My Favorite Dinner to Make at Home


If you have ever gone to Cather Dining Hall on a Monday for dinner, you probably noticed the constant line wrapped around the buffet stretching past the drinks and to the grill. Everyone is in line for the mac and cheese bowls of course. I discovered them during my second semester in my freshman year. They only had them every other Monday, and I was in line every other Monday. It was so worth the wait. It is was one of my favorite meals at the dining hall. Now that I live off-campus and have to feed myself, I needed to fulfill my desire for the cheesy and delicious mac and cheese bowls.


What is the big deal with mac and cheese bowls? When I talked about them to my roommates and family they were like, “What? So just mac and cheese?” No, no, no. It is more than just mac and cheese. There are several key factors that make a mac and cheese bowl a mac and cheese bowl.


1. It is homemade mac and cheese, and it has to be creamy and cheesy. Any cheese works, but I usually use mostly cheddar with mozzarella. Some people prefer pepper jack or American.


2. There are topping and extras in mac and cheese bowls. Usually, you have a type of meat: Chicken (grilled or fried), bacon bits, or sausage. You can add vegetables like broccoli or peppers, but I usually just go with green onions.


3. Arguably, the most important factor is the sauce. Adding sauce to mac and cheese sounds weird, but I made my family and friends try, and it changed their world. At the dining hall, you chose between BBQ, buffalo, sriracha, or pesto.


I now make mac and cheese bowls at home all the time, usually on a Monday. I use this recipe for mac and cheese. Make sure you adjust for the quantity. I buy my chicken from Aldi. They have an awesome five-pound box of chicken strips, and I cut them into bite-sized pieces. They are easy and they taste great. But you can substitute or add grilled chicken, sausage, and bacon. Along with the mac and chicken, I add green onions and bacon bits. And I always mix in the very important BBQ sauce.


This meal is surprisingly easy to make and so delicious. I am so happy I discovered it in the dining hall last year. I recommend giving it a shot, it will change how you view mac and cheese forever.