The Secret Ingredient For Elevated Boxed Mac And Cheese Is An Essential Soup Mix

Boxed mac and cheese is a delicious and convenient meal all on its own, but it is also a fantastic foundation upon which to add ingredients in order to make your own unique dish. Whether you are a fan of the classic tuna and peas combo or prefer a spicy green chili mac and cheese, customization is always fun — though the extra work can sometimes negate the initial simplicity of making dinner from a box. We have a way to get the best of both worlds, however. For an innovative meal without the fuss, just add a bit of French onion soup mix.

French onion soup mix is a handy ingredient that can be used in many different ways. It's a dry seasoning blend that contains all the basic flavors found in the famous dish of the same name. Almost every version of the mix contains a combination of crystallized beef bouillon and onion flakes, along with essential seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, and dried herbs. 

Stirring a packet of soup mix into your steaming hot mac and cheese imparts a rich umami taste and a depth of flavor that will instantly make it more complex and nuanced. The result is a mac and cheese that has, in seconds, been transformed from a nostalgic childhood meal to a sophisticated and memorable dish you will want to recreate every single week.

Other creative additions for flavorful mac and cheese

Adding French onion soup mix to your mac and cheese is also a great opportunity to further amp up the simple pasta dish and make it taste closer to homemade. There are many different variations to consider based on how much more effort you wish to put into your preparation. Those who want to keep things low maintenance can freshen up the mac and cheese by stirring in ingredients such as fresh parsley, thyme, or a spoonful of minced garlic. If you are ready to put in a bit more work, making some foolproof caramelized onions will add big bursts of savory flavor and satisfying texture.

You can also give your mac and cheese a restaurant-worthy feel by topping it off with quick and easy garnishes. French onion soup is often served with croutons or chunks of toasted bread floating on the surface, as well as a large amount of gooey, melted cheese. Recreate this experience by finishing your boxed mac and cheese with some store-bought croutons or crispy breadcrumbs, or by sprinkling it with shredded gruyère cheese and sticking it under a broiler for just a few minutes until it's bubbly.