a mac and cheese recipe. Why not add a little protein like tuna, ground beef, or cut-up hot dogs? Or give your rich pasta some color, and throw in some peas, tomato, or broccoli (via Busy Budgeter).

If you're really trying to impress a crowd, The Chunky Chef advises shredding your own cheese, as grocery store bags of shredded cheese contain ingredients that prevent optimal melting. And for a cute, personable serving idea, try cooking your mac and cheese in small individual dishes.

Bake and serve mac and cheese in individual portions

Imagine showing up to a dinner party, and your host serves you a perfectly portioned amount of mac and cheese in your own charming little dish. Even better, it comes with mix-ins and toppings that they know only you like. The Kitchn shares that serving individually baked mac and cheese is a simple tip that elevates any dinner party and can make your guests feel at home. 

If you've got ramekins in your cupboard, you have all you need to separate the pasta into portions, and then you can slide them into the oven until they bake, melt, and golden to your liking. Soon, your guests will have individual access to the crispy crust and the gooey center of the dish. However, Just a Pinch notes you can also use a soup crock or a smaller gratin dish.

Even better, you can customize each helping of pasta to the preferences of the guest. Got a vegetarian coming over? Stick to mix-ins like jalapeno, spinach, or peas. For your carnivore friends, feel free to toss in pepperoni, sausage, hot dogs, or whatever else they like. 

If you're feeling extra decadent, Ina Garten's recipe for individual mac and cheese uses lobster, Gruyère and cheddar cheeses, and white bread crumbs, per The Food Network. While any homemade mac and cheese is sure to be delicious, baking and serving it in separate dishes may make it even more delightful.