It's Always Happy Hour at a Mac and Cheese Bar

You can't go wrong with this spread!You can't go wrong with this spread!Family gatherings are so much fun and they are more exciting when fun food happens. We love getting together around baked potato bars, taco bars and even tostada bars, but this time I tried something different: a mac and cheese bar. I used a variety of fun bowls and set up a self-serve station where everyone can customize their own mac and cheese creation. It's perfect for a casual, outdoor party and a fun way to get kids to eat their veggies.

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces American cheese, sliced in thin strips
roasted shredded chicken
cauliflower florets
broccoli florets
fried onions
panko crumbs

Related: 21 delicious pasta dishes you can claim as secret recipes


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and saute for approximately 3 minutes. Add flour and stir, continuing to cook for 1 minute. Add milk, powdered mustard, salt and pepper. Stir until all ingredients combine. Mixture should boil and thicken. Turn off heat.

3. To the hot milk mixture, add Cheddar and American shredded cheeses and stir until completely melted.

4. Carefully fold in cooked macaroni to the cheese mixture until well combined. Transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Let cool.

6. Serve buffet style with small bowls and accompanied by popular toppings such as salsa, bacon, broccoli, fried onions, panko crumbs and roasted shredded chicken. Have guests customize their own mac and cheese dish by having them select their own toppings.

- By Erika Sanchez

For 33 cheesy delights that put fast-food to shame, visit Spoonful!

More on Spoonful
26 light-and-easy chicken dishes perfect for entertaining
30 tasty slow-cooker recipes that do the work for you
32 great recipes for the grill - shrimp gumbo, Moroccan chicken kebobs, and more!