How Alton Brown Upgraded His Most Popular Good Eats Recipe

Macaroni and cheese can be made in a thousand different ways. Add the best cheeses, incorporate lobster, tuna, or garlic, or eat it naked — just shells and cheese (via Taste Wise). This comfort food favorite is deliciously gooey and ultra-creamy. It is enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish.

Cheese and milk ratios are important when creating the ultimate mac and cheese dish. Too little milk and you end up with dry noodles; too much, and you end up with cheese soup. If you have attempted to make homemade mac and cheese, you may have run across Alton Brown's stovetop mac and cheese recipe. After all, it is the most popular vegetarian "Good Eats" recipe of all time (via Alton Brown).

As if this popular recipe wasn't good enough, the chef amps it up by placing a few additional ingredients into the mix. These elements add delicious flavor and texture to the otherwise creamy dish. What are these special additions? Keep reading to find out.

Alton Brown adds vegetation

Alton Brown elevates his savory stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe in this YouTube video by adding vegetation. Fresh spinach, extra cheese, and spices deliver a new bursting flavor to the famous dish. The "Good Eats" recipe calls for shredded cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, unsalted butter, brown mustard, feta, fresh spinach, kosher salt, and Aleppo pepper. This type of pepper is named after a city in Northern Syria and may be challenging to find. If that's the case, he recommends going with Urfa Biber pepper, a Turkish spice with a similar flavor.

Take note not to drain the pasta in this recipe. Cook the noodles until most of the water is absorbed, then use the remaining starchy water for cooking the spinach until it wilts. Incorporate the butter, milk, and egg into the mixture and continue stirring to create a silky smooth sauce. Finally, remove the dish from the heat and add the cheese.

The "Good Eats" chef chose a superstar of a vegetable to add to his mac and cheese recipe. According to Healthline, spinach contains vitamins and minerals essential to fighting oxidative stress, supporting eye health, and may help regulate blood pressure. Thank you, chef!