How to Make Velveeta Mac and Cheese Taste Better to Take That Box Up a Notch

pot of Velveeta Mac and Cheese Taste Better

Velveeta Mac and Cheese is a great pantry staple to have around the house for busy nights or comforting meals. But of course, it doesn’t taste homemade. So, how do you make Velveeta Mac and Cheese taste better? It’s easy with a few simple tricks that won’t take long to do.

This creamy box mix is prepared on your stovetop. While that will yield something tasty, it’s not exactly like Mom always made. You can enhance things by adding it to your casserole dish, topping it with breadcrumbs and more cheese, and broiling it for a few minutes. That’s one simple fix that may fool everyone into thinking you spent hours cooking it.

Regardless of which way you want to cook it, though, these handy tips will show you how to make Velveeta Mac and Cheese taste better.


Throw in some hot dogs

If you’re feeding hungry kids, hot dogs are one of the easiest ways to please them. This addition will also make adults happy too. It’s delicious and comforting and makes it more of a one-dish meal in a pinch.


Or turn to something from the sea

Canned tuna is another fast way to add protein to your Velveeta Mac and Cheese box mix. You’ll want to use tuna packed in water and drain it, then add it to your cooked mac and cheese for a stovetop version of a tuna casserole.

If you hate tuna casserole, there are other ways to elevate your boxed Velveeta Mac and Cheese with gems from the sea. Cooked shrimp, crab meat, or hunks of lobster are all simply scrumptious ways to take this budget item from your pantry and turn it into an epicurean creation!


Try some peas

Cook frozen peas with the mac on your stovetop, and you’ll have a delicious veggie-infused version of this classic comfort food. They go so well with that rich and cheesy sauce that even little ones won’t turn up their button noses at this addition to your Velveeta Mac and Cheese.


Elevate with meats

baking sheet of bacon

Use up those ham leftovers and make your Velveeta Mac and Cheese taste better. Ham is a beautiful match for that creamy cheddar cheese sauce. Bacon and ground beef work wonders too, so you’ll have a filling one-pot meal that everyone wants to eat.


Go classic with tomatoes

Pasta with cheese sauce or tomato sauce? Why choose when you can combine them? Chop up fresh tomatoes and throw them in at the end with the cheese sauce. You can also use a can of diced tomatoes. Got one with chilies in it? Even better for mac and cheese with a feisty kick!


Spice up your life

Be a total spice girl or boy, and add some jalapeno peppers in there. The kids may find this one too extreme, but the grownups will be back for more. Or roast some bell peppers first, then dice them up for a flavorful boxed mac and cheese that doesn’t overdo the spice factor.


Add chicken and broccoli

freshly cooked chicken

Leftover rotisserie chicken can come to the rescue to help you make your Velveeta Mac and Cheese taste better. Add in some broccoli, and you’ll have a classic restaurant-style dish that eats like an entire meal. Serve with a fresh garden salad, and dinner is done. Prefer to keep it vegetarian? Then just add the broccoli instead.

Whether using chicken and broccoli or just broccoli, make sure you cook the broccoli in the water with the macaroni. Then it will be nice and tender when the noodles are ready for the cheesy sauce.


Or use cauliflower

We love this trick because it’s a sneaky way to get kids to gobble up more veggies. Cook cauliflower in with the mac and it will blend beautifully with the sauce for a side dish that tastes great and provides more nutrition.


Make magic with mushrooms

For a more savory mac and cheese upgrade, add some sauteed mushrooms with fresh herbs. Even better, toss in a handful of spinach, and you’ll have a spectacular mac and cheese dish that no one will believe came from a box. Hate mushrooms? Just use the spinach. Throw it in at the end right before serving!


Go the way of the buffalo

Buffalo Mac that is. If you have hot sauce, shake it in. You can add rotisserie chicken and blue cheese crumbles, too, so it will taste like everyone’s favorite party dip. It’s absolutely delicious. Plus, if you’re having a gathering or going to a potluck, you can bake it in a casserole dish and fool everyone into thinking it’s completely made from scratch.


Cue up the barbecue

But if that buffalo spice is too much for you and your family, barbecue sauce is another crowd-pleasing way to brighten up Velveeta Mac and Cheese. That sweet, savory, and smoky barbecue sauce flavor pairs perfectly with that creamy, cheesy sauce. Add shredded chicken or pork for an even more satisfying meal.

There are so many ways to make Velveeta Mac and Cheese better. Even if you’re entertaining, no one will be the wiser that you started out with a box when making your creations. Try them all and see which one is the winner at your next dinner!

Breadcrumbs and Crunchy Toppings

  • Homemade Breadcrumbs: Toss panko or crumbled Ritz crackers with melted butter and toast them lightly before sprinkling over your mac and cheese for a delightful crunch.
  • Cheese-topped Crust: For an extra cheesy crunch, mix breadcrumbs with grated parmesan or additional shredded cheese and broil until it forms a crisp golden layer.

Switch Up the Sauce

  • Creamier Sauce: Enhance the creaminess by adding a dollop of sour cream or a splash of heavy cream to your Velveeta sauce.
  • Flavor Boost: Mix in a teaspoon of mustard or a crumble of blue cheese for depth and tanginess which will balance out the richness of the Velveeta.
  • Spicy Twist: Incorporate some chili flakes or your favorite hot sauce into the cheese sauce for an extra layer of flavor that adds heat without overpowering the dish.

How To Make Box Mac and Cheese in The Microwave

Making box mac and cheese in the microwave is the easiest thing ever! On a very tiring day, this process takes no more than 12 minutes, out of which 9 minutes go into gawking at the microwave’s inner plate’s circular motion through the window. Here is what you have to do:

  • Start by heating water in the microwave-safe dish. Heat it for about 2 minutes.
  • Add pasta directly from the box into the bowl. Give it a quick stir and microwave for about 5 to 7 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Don’t forget to stir the pasta after every minute; otherwise, they will stick together, and you will end up with a big lump of pasta. Also, don’t add more water than the required amount, and don’t overcook the pasta. Stop once the water is evaporated.
  • Take the dish out of the microwave and add butter to it. Mix so that the butter melts and combines with the pasta.
  • Add the cheese from the packet inside the box and a splash of milk. Mix well until everything is well combined.
  • Dig in!

Note: You can check the quantity of water, butter, and milk needed right on the back of your mac and cheese box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any special spices recommended to spice up Velveeta mac and cheese?

To add a kick, try incorporating spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or a pinch of mustard powder. These will imbue your mac and cheese with a warm, zesty flavor.

What are the methods for making Velveeta mac and cheese creamier?

For a creamier texture, stir in a dollop of sour cream or a splash of heavy cream while mixing your Velveeta into the pasta. Another method is to add a small amount of cream cheese for extra richness.

Can you suggest some toppings to give baked Velveeta mac and cheese a crunchy texture?

Sprinkle a layer of panko breadcrumbs or crushed crackers mixed with melted butter over your mac and cheese before baking. This will result in a crispy, golden crust.

How can I modify the traditional stovetop Velveeta mac and cheese recipe for a richer taste?

Incorporate ingredients like sautéed garlic or onions, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, or a mix of sharper cheeses such as aged cheddar or Gruyère along with the Velveeta for a deeper flavor profile.

Is it possible to make Velveeta mac and cheese taste homemade, and if so, how?

For a homemade touch, prepare a roux with butter and flour before adding the Velveeta cheese. This creates a base that imparts a from-scratch taste. You can also add freshly grated cheese and bake it briefly to meld the flavors.



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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.