Sunny Anderson Makes Mac & Cheese 'Funky' With These Ingredients - Exclusive

Mac and cheese is to Sunny Anderson as Beef Wellington is to Gordon Ramsay. Anderson, after all, is the Queen Mother of comfort food, and mac and cheese is comfort food's crown jewel. You may be familiar with the Food Network Star's preferred recipe: a sour-cream-heavy, three-cheese affair that combines cheddar, Colby, and pepper jack for a spicy twist to the classic dish.

The spice-cautious would do well to stick to Anderson's original recipe. Chiliphiles, however, will appreciate the culinary celeb's at-home add-ins. As the Food Network star revealed in an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, pepper jack isn't the only thing she adds to her favorite cheesy pasta for an extra kick. "Sometimes, I'll add in things like gochujang, and make it a little bit funky," she told us. "You can add into it some sriracha or any kind of chili garlic paste is fun ... Chipotle peppers in adobo, you can chop those up and add them to the mac and cheese." 

Make your mac & cheese on the grill for extra smokey flavors

Take or leave the extra spice. When it's barbecue season, however, we strongly suggest you emulate Sunny Anderson and take your mac and cheese to new levels by cooking it up grill-side. Per Anderson, she prepared her signature mac and cheese on a Santa Maria in reusable aluminum pans during "BBQ Brawl" to rave reviews. "People forget the grill is an oven. It's just outside and it's an open-air oven if you choose, but you can get the same temperatures on a grill that you can in an oven," the host of the celebrated food competition told us.

You don't have to do anything differently when preparing your favorite pasta-based comfort food on the grill. If, however, you're chasing the mouthwatering, smokey tang that BBQ season brings, leave your pan on the oven sans lid for just enough time to let the smoke in. "If you want the smoky flavor to be imparted inside the mac, it's just cooking it uncovered for some time, and then covering it up, so everything can melt and distribute and cook properly," the Food Network star advised.