Elevated (Box) Mac and Cheese Recipe

This recipe takes your normal mac & cheese and elevates it with less than a dollar of extra ingredients. You can use leftover chicken, cheese, or any other ingredients that you’d like that are near their expiration date, and as many bread crumbs as your heart desires! This is an easy meal to reduce your food waste.
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min


  • box mac & cheese
  • cube chicken bouillon
  • tablespoon neutral oil
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • tablespoon mayo (or butter)
  • leftover shredded chicken (optional)


  1. Cut or tear approx one cup of leftover bread that has gone stale. The smaller the pieces the better they will work for this recipe. Toast on medium heat in a large sautée pan and set aside.
  2. To the pan add oil, crushed up chicken bouillon cube (or equivalent in other formats of bouillon), and dry uncooked pasta. Keep the heat at medium and stir occasionally until all the pasta is slightly toasted. Be careful not to have the heat too high or the bouillon will burn.
  3. Once the pasta is slightly toasted, add recommended amount of water to the pan. In a small bowl, mix a tablespoon of mayo or softened butter and the packet of powdered cheese. Optional: Add leftover chicken, cheese, or any other toppings to the cheese mixture.
  4. Once the water has mostly evaporated (the pasta should be wet but there should be very little extra water) and the pasta is al dente, turn off the heat but don’t move off the burner. Add cheese mixture and bread crumbs. Mix until fully incorporated and serve.

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